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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2011

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MARCH
31 March 2011
CENTURY UP FOR FORMER PLAYERS ACCOCIATION
The former players association goes from strength to strength and welcomed its 100th member this week when Peter Jackson joined up. There has been a recent surge in membership and the involvement of former players at home matches in recent months has no doubt helped boost the membership.

Former Players Association Website | Facebook Page

HOME POINTS DROPPED
Chester let the lead slip twice last night as they were pegged back by play-off chasing Curzon Ashton. The 2-2 home draw leaves the Blues five points clear of nearest challengers Skelmersdale United though the Lancashire side now have a game in hand. Michael Wilde scored both goals as Chester gave a full debut to Michael Powell and also introduced new signing Jack Mackreth from the bench in the second half.

Blues manager Neil Young was far from happy as the defence conceded two soft goals, he said: “I am very disappointed and fuming is probably the best word to describe how I feel about our defending. The second goal in particular was a comedy of errors. We’re having to work hard for our goals but the goals we are conceding are absolute gifts.”

League table

30 March 2011
KEEPER SIGNS
Manager Neil Young has signed a goalkeeper on the eve of the transfer deadline, he’s 25-year-old Josh Lennie and is a former Brentford and AFC Wimbledon player and is believed to have signed a short term deal.

29 March 2011
SQUAD BUILDING CONTINUES
Chester have added two more signings to their squad. They’re 25-year-old Southport midfielder and vice-captain Michael Powell and an 18-year-old midfield/winger from Tranmere Rovers called Jack Mackreth, who has signed on loan until the end of the season.

Powell is reported to have signed a two year contract at Chester after being with the Sandgrounders for eight years since joining them as a youngster from Preston North End. Powell has scored twice in 28 appearances for Southport this season in the Football Conference.

Manager Neil Young said: “Michael’s not coming here for a load of money – he’s coming here because he wants a new challenge. He’s been at Southport since he was a kid and the next challenge out there at the moment if you can get it is Chester, so he sees it as a good career move.”


Player transfers

28 March 2011
DOING IT THE HARD WAY
Chester had to battle back twice on Saturday before finally seeing off Harrogate Railway Athletic 3-2. Chris Simm was twice on the score sheet in a matter of minutes in the second half to bring Chester the three points after The Rail had seen Wayne Harrett sent-off for a second yellow card.

Harrett had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 13th minute with a spectacular 25-yard volley before captain george Horan bundled home the equaliser following a free-kick 15 minutes later. The visitors regained the lead five minutes into the second period before Simm saved Chester’s blushes with goals on 66 and 72 minutes.

The Blues remain seven points clear of Skelmersdale at the top of the division and are next in action on Wednesday night when play-off hopefuls Curzon Ashton are in town, kick-off 19:45hrs. For those who can’t get to the game there is of course full live internet commentary, sponsored by The Exiles, on the Blues Live website.

League table | More pictures



Picture © Evening Leader

25 March 2011
BLUES LOOKING FOR A DOUBLE
Chester entertain Harrogate Railway Athletic tomorrow at the earlier kick-off time of 13:00hrs. Manage Neil Young will need to check on the fitness of both Ashley Williams and Adam Judge before naming his side who look to complete the double over their Yorkshire opponents after winning 4-1 at Station View back in October. Michael Wilde scored a hat-trick on that occasion. Harrogate currently lie in 19th place in the league and will be playing their fourth game in a week having won 2-1 at Prescot Cables on Tuesday before losing with a more youthful side 3-1 at home to Warrington Town last night.

The Blues Bar will be open from 11.00 tomorrow, and will only be open after the match (showing the Wales v England match) to those with tickets, which are on sale for £2 from inside the Bar from 11.00 on a first come, first served basis. The £2 is being donated to Leukaemia Treatment & Research, and also Children with Leukaemia funding.

League table

24 March 2011
BLUES BACK TO WINNING WAYS
Michael Wilde scored twice as Chester beat Woodley Sports 3-0 at home last, Robbie Booth had earlier opened the scoring as the Blues opened up a seven point lead at the top of the division.

