CHESTER fans are turning on each other as the Blues continue to set the pace at the top of the Nationwide Conference.
A Deva Stadium faction reacted badly to City allowing a 3-1 lead to slip against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, accusing manager Mark Wright of not knowing what he was doing and chanting for a player who wasn't even on the bench.
There were heated arguments on the terraces between the hard-to-please minority and fans who were more tolerant of the team's occasional shortcomings.
Said one City fan, who preferred not to be named: 'These people who call themselves supporters have short memories. They should remember where the club was before the present regime took over. I wish they would stay away if they can't get behind the team.'
And the popular website messageboard Deva Chat was humming with comments in the following 48 hours with exchanges of views and opinions.
An Exeter supporter spotted the arguing and couldn't hide his incredulity that Chester fans could be anything other than ecstatic that the club was on course for a return to the Football League.
He said on the messageboard: 'You sure are hard on your manager. After you played us, your messageboard was filled with doom and despair.
'You are now sitting on top of the Conference but I almost thought I'd misread the table and you were near the bottom.
'The simple fact is, if you carry on as you are, you're promoted. And apart from seeing a certain Devon team promoted, having met some of your away supporters, I can't say I would be too upset about that.
'Best of luck - but cheer up! You're top of the table. And I bet most of you aren't working nights at Christmas like me!'
That's says it all, except to point out that club chairman Stephen Vaughan must be wondering what more he can do to keep the fans happy.
He has backed his manager 100%, put a lot of money into the club, both on and off the pitch, and must cast an envious eye at attendances of more than 3,000 at Alder-shot and 6,000 at Shrewsbury, while City struggle to get beyond the 2,600 mark.
Wright refused to talk to the waiting media following the 3-3 draw against Accrington, partly because of the result and the gifting of a point to the visitors, and probably because of the barracking from the terraces.
It is an extraordinary situation and hard to believe considering the mess the club was in a couple of years ago. Supporters of every other club in the Conference would be rejoicing in the team's position at the top of the league and while there are always going to be hiccups, such as the one we witnessed on Tuesday, disappointments - and those are few and far between - are best swallowed and suffered in silence.
City can put Tuesday's second-half failings behind them tomorrow when they take on Margate at the Deva looking for a double, having won 2-1 in Kent earlier in the season.
Injured defenders Phil Bolland and Carl Ruffer, who were missed on Tuesday, will need fitness checks before the squad is named.
Chester reserves drew 1-1 with Workington on Wednesday, Dean Buckley scoring. They meet Northwich Vics at Flint on Wednesday (7.30pm).
Replica shirts are due to arrive in the club shop today and should be on sale at tomorrow's game.
The scheduled Barclaycard Premier-ship Reserve League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at the Deva on Monday has been postponed because of Villa's Carling Cup and FA Youth Cup commitments.
Chester will feature in Monday's draw for the fourth round of the FA Trophy.