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Exile Adrian Lee: Eaten out of house and home

By Chester City Exiles on Oct 12, 10 03:49 PM in

Just before half time the announcer at Harrogate informed us that all the pies were already sold out. Rather mournfully he added: "You've eaten us out of house and home."

This lark of suddenly being a 'big club' is taking some getting used to but, I have to admit, I'm enjoying it. So, it seems, are my fellow fans as more than 600 made the journey to Yorkshire on Saturday.

Yet again we hugely outnumbered the home support and I felt a warm glow as I explained to the owner of our hotel how many Chester fans were in town. He was impressed!

For years I've travelled to away games more in hope than expectation. My Exile on the south coast means I can only attend a handful each season and, in the past, I've gone several years without witnessing a victory. It did get demoralising and following Chester City often became a matter of duty rather than enjoyment, especially with all the shenanigans in the background.

So, I feel I've earned the right to bask in our current glory even if it's an attitude that does appear to upset a few of our current rivals.

We all hope that our stay in the Evostik North is temporary but isn't it great to be a Chester fan right now?

I set out on Saturday morning for the 540-mile round trip from West Sussex with a spring in my step and Michael Wilde and co didn't disappoint.

After a non-descript first half the floodgates opened, bringing the tally of goals this week alone to seven, prompting a few choruses of my favourite terrace song: up the football league we go. The signing of Wilde was inspired and let's pray we can hang on to him. Wilde's partnership with Kyle Wilson looks promising, while we looked solid at the back.

As far as I could see Chester fans filled every side of the ground, including the smallest grandstand I've ever seen. Although not quite on the same scale it reminded me of the heady day in our Conference times when kick off in an FA Cup third round tie at Blackburn Rovers had to be delayed to allow congestion at the Chester end to clear. I believe we took more than 3,000.

Supporting Chester has never, thank God, been all about the results. It's about camaraderie, being the underdog, visiting new grounds and enjoying those funny moments like the Harrogate tannoy announcement.

Now, however, winning is suddenly part of the Chester experience. Hopefully our current success on the pitch, matching the wonderful work behind the scenes, will attract even more to the Chester revival.

Long may our good run continue and let's hope that come May we're still eating all the pies.

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