A mistake from Woodley ‘keeper Liam Higginbotham
on seven minutes gifted the opening goal as Booth had the simplest of chances to score his fifth goal of the season.

The Blues doubled their lead with a great goal six minutes after the break. Chris Simm, Michael Aspin and Booth all combined in the build-up that saw Wilde head home his first goal for seven games.

Woodley were reduced to ten men after Harry Bockarie picked up a second yellow card before Wilde wrapped up the points twenty minutes from time heading home George Horan’s pass.

Manager Neil Young said: “Teams like the ones we played here, who aren’t going to win the league, get in the play-offs or go down, will come here to a fantastic stadium and have a real go. But I think you could see our hunger out there. We scored three goals, pressed the game high up the pitch and overall the lads did very well.”

Chester entertain Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday, the game has an early kick-off at 13:00hrs and the Wales v England match will be shown in the Blues Bar afterwards.

League table
| More pictures

Picture © Evening Leader
23 March 2011
YOUTH SUCCESS
Well done to the youth team who beat Tranmere Rovers 3-0 at Vauxhall Motor’s Rivacre Park Ground. Scorers for Chester were Jack Roberts (2) and Ryan Edges.

TREVOR STORTON 1949-2011

Very sad to report that one of Chester’s great defenders of the 1970/80s Trevor Storton had died aged 61 following a battle with cancer. Storton, who was the club’s record signing at the time, made 396 appearances for Chester between 1974-1984, and scored in arguably the clubs greatest ever victory when they beat league champions Leeds United 3-0 in the 1974/75 League Cup run to the semi-final’s.

Full Obituary


AWAY KIT 2011/12

The club have unveiled their new away kit for next season which will be all yellow. The away goalkeepers shirt will be dark purple in colour. The home kit will remain the same as this season.

Picture © Evening Leader

 


22 March 2011
GRITTON DEPARTS
Striker Martin Gritton has left Chester to join League One side Yeovil Town. Gritton had been on a week-to-week contract at Chester and had a trilal with the Glovers last week. He played 4+1 times in a Chester shirt scoring one goal. Blues manager Neil Young said: “Martin wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Chester and was disappointed that Chester fans didn’t get to see him at his best during his time at Chester. Martin believes the move gave him the opportunity to stay in the Football League.”

21 March 2011
ASSISTANT STADIUM MANAGER WANTED
The club are looking for an Assistant Stadium Manager who will be responsible for ensuring access and supervising visitors to the stadium and ensuring security. They will also carry out routine inspections of the stadium and report any issues they encounter. The job is expected to take between 4-12 hours of time per week and those interested in applying should please call 01244 371376 or email jim.green@chesterfc.com.

20 March 2011
BLUES SIGN ANOTHER STRIKER

Chester have completed the signing of 22-year-old Trafford striker Scott Barlow. Barlow was the Manchester clubs record scorer with 99 goals in 127 appearances. He was a target of Neil Young when he was manger at Colwyn Bay last season and also last summer for Chester. He has scored 13 goals in 20 appearances for Trafford this season. Barlow will go straight into the squad for the home match on Wednesday night against Woodley Sports, kick-off 19:45hrs.
AWAY DEFEAT FOR BLUES
Chester suffered only their first away league defeat of the season on Saturday after they were beaten 2-1 at Lancaster City and saw their lead at the top of the table cut to six points.

Chester welcomed back Michael Wilde, Iain Howard and Ashley Williams from injury but they were behind in the opening ten minutes as Billy McKenna reacted quickest to head home from a rebound after Adam Judge had saved his initial effort. Michael Taylor, recalled to the side, drew Chester level just after the break in a period of the game, either side of the interval, that Chester dominated. Parity was short lived though as a mistake by Judge three minutes later gifted Danny Hattersley the winner after the shot-stopped had failed to deal with a back pass.

After the match Blues boss Neil Young said: “It is a little bit worrying that we’ve not been very good in our last three games. But we’ve got to stick together and work together to get it right because we’re at the most critical stage of the season now.

“I don’t know if the players are starting to feel a bit of pressure. We’ve tried to keep it off them the best that we can, but for some reason we’re not playing at the level that we have been playing. We’re having a little dip in form and it’s up to myself and my management team to make sure we turn things around.

