Chester City
The Deva Stadium

Ground No. 60
Visited - Saturday 9th April 2005
Result - Chester City 2-1 Boston United
Competition - Coca-Cola League 2
Attendance - 2040

Despite generally negative reviews from other fans, I was somewhat looking forward to visiting the Deva Saunders Honda Stadium, however it wasn’t until the day of the game that I actually decided to make the trip up to Chester, and put it towards the 92 total. Other grounds that I had considered were Bristol Rovers and Burton, but Chester was my choice in the end, although it wasn’t until standing in the ticket queue at the train station before I finally made my mind up!

The train journey up there went quite well, with a short change in Crewe, before carrying on the journey. I arrived into Chester getting on for 2pm, so had to move fastly, and after leaving the station, headed off in the direction of the ground, passing through the city centre on the way.       

Due to the indecision of going to this particular game, I wasn’t especially prepared, not having printed a map off, or even written down the directions, only briefly knowing the right way to head from memory of looking online the night before. I managed to find the right way though, and after a long walk past the Racecourse, and through the large industrial/retail estate just off Sealand Road, I found the ground with relative ease.         

Once there I had a quick walk around the outside, and was fairly surprised with the exterior. Although quite small, and showing signs of wear and tear in places, it was generally quite attractive being painted in the clubs colours of blue and white. I'd expected something similar to Northampton’s ground, but it doesn’t really look anything like that at all, having a more ‘permanent’ feel to it.

After going into the club shop, I went back to the away turnstiles, choosing to stand with the Boston supporters.

Despite being fairly small, and not having the corners filled in, the ground does have an enclosed feeling, with all the stands quite close together. At the two ends are identical covered terraces that offer a good, uninterrupted view, and have good, if basic, facilities. To our left was the West Stand, which had a section for away supporters as well. Again it’s not the biggest stand in the world, about the same height as the two ends, but it's all-seated, and looks quite attractive. Opposite that, and to our right was the Main East Stand. This was slightly bigger than the other 3 sides, but fitted in well, giving the ground a balanced look.

After having a read of the programme, the game eventually got started and from the start it was end-to-end action. Boston had most of the early chances, and eventually took a deserved lead through David Noble on 9 minutes. The rest of the half was scrappy, with the visitors looking the most dangerous, despite the referee being fairly biased to the home side. Just as it looked like Boston would take a half-time lead, Chester equalised in injury time, when Robbie Booth burst into the area, and slotted home past Boston goalkeeper Nathan Abbey.

During half-time, I'd decided to find another spot to stand in, so once I'd found a place the game soon resumed and took a different twist. Chester were looking far more dominant than before, really taking the game to the visitors. Ryan Lowe eventually made the pressure count when a free kick from just outside the area took a deflection to hit the back of the net. From then on it was all the home side, and they should really have made it 3 or 4, but the Boston defence held out, thanks to a few good saves from Abbey, who himself then went on the attack in the closing minutes, coming up twice for a corner, but both times it was to no avail, and the game ended with a home victory.

The crowd had seemed subdued throughout the game, so there wasn’t really a great deal of atmosphere from either set of supporters, probably not helped by an attendance of just over 2000, so that was somewhat disappointing, if not unexpected.

After leaving the ground, I had another long walk back to the station, but got back in the end, glad that I'd chosen Chester to visit. Despite what most people say, whilst not being the best in the world, it is a fairly nice ground. The blue and white stripes on the roof are quite unique, and add a nice touch to what potentially could be a boring venue, however even with the stripes, there is something not quite right about the ground. Throughout the afternoon I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but despite that uncertainty there are far worse places in the league to watch football, so I’ll be happy to go back one of the days.

Rear of the East Stand

The Main Reception

Rear of the North Stand

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the South Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

The East Stand

The East Stand

The North Stand

The West Stand

The Deva Stadium Panoramic 1

The Deva Stadium Panoramic 2

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