Oct 20 2011 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle
CHESTER FC have been set the target of reaching the first round proper in their maiden FA Trophy voyage.
Neil Young wants his side to reach the last 64 as he would love to take on the likes of Wrexham in non-league football’s premier cup competition.
It is at the first round stage that the Dragons and all the other teams in the Blue Square Premier enter the fray.
But to get there the reborn Blues, who as a ‘new’ club were prevented from playing in last season’s Trophy, will have to win three qualifiers, the first of which comes at home to league rivals Ashton United on Saturday (3pm).
Chester boss Young said: “We want to win the competition but you’ve got to be realistic, it’s going to be hard. Every competition we enter we try to win, but this is definitely the number one priority after the league.
“It would be really good to put ourselves up against a Conference side, to see where we’re at in terms of ability. But we’ve got to concentrate on Ashton first, get into the next round and then take it from there.”
Young’s dream would be to lead the Blues all the way to next May’s Wembley showpiece.
History, however, is not on Young’s side as it is seven years since a team playing at Chester’s level made it to the final.
But his immediate concern is overcoming a Ashton side he feels should not be underestimated.
Young said: “We beat them at their place in the league but they played well that night. We had them watched on Saturday when they got a good draw at Chorley so I’m sure they’ll be coming here to have a good go.
“But as I keep saying, if we keep playing the way we are, we’ll take some stopping.”
The second-placed Blues made it eight wins from their last nine league matches on Saturday when they battled back to win an extraordinary game at FC United of Manchester.
Young said: “It was probably the best game I’ve been involved in since I’ve been at the club.
“There was a great atmosphere in the ground and it was a great performance by my players, who once again proved they can perform on the big stage and that when the chips are down, they can still come up trumps.”
Admission on Saturday is £8 adults, £5 concessions and £1 under 16s. Should the tie end in a draw after 90 minutes, a replay would take place at Ashton’s Hurst Cross ground next Wednesday.