“I’m sure Skem and Chorley have been given a little lift as two weeks they couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Now maybe they’re seeing a little bit of a chink in our armour, so we’ve got to stick together and work hard to come back stronger.”
14 March 2011
CHESTER HANG ON FOR HOME DRAW

Chester gained a point from the home draw with Witton Albion on Saturday despite a below-par performance from Neil Young’s team. The Blues were without Michael Wilde, Ashley Williams and Iain Howard but manager Young refused to use that as an excuse for the disappointing effort, indeed the Blues could well have come away from the game with nothing had the visitors taken one of two chances in the six yard box during the latter stages of the game.

Young said: “Our performance was not very good. Witton came here to shut up shop and hit us on the break and, if we’re honest, they should have won the game.

“I think their goalkeeper only had one save. We had half chances, but I don’t think we worked hard enough as a team to create opportunities.

“We had three key players missing, but we’ve got a squad and we should have been strong enough to win. It just wasn’t a good day at the office.”

League table | More pictures

Picture © Evening Leader


10 March 2011
BLUES MARCH ON

Chester opened up a 13 point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North with a hard fought 3-1 victory over Salford City last night in front of the BBC cameras and a crowd of 2,014. A blustery wind meant the match was played in difficult conditions, but as manager Neil Young pointed out at the end of the match, at this stage of the season it’s the three points that count and if that means “winning ugly” then so be it.

Of more concern to the manager will be an injury to Ashley Williams which saw the midfielder substituted after 28 minutes and striker Michael Wilde feeling the effects of a deal leg and having to be replaced just after the hour mark.

The Blues opened the scoring through Steven Beck on 25 minutes only to concede an equaliser within three minutes as Rhodri Giggs’ free-kick slipped under the diving Adam Judge. Chris Simm restored the lead before the interval coolly finishing a one-on-one chance for his sixth goal in nine appearances for Chester.

Judge made some excellent second half saves to preserve the lead before Robbie Booth scored a great goal from 25 yards on 61 minutes to give the Blues some breathing space.

League table | Match pictures
9 March 2011
DUO DEPART CHESTER

After a spell there on loan striker Rob Hopley (pictured) has joined Colwyn Bay after the north Wales club tabled an improved offer for his services. He will remembered as the scorer of the clubs first-ever league goal at Warrington Town in the 1-1 draw in August. Hopley went on to make 13+4 appearances for Chester scoring four goals in the process.

The club have also announced that Roger Sharrock has had his contract terminated by mutual consent. Sharrock has struggled to recover fitness from a back injury sustained earlier in the season and made just 2+2 appearances for the Blues. The midfielder is to be invited back train with Chester in the pre-season and given the chance to earn a pay-as-you-play contract.

Picture © Evening Leader


6 March 2011
BLUES IN POLE POSITION
Chester recorded a crucial victory at promotion rivals on Saturday as captain George Horan, lucky perhaps to still be on the pitch, headed the winning goal at Stormy Corner to give the Blues a massive twelve point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North. The Blues are now unbeaten in 13 league matches.

Ten minutes before his goal, Horan had been shown a yellow card following a foul on the edge of the area on Ryan Wade – many referees would have given a red and possibly a penalty but the Chester defender escaped on this occasion as cover work by Greg Stones meant the skipper wasn’t the last defender as Wade bore down on goal.

In what was always going to be a tense tight encounter chances were at a premium. Horan had already seen a header cleared off the line and Skem ‘keeper Tom Brocklehurst saved superbly to deny Chris Simm on the stroke of half-time. Earlier in the half the woodwork came to Chester’s rescue as Matty McGinn’s shot beat Adam Judge but not the post.

The winning goal came 16 minutes from time as Horan rose to send a bullet header past Brocklehurst after meeting Stones’ right wing corner to send the vast majority of the 1,171 crowd (a record for the stadium) wild.

A delighted manager Neil Young said: “To come away from home to your nearest rivals, who are also a very good side, and get the three points is fantastic. All credit to the lads. Since the turn of the year they have been superb. Not just in terms of the results they have been getting, but also their work-rate and application.”

