Through all the ups and downs Chester FC have gone through in the last 12 months, one thing has remained constant – your thirst for Blues news.

You have visited our website in your thousands to read about the latest goings-on at the club, so as the year comes to a close it's time to take a look back at the most popular stories of 2016.

Showing Jon McCarthy-like attention to detail, we've totted up the numbers and worked out the 10 most-read Blues articles from The Chronicle's website over the past 12 months.

So here's a rundown of our top-10, which contains a few surprises, counting down to the No1 slot.

10) Spot of bother

The Blues conceded a penalty just SIX SECONDS into their FA Trophy replay against Witton Albion earlier this month.

We reckoned Blaine Hudson's clumsy trip on Tolani Omotola might have led to the fastest penalty award in football history – and the story made it into several national papers as well as being picked up by the BBC Sport football gossip column.

Referee Joseph Johnson points to the spot... after six seconds

9) Derby disappointment

Sometimes bad news proves popular.

Or maybe it was Wrexham fans who were keen to read Jim Green's match report from the Blues' 3-0 loss at the Racecourse in March.

Whatever the reason, we won't dwell on this one.

8) Look who's back

Controversial former Blues owner Stephen Vaughan made a surprise return to football in the summer, when he was photographed with members of the Cheshire-based consortium which took control of Welsh Premier League team Bangor City.

Vaughan was described as a 'shirt sponsor', with new Bangor chairman Ivor Jenkins insisting the Liverpool businessman would not be involved in running the club. But still, his reappearance piqued your interest.

Stephen Vaughan is involved in football once again
Stephen Vaughan (right) appeared at a press call at Bangor City

7) Striking a chord

The subject of how derby matches are policed was a hot topic all year, with our Blues correspondent Dave Powell a leading critic of the 'overbearing' restrictions supporters have to endure.

Dave penned an opinion piece before Chester hosted Tranmere in a league game for the first time in 25 years in February, when the early Sunday kick-off proved a turn-off for many supporters.

It seemed to strike a chord with Blues fans everywhere.

6) Just the ticket?

Sometimes the simplest of stories work best.

A short piece about how many tickets Chester had sold for the derby at Wrexham in September was the sixth most popular story we published online all year, with the fact a smaller-than-usual away following was expected no doubt adding to the intrigue.

5) Matt's story

Our occasional 'where are they now?' articles with former players are always a hit with readers, and the one we published about Matt McKay in February told the story of how he earned a dream move to Everton as a youngster before having to retire from the game aged 21.

Matt McKay in action for Chester City

4) Fixture fanatics

Again, a simple story – but a popular one.

Thousands of you were obviously missing your football fix in the summer so a story which revealed the date for when the 2016-17 National League fixtures would be released was gratefully recieved.

3) The magic of the cup

Our blogs have been popular all year, and the one we ran for the fourth qualifying round FA Cup draw in October contained added spice as the Blues were handed a reunion with former boss Steve Burr and his Southport side.

Interestingly, while the last year saw Burr sacked and Jon McCarthy named as his successor, no stories about the managerial changes at the club made our top 10.

2) Lessons to be learned

It's no surprise to see another 'bubble' story near the top of our list.

When Dave Powell witnessed how well Merseyside Police handled the derby against Tranmere at Prenton Park in November, he called on the force's Cheshire counterparts to learn from it and scrap the unpopular 'bubble' restrictions for matches against Wrexham.

The calls have, so far, fallen on deaf ears.

A line of police outside the Racecourse at the end of the derby between Chester and Wrexham
A line of police outside the Racecourse at the end of the derby between Chester and Wrexham in March

1) Burst that bubble

Was this the day the derby died?

Dave Powell thought so. His impassioned piece about how September's clash with Wrexham was ruined by being a designated 'bubble' match (just 550 Blues fans attended) was our most-read article of 2016.

It's a saga which looks likely to roll into 2017.