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Chester FC fans' jury: 'The local lads will fully understand what the Wrexham fixture means'

Blues supporters give their verdict on Sunday's high-noon Racecourse showdown

Marcus Bignot speaks after Dover defeat

It's the hope that kills you.

It may well be in short supply at Chester FC with Tuesday's 2-0 home defeat to Dover Athletic edging the club closer to what looks an inevitable relegation.

But is it beyond the realms of possibility that the Blues could pull off a derby shock and come away from bitter-rivals Wrexham on Sunday with the three points in the bag?

Ultimately, it may not stop Marcus Bignot's side's slide toward the National League North.

But, in what truly has been a season to forget, both on and off the field, it would provide a boost to a set of supporters who have grown used to being described with the prefix of 'long-suffering'.

So, with that in mind, we asked our fans' jury members:

What are your hopes and fears for the derby?

Here's what they had to say...

RIO DOHERTY: "I just have that strange feeling that we will win on Sunday"

"Although we have had a really troubling season, I'm still really looking forward to Sunday's cross-border derby. It is the first game I look out for when the fixtures are released in the summer and I always make sure I go however good or bad we are.

"Wrexham are doing well this season, whilst we have been really poor. Some would say that we are in for a hiding on Sunday, but I am actually optimistic. In August 2013, we were both in a similar situation on the pitch. Wrexham were in the play-offs, whilst we had lost our first five games. Then what happened? We won 2-0 in Wrexham's own backyard. I'm looking at that match for inspiration that we can get something on Sunday.

Captain Paul Linwood heads Chester FC in front in their 2-0 derby win at Wrexham in August 2013(Image: Rob Stratford)

"That day we only took 800 fans, if I can remember rightly, yet we made as much noise as a 2,000-strong following would have. Sadly, we have only sold even less tickets for Sunday's game so far. That's very poor, in my opinion, especially as this is likely to be our last derby match for a while. I understand that it's Mother’s Day and that it is an early kick-off, but we should be selling out our allocation for these games.

"We need to give Marcus Bignot and his troops all the support we can on Sunday. My hopes of us staying up evaporated a while ago now, but our supporters should still be turning up in their numbers until relegation is confirmed. Also, it will be our first game at Wrexham without the bubble in some time. Imagine if the bubble was still in place? How many would we sell then? 400?

"On the playing side, I'm looking forward to seeing the likes of Gary Roberts and Tom Crawford, both local lads, up against Wrexham. Those two players have been a really bright spark for us lately, and they will be up for the game, for sure.

"I predict a 2-0 win for the Blues, with Dominic Vose and Ryan Astles scoring. I just have that strange feeling that we will win on Sunday, which would be amazing. Come On You Blues!"

KIERON SHIEL: "I'd be happy with a hard-fought draw on Sunday; I’d be amazed with a win"

"Well, let's just hope we don't embarrass ourselves! I feel our performances have improved but our habits have not gone away. Tuesday night's game was a case in point. We played well first half but immediately looked like the pre-Christmas version of Chester from the kick-off of the second half.

"We looked shaky, nervous and lacking confidence... and then came the inevitable goal. After that we had nothing and looked as empty as the stadium.

Kevin Lokko heads Dover Athletic in front on Tuesday night(Image: Terry Marland)

"Dover did a number on us, and I guess that it's that time of the season when good teams (and as much as it pains me, Wrexham are that) just do enough, not pretty or with flair, but with the efficiency and guile to get what they need in the three points. Which is exactly what Wrexham did to us at home.

"I'd be happy with a hard-fought draw on Sunday; I’d be amazed with a win. It won't stop me hoping, though."

IAN WILSON: "Ticket sales are clearly poor, which is a great shame given the end of the bubble, but at the same time totally understandable'

"So, it's the 'Big One' on Sunday, although I think most Blues would happily see the season end right here, right now. I really can't see there being an upset in this one. But in a two-horse race there is always a chance and how we could all do with a result in this fixture to give us a much-needed boost and maybe put a few more bums on seats at future home games. On the flip side, of course, a bad defeat could lead to even more apathy toward this season horribilis.

"We have some things going for us. We have a number of local lads in the team who will fully understand and hopefully get across to the other players exactly what this fixture means. Dom Vose may feel he has a few points to prove at his old club and, of course, he’s here to play games and put himself in the shop window, and what better way to do that than with a good performance in front of the TV cameras.

"We've also shown in spells during recent games that we can play a bit given the chance. But to be brutally honest I can only see defeat and would be ecstatic with a face-saving draw to put a dint in their promotion ambitions.

Chester FC went down to a harsh 1-0 home loss to Wrexham in November(Image: Dale Miles)

"Finally, what I'd like to say is that ticket sales are clearly poor, which is a great shame given that this season sees the end of the bubble, but at the same time totally understandable. So I would ask any fans who, like myself, are not attending, to make a one-off donation to the club on Sunday, even if just a quid or two, to help us through to the end of season.

"I'll be watching this one from behind the sofa, with a glass of something warm, praying for a miracle. COYB."

ALEX BULLIONS: "If we can exploit Wrexham's backline we can pick up three points on Sunday"

"No-one can blame me for feeling nothing but negativity ahead of the derby. Three defeats on the bounce - two at home; two despite fantastic, spirited performances - are just one of the many factors responsible for my fears toward Sunday.

"Whether it be due to BT's live coverage, or our poor run of results, many fans are turning their back on the team, which will only create a further fear amongst the players. What do I hope for? That we run out 5-0 winners. Is that my heart speaking? Absolutely. Is that going to happen? I wouldn't bet a penny on it.

"However, there is a small glimmer of hope, provided by the 'form goes out of the window in derbies' cliche. However, the fact that a saying amongst fans is the only thing giving me confidence that we can pull off a massive upset at the Racecourse speaks volumes about how poor the mood and atmosphere around the club has been in recent weeks.

"I hope to enjoy it; I fear that won't be for very long. However, Wrexham are a very defensive team, and while they boast perhaps one of the best backlines in the league, all it takes is exploiting that, and we can pick up three points on Sunday."

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