Three minutes from time Blacon teenager Tom Crawford emerged from the substitutes bench to rapturous applause as the academy prospect made his senior debut for his hometown club.
And while the timing of the introduction may not have been what he would have wanted, the sight of one of their own pulling on the blue and white stripes did, at least, do something to gladden the heart.
It was a proud moment for 18-year-old Crawford, a star of last season’s FA Youth Cup heroics that saw them see off the likes of Fleetwood Town and Bolton Wanderers.
“It was a proud moment for me and my family and most of them were here and you probably could have heard them when I came on, they were all behind the bench,” said Crawford.
“There was loads of nerves when I was warming up and I was getting shouted at by God knows who in the crowd, shouting my name, I was looking up and the nerves were going through me.
“I was over the moon to get on the pitch and to see my shirt hanging up in the changing room beforehand was a great feeling.”
Central midfielder Crawford, who began his footballing education at Stoke City before joining Chester as a 15-year-old, reserved praise for academy head coach Calum McIntyre for his role in his development and helping him find his feet in football again after leaving the Potters.
“When I left Stoke I didn’t know what I was doing with myself and I came to Chester and this club has been like a second home to me. I love the place and the people here and I have thank Calum for looking after me these last two-and-a-half/three years. He helped me through when I left Stoke and he has played a big part in me coming on today.”