Chester FC’s Under 18’s FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round tie against Abbey Hey will be taking place at Runcorn Linnets’ Millbank Stadium.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance has changed significantly for football clubs and the way they stage games both with and without spectators.

    We continue to make the required changes in line with Government and FA guidance to allow us to welcome supporters back to the Deva Stadium.

    However, given the classification of the Club at our level as Elite under National guidance at present we are unable to host Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup tie due to imposed restrictions. With our Youth Team being drawn into the early stages of the competition, the game has been forced to be played elsewhere.

    Everyone at Chester FC is grateful to Runcorn Linnets Football Club for the agreed rental of their home in order to stage the tie.

    We hope that as many Chester supporters will attend the game on Wednesday to support the club in meeting the costs associated with moving the game.

    Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre said: “It is obviously disappointing to not be able to play a cup tie at our rightful home.

    “Our fortune in cup draws has been horrendous over the years, but with a home tie awaiting the winner we will be doing everything we can to progress in the competition and hopefully give the boys an FA Youth Cup night at the Deva Stadium for the first time since 2018.

    “We will be grateful for all support on the night to both support the boys and ensure that we can address the financial impact of staging the game elsewhere.”

    The Blues are hosting Abbey Hey in what is the FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round. This is four wins from the FA Youth Cup First Round Proper – the stage which the Under-18’s reached in the competition last season.

    Kick off on the 9th September is 7.30pm and admission is £3 for Adults and £1 for Concessions.

    CFU Chairman Andy Morris said: “At present the Club are unable to host fixtures due to DCMS criteria – which sees us classified as ‘Elite Sport’ and as such unable to host games – as this invalidates our Safety Certificate which is a requirement to allow spectators to be present.

    “Until national guidance is amended and we can demonstrate our COVID compliance to satisfy SAG, which won’t be until 15th September at the earliest, we cannot host a game with spectators.

    “We would all like to thank Runcorn Linnets for their support in staging this game. Hopefully as many Blues as possible can attend the match.”