Date: 6th October 2006 at 7:37pm
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Ahead of tonight’s big match, we reflect on a classic encounter between outselves and The Saddlers.

Chester 5 Walsall 1 – 1931

Tonight we reflect on Chester`s first meeting with Walsall in the Football League. On that occasion Tom Jennings was our hero of the hour as he single headedly guided Chester to a 5-1 rout over The Saddlers. The Seals had come into the Football League at the beginning of that 1931-32 season and had drawn at Fellows Park in September. At the time of Walsall`s visit to Sealand Road, Chester were comfortably placed in a mid table position. Walsall had just lost both of their previous two games 3-0 to Hull City and Lincoln City but they scarcely expected to fare as badly as they did when they arrived at Sealand Road.

Contemporary reports said that Walsall found the ground rather small and certainly the game was won and lost before they settled down with former Leeds striker Tom Jennings getting a hat-trick in the first half hour. Walsall played rather better before and after half time but then Jennings got another for Chester and the visitors suffered another blow when their midfielder Charlie Henry had to go off with a dislocated collar bone. Walsall were forced to play the rest of the game with just ten men in those pre-substitute days.

There was one consolation for the visitors when they scored soon after with Billy Bradford taking Chester by surprise as he dribbled through from near the halfway line. Chester then got a fifth again through that man again, Jennings who thus got all five goals in a comprehensive rout and the only other consolation for the visitors was that Roy John who had been converted from a fullback gave another great display in goal in what was his third season though he was still only just celebrating his 21st birthday the weekend of the Chester game.

Had it not been for the heroics of the Walsall keeper, Chester might have notched up a cricket score! The Seals ended the campaign in place a very respectable third position having earned 50 points in their first league season, whilst tonight`s visitors from the midlands completed their campaign in 16th position some 15 points behind.