“To go to Chorley and then Skelmersdale and win both 1-0 – I’ve got to give all the praise to the players. They’re as hungry as we are and as what the fans are, and they are really digging in. I couldn’t be more pleased with their effort and attitude.”

Chester are back in action on Wednesday night when they entertain Salford City, kick-off 19:45hrs. The game will be covered by the BBC as part of a feature to appear on Saturday’s Football Focus. The Bluesd Legend at the game will be record scorer Stuart Rimmer. Those who can’t get to the match can hear live commentary, sponsoresd by the Exiles, via the Blues live link.

League table | More pictures

Picture © Evening Leader
4 March 2011
YOUNG: OUR TOUGHEST TEST YET
Chester travel to second placed Skelmersdale United tomorrow for what promises to be their toughest test so far this season. Skem, like Chester are bang in form, and have scored more league goals than the Blues this season. Manager Tommy Lawton was yesterday announced as the Evo-Stik division’s Manager of the Month following their commendable six wins and a draw from eight games in February.

The two sides last met on 20 November when Chester ran out 4-0 winners against a lively Skem side who were reduced to ten men following a red card for Steven Akrigg early in the match. Goals for the Blues that day came from Michael Wilde, Tom Field, Stuart Jones and James McCarthy.

Ian Howard will miss Saturday's game as he continues to recover from a nasty ankle injury picked up at Chorley. Both Carl Ruffer and Ashley Williams are expected to hace recovered from knocks picked up in the midweek win at Clitheroe.

Young said: “I am expecting probably our most difficult game of the season and the most important. Skelm are I think along with ourselves the form side of the division and have some excellent young players and a manager who has great knowledge and experience of these situations.”

“My message to our supporters would be that if you can get there and we can turn out again in our vast numbers that will give the players a massive lift again and could be one of the deciding factors in the final result in what I believe as I have said is our biggest and most difficult game of the season so far.”

“It’s a big game and I think it could be the defining moment in the season if we win it. I’m not saying we’ll have won the league by any stretch of the imagination, but it would put us in a very good position.”

“Similar to ourselves, they’re on a hell of a run and they have been in the play-off positions every season in which I’ve managed in the league.You’ve got to give them all the credit they deserve, but we’re a good side and I’m sure they will be as worried about us.”
McCARTHY MOVES ON
Good luck to striker James McCarthy who has left Chester and joined Evo-Stik Premier side Colwyn Bay. McCarthy made 5+2 appearances for the Blues scoring two goals in the process.
2 March 2011
CHESTER PRESERVE LEAD
Martin GrittonThe Blues remain nine points clear at the top of the league following last night’s comprehensive 5-0 away win at Clitheroe. Manager Neil Young sent out an attacking line-up and it paid dividends with the Blues scoring three times in the opening half before adding two more after the break. Martin Gritton (pictured) scored on his full debut and had a hand in three of the other goals as Chester repeated the scoreline of the home encounter with their Lancashire opponents three weeks ago.

Steven Beck, Carl Ruffer, Chris Simm and Ashley Williams scored the other goals that cemented their advantage over second placed Skelmersdale United who they travel to on Saturday. Skem won 3-0 at Trafford last night.

A delighted manager Neil Young said: “I thought we played very well. I wanted us to be big and strong and physical as they’ve got a lot of good young lads. We let them in twice in the first half and Adam Judge had to make two fantastic saves, but I thought for the first 50-55 minutes were really at it. I am very pleased with the three points.”

Young’s counterpart at Clitheroe Peter Smith was also generous in his comments about Chester. He told the Clitheroe Advertiser: “We took a bit of a drubbing against Chester. They just have a different class of players and that’s why they are top of the league. You just can’t compete against them. Our lads worked hard and gave everything they had, but at the end of the day Chester had that extra bit of quality; they are going places.”

“Chester are going all the way back to the top. They will be playing in the football league again within time. They’ve got quality players and proven goalscorers. It’s testament to the quality within the division, it’s a competitive league.”

League table

Picture © Evening Leader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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