Saturday 26 April 2003
Bradford City Youth 0 Chester
City Youth 3
Merit League Division Two North
Chester City: Chester City: Louie
Macken, Tom Coulson, John Davies, Ian Lathom, Adam
Hunter, Danny Ventre, Adam Kelly, Peter Dogun, Lee
Reece, Dean Buckley, John Moore.
The youth team had an excellent 3-0 away win at Bradford in their last
league game of the season with two goals from Lee Reece and one from Danny
|MERIT LEAGUE NORTH DIVISION TWO
|As at 29 April 2003
Saturday 26 April 2003
Yeovil Town 1 Chester City 1
Attendance: 8,111 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Carden, Twiss, Bolland. Sent Off: Brady.
Yeovil Town: Weale, Lockwood, Pluck,
Johnson, Skiverton, Williams, Lindegaard, O’Brien, McIndoe, Way,
Crittenden, Elkholti, Gall, Jackson. Subs not used: Giles, Collis.
Chester City: W.Brown, Bolland, Joy, Hatswell, Kelly, Blackburn,
Brady, Twiss (McIntyre 81), Cameron (Sugden 74), Woodyatt, Carden (Davies
77). Subs not used: Beesley, Worsnop.
Referee: A.Marriner (Birmingham).
Kevin McIntyre goal five minutes from time brought a deserved point for
City who fought back well to earn a point at Huish Park after falling
behind to an early goal. The equaliser was just reward for the player
who, only two minutes earlier, had been brought down in the box by Gavin
Williams for what seemed a blatant penalty, only to be denied by referee
Mark Wright rested Daryl Clare and Scott Guyett for
the game that attracted the largest Conference crowd of the season, but
the Blues weren’t just there to make up the numbers as they turned
in their best all-round performance for a long time.
City fell behind after just eight minutes, Williams
cut through the City rearguard and just before Phil Bolland’s challenge
slipped the ball through to in-form striker Kevin Gall who gave Wayne
Brown no chance and registered the home sides 100th goal of the campaign.
The home side produced two more chances soon after
but both, from Jackson, resulted in weak shots. City’s defence,
with Phil Bolland in commanding form were rarely troubled for the rest
of the first half as the rain lashed down making playing conditions difficult.
City’s best efforts of the half came in a two
minute spell on 22 minutes as Chris Weale in the home goal produced a
superb one handed save to deny Jon Brