Salford City should be celebrating a famous victory against a Chester team that's now 13 points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North.
Salford got the moral victory. And the footballing victory, as Rhodri Giggs and Adam Morning terrorised the Chester defence every time they went near the ball. Five times Salford City were clean through on goal. And five times Chester were let off, as the supposed top team in the division were run ragged.
Meanwhile, the Chester supporters, who were so loud and rowdy at Moor Lane, were too busy biting their nails to make any noise at all. And two dozen Salford City fans completely outsang around two thousand of them… `You're supposed to be at home!'… `It's just like being in church' etc…
In the event, the Salford supporters were actually in Wales, while the Chester mutes down the other end were in England. The boundary, apparently, goes right through the pitch and stands. Good job Wales hasn't declared independence or the players would have to show their passports every time they crossed the halfway line.
Steve Foster was obviously confused, because after only fifteen minutes he broke completely clear only to see his shot blocked by the legs of the Chester keeper. It was the first of three golden chances for Salford's top scorer. Instead it was Chester that took the lead ten minutes later.
That lead didn't last long, with a superb Rhodri Giggs free kick from the edge of the area curling under the Chester keeper. 1-1. Five minutes later, though, and Chester were back on top with a break and a shot into the Welsh goal. 2-1.
By half time it should have been 3-2 to Salford. First, Rhodri Giggs weaved passed a zillion Chester defenders and slipped the ball through to Adam Morning, who beat another defender before whipping a brilliant shot that hit the inside of the post and squirmed across the goal line to safety. Then, Morning on his own eased past a couple of defenders but dragged his shot just wide. At this point, Salford City were murdering Chester but the ball just wouldn't go in.
So, at half time, it was 2-1 to uber lucky Chester, and their mascot came out for interval, almost apologetically waving to the fans. But what was the mascot?
It had pointy ears but a long thin tail, so couldn't have been a fox. Could have been a bear or a lion or something? We asked some stewards. One said it could be a rat but no-one seemed to know. Seems strange to have a rat as a mascot but they don't have pointy ears either…
On the Chester programme there's a thing with pointy ears over the words `the Cestrian', so it's probably one of them. You'd think they'd just have an elephant 'cos they got a zoo. Or maybe they have a Cestrian at the zoo? The lesser spotted Cestrian? Pointy ears, long thin tail and a stupid grin on its face waving to everyone.
You do see some strange sights at these international matches. For instance, named as subs for Chester were pensioner footy legends Pat Nevin and Perry Groves. Apparently it was part of some sponsorship deal by the ex players – but even now they couldn't have played worse than a Chester defence that allowed Steve Foster to break clear twice during the second half, both times allowing the keeper to get his foot or his arse or something in the way, to stop shots that should have broken the net.
`We should be winning 5-2' sang the Salford fans… But Chester then made it 3-1 with only their third shot on target...
The chant changed to `We should be winning 5-3'…
And Salford City should really have won 5-3. But football's a funny game, as we're sure the Cestrian would agree. It was even funnier when, just before the end, as Salford City supporters were pleading for Pat Nevin to brought on, instead, Salford brought on a fourth sub. And no-one noticed. These international games – very strange.
`Chester, Chester give us a song....Chester give us a song'... Ssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh
PS: Apparently Football Focus on BBC 1 this Saturday is doing a feature on Chester, including highlights from this game.