CHESTER are hoping fan power will propel them nearer the Nationwide Conference title tomorrow.

Around 1,600 supporters roared them to a 2-0 victory at Telford on Tuesday when they regained the leadership from Hereford United.

In fact, it was down to Barrie Hipkiss, who organises the official supporters' transport to away matches, and four Deva Stadium stewards to open and man some turnstiles at the New Bucks Head ground when the regular home turnstile attendants failed to show.

Explained Chester's general manager Dave Burford: 'Whether they failed to turn up because they thought they weren't going to get paid because of Telford's financial problems I don't know, but it was Barrie and four of our lads who had to let our supporters in.

'It was fantastic support for us and chairman Stephen Vaughan was delighted. They made a massive amount of noise and I know it made a big difference to the players.

'We are expecting a similar following at Accrington and with six matches to go we hope our supporters will turn up in force to cheer the team over the finishing line.'

It was an impressive sight at the visitors' end and in the overspill section, as was the bumper to bumper convoy which headed back along the A41 after the game.

Supporters of Accrington (average attendance 1,832) could even be outnumbered tomorrow as Chester seek their eighth win in nine games, while Hereford, now three points adrift and an extra game played, go to Halifax.

This is the sharp end of the promotion race and, coincidentally, all City's remaining opponents, Accrington, Aldershot, who visit the Deva on Tuesday night (7.45), Exeter, Shrewsbury, Scarborough and Hereford are former Football League clubs.

Of those, only Exeter have managed to get the better of Mark Wright's men, becoming the first team to beat them back in August, although Accrington won't have forgotten the stirring fight they put up to come from behind to hold the Blues to a 3-3 draw in November.

City have injury problems with Paul Carden needing treatment on a knee injury, and Alex Smith was withdrawn at half-time at Telford with an injury.

Wright has to decide whether to restore loan goalkeeper Iain Turner or stick with Andy Woods who had an impressive debut at Telford.

Turner showed admirable commitment by driving back from Scotland, disappointed not to have been selected for Scotland U21s against Romania, and straight to Telford to support his team-mates. Chester are giving a trial to 19-year-old Oussama Rhalmi, from Lyon, France.

Chester reserves go to Great Har-wood tonight to meet Accrington reserves. The sides meet again at Flint on Wednesday (7.45). Tickets for the all-ticket game at Shrewsbury on Tuesday, April 13, go on general sale on Monday from 10am-7pm at turnstile two.

Any left will be sold on Tuesday, but not following the Aldershot match. Season ticket holders can obtain their tickets today.