Signing off

Well, there we have it.

Should Chester be successful in their FA Trophy first round replay tomorrow night against Witton Albion then they will play host to Forest Green Rovers or Truro City, who will play their replay tomorrow night after a 1-1 draw at the New Lawn on Saturday.

It could have been kinder to Chester but, in truth, it could have been a whole lot worse.

The Blues must get past Witton first, though. We’ll be live from the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium tomorrow night for all the action.

Thanks for joining us.

A rare home tie

It’s all irrelevant if Chester lose to Witton tomorrow but a home tie is a rarity for the Blues in cup competitions. Chester were handed a home encounter against Hungerford Town at this stage last season but they have been on the road more often than not.

Forest Green travel to Truro for their replay while the Blues host Witton tomorrow night.

Ties to be played Saturday, January 14.

The draw in full

1 Worthing v Sutton United

2 Tranmere Rovers v South Park or North Leigh

3 Bromley or Leiston v Welling United

4 East Thurrock United v Braintree Town or Aldershot Town

5 Nuneaton Town v Guiseley

6 Boreham Wood or Maidstone United v Alfreton Town

7 Harrogate Town or Barrow v Matlock Town

8 Southport v Wealdstone or Wingate & Finchley

9 Gateshead v Shaw Lane Association or Nantwich or Lincoln City

10 Dartford or Dover Athletic v Chelmsford City

11 Kidderminster Harriers v Ebbsfleet United or Woking

12 Harlow Town v York City

13 AFC Sudbury v Altrincham or Macclesfield Town

14 Whitehawk or Weymouth v Dulwich Hamlet or Royston Town

15 Witton Albion or Chester v Forest Green Rovers or Truro City

16 Stockport County v AFC Fylde or Brackley Town

It could have been better

Of course, Chester need to win their replay at home to Witton tomorrow but the draw hasn’t been too kind.

A home draw, yes, but you would have to fancy Forest Green to do the business against Truro City in the replay. The Blues have a poor record against Rovers.

Home to Forest Green/Truro City

There we go!

Almost time

We should have the draw in the next five minutes. We hope!

Brexit will probably happen quicker

Draw approaching

Expect the draw for round two in the next 15 minutes. The F5 button is getting a hammering!

Draw expected 1pm

It could be beforehand but anticipate the draw at 1pm, as was the case with round one.

'Not many positives'

Following the draw at Witton on Saturday, Chester boss Jon McCarthy had this to say. There are not many positives from us. Alex Lynch was excellent and we got Matty Waters on the pitch but actually there’s not a lot. I can’t gloss over it so it’s probably best I give a lot of credit to Carl Macauley and his players because I thought they were excellent. I had a lot of respect for them before the game and our players should have a lot more afterwards. I’ve got to say a big thank you to our fans who made the journey in numbers. We appreciate that and we’re disappointed we didn’t put on a performance. But I’ll re-emphasise that this group of lads have been doing it all season for us. Our fans and I have seen our standards and we know we fell below them. But we have stayed in this competition and we’ll relish the opportunity to put things right in the replay.

Weekend ratings

It wasn’t great.

Nobody covered themselves in glory at Witton but Chester live to fight another day at least.

We dished out one seven, a few sixes and fives, and just one four. Here’s our ratings from the weekend.

Action from Witton v Chester
Action from Witton v Chester (Image: Terry Marland)

Our thoughts exactly

One of the weekend's giant killers

Matlock were 2-1 winners at National League side Solihull Moors on Saturday.

What time is the draw?

The first round draw was made at 1pm and that could be the case again today. We’ve been told that it will take place at ‘lunchtime’. I’m just about to tuck into a chicken salad wrap and there is no sign of it yet.

Who is in the hat?

Chester/Witton

Southport

Matlock Town

Alfreton Town

Kidderminster Harriers

Nuneaton Town

Harrogate Town/Barrow

AFC Fylde/Brackley Town

York City

Guiseley

Tranmere Rovers

Stockport County

Ebbsfleet United/Woking

Chelmsford City

Worthing FC

Harlow Town

Whitehawk/Weymouth

Braintree Town

East Thurrock United/Aldershot Town

Dulwich Hamlet/Royston Town

Welling United

Wealdstone/Wingate & Finchley

Dartford/Dover Athletic

South Park/North Leigh

AFC Sudbury

Sutton United

Forest Green Rovers/Truro City

Boreham Wood/Maidstone United

Bromley/Leiston

Gateshead

The draw is national

Had it confirmed by the FA that today’s draw is national. Possibility of some pretty lengthy trips.

Saturday shocks

While Witton’s 1-1 draw at home to Chester was one of the eye-catching results of the first round, there were a few others too.

Matlock Town and Alfreton Town both saw off National League opposition, defeating Solihull Moors and North Ferriby United respectively.

Elsewhere, Forest Green Rovers were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Truro City while Harlow Town stunned big-spending Eastleigh, beating the Spitfires 2-0.

Dagenham & Redbridge are also out after they were beaten 2-1 at home to Worthing United.

What did Macca have to say?

In short, he wasn’t best pleased.

The Blues boss offered an honest appraisal of Saturday’s clash when he spoke to the press. Here’s what he had to say.

A disappointing weekend

It was always likely that Witton would be up for the test against the Blues on Saturday, and that certainly proved to be the case.

Chester weren’t at the races while Carl Macauley’s side were full of confidence against their loftier opponents and can count themselves unlucky not to have got the job done at Wincham Park.

But Chester lived to fight another day and will host Albion at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium tomorrow.

Here’s what happened on Saturday.

Witton Albion 1 Chester FC 1: Report and verdict

Jordan Chapell nods Chester FC in front at Witton Albion
Jordan Chapell nods Chester FC in front at Witton Albion (Image: Terry Marland)

Welcome

The Blues are in the hat. Just.

Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Witton Albion means Chester will have to go again in a replay tomorrow night, with a place in round two and a cheque for £5,000 the prize.

The draw for round two takes place this lunchtime at the FA’s Wembley headquarters and the Blues will find out who they will face, should they see off Witton tomorrow of course, by no means a foregone conclusion.

We’ll bring you the build-up and the draw as it happens right here.

Let’s kick things off.