Rivalry goes back nearly 90 years
Chester are our visitors on Saturday -- Retro Day at Blackwell Meadows -- and we look back at our first and last meetings -- and a couple in between.
Chester are old friends and rivals of ours, having played each other 111 times over the years.
The first time we played each other was in the old Third Division North on 5th September 1931, Chester’s first season in that league.
It was our third game of the season, and it was our first win after losing to Lincoln City and Barrow in the first two matches. We won the game 4-1 at Feethams, with goals by Maurice Wellock (2), George Turnbull and Andy Mitchell in front of a crowd of 4,222.
The Darlington team was: Fielden, Plummer, Brown, Halliday, Hopkinson, Waugh, Mitchell, Turnball, Wellock, Craddock, Westgarth
Chester got their revenge in the return game, winning 3-1 at Sealand Road on 16th January 1932.
The last time we played each other in the Football League was on the last day of the 2008-09 season, when we were going through our second administration, and Chester were on the point of being relegated from the Football League. We won the game 2-1 at the Deva Stadium. Pawel Abbott put us ahead on 71 minutes, Ian Miller put through his own goal for the Chester equaliser on 89 minutes, but Abbott scored the winner in stoppage time.
Chester: Spencer, Rule, Roberts, Kelly (sub Platt 78), Barry, Owen, Mannix (sub Jones 61), Harris, Williams, Elams, Lowe.
Darlington: Kazimierczak, Purdie (sub Fortune 68), Austin, Miller, Valentine, Poole (sub Main 58), Kennedy (sub Groves 77), Ravenhill, Burgmeier, Griffin, Abbott.
The last time we played Chester was at the Swansway Stadium on 1st December 2018, our first visit there since our Football League days.
Chester beat us 3-1, with new signing Akwasi Asante scoring a hat trick on his debut. Craig Mahon crossed for him to head the first on 27 minutes, and then Chester had Dan Mooney dismissed for his second yellow.
Undeterred, Chester went 2-0 up when Asante chested the ball down on the edge of the box, beat two men, and sidefooted into the corner of the net. Quakers pulled a goal back with a blistering shot by Joe Wheatley on 66 minutes, but Asante completed his hat trick with a right foot shot.
Darlington: Maddison, Trotman, Galbraith (sub O’Hanlon 57), Burn, Elliott; Hughes, Wheatley; Henshall (sub Lingthep 90), Nicholson, Thompson; Saunders. Subs not used: Hall, Glover, Stansfield.
Chester City: Shenton, Thomson, Grand, Livesey, Howson; Mooney, Noble, Stopforth, Mahon (Marsh-Hughes 89); Asante (sub Smalley 80), Dudley (sub Dawson 90+3). Subs not used: Brown, Murray.