In 25 years of watching Chester I can’t remember seeing much worse than Saturday - and I can’t remember many more hostile reactions from supporters towards a group of players at the final whistle.
Owners and chairman have been blasted at the end of 90 minutes before now, but for fans to stay behind and give the players both barrels tells you all you need to know about how appalling the performance was on Saturday.
Manager Marcus Bignot made his players sit out on the pitch on Saturday as around 200 of the travelling 522 supporters rightly made their feelings know towards a group of players who had let them down again. Enough was enough.
If I wasn’t covering the football club for The Chronicle, sitting in the press box and having to display at least some air of professionalism, then I’d imagine I would have been one of them.
Chester fans are used to watching their teams lose football matches and under perform. The highs of supporting the club have been vastly outweighed by the lows over the years and we know more than our fair share of heartache, that’s for sure.
But spineless displays void of desire or commitment aren’t something to be accepted.
I am a firm believer that no player goes out with the intention of turning it in and every player wants to be on a winning team. But once that whistle blows and the game gets underway, the strong and the weak are separated by their desire to win the game, to go the extra yard, to at least show they care a jot about the badge on the shirt and the fans in the stand.
I’d thought long and hard about whether I should write anything after Saturday from my own point of view.
What good would it do? Who am I, a slightly overweight thirtysomething who sits behind a laptop on a Saturday afternoon, to criticise professional footballers?
But Saturday was a disgrace. If that is the players grafting and putting in a shift then something is seriously wrong.
Individually some players have displayed heart for this football club and shown they have the desired attributes that we as Chester fans demand, and without naming names I’m sure certain names immediately spring to mind for supporters.
But there are those who have not lived up to expectations. Not even close.
Part of the problem is that this group of players have been shielded from blame by the previous manager, who ended up paying the price, and have not had to face up to criticism. That changed on Saturday.
As a journalist I always feel I should be a critical friend of the football club. After all, this is a club I have supported since I was a boy and I have been a CFU member and a season ticket holder. Saturday hurt me.
The players don’t have to like me or other members of the press and I’m sure they would rather not have someone who has never played the game giving them a rating in the paper. But this is football and to a Chester fan this club means just as much as Liverpool does to the most ardent Liverpool fan or Manchester United does to the most ardent Manchester United fan.
The fans own this club, though.
Nobody expects us to win promotion or be rampaging through the Football League and into the big time. But the fans fought to bring this club back from the dead. The surroundings the players find themselves in and the money that is placed into their bank accounts each month is a result of the hard work of supporters.
Losing is something that is part and parcel of supporting clubs such as Chester, but when it is done without any heart or care then that is a problem. It won’t be tolerated.
I hope that the players heard the voices of the supporters on Saturday and that it resonated. It should have hurt them for the rest of the weekend and provided them with some motivation to tackle training this week head on and show that they do care and that they deserve to be here.
The fans will be here long after every single player has departed the club. While you’re here you give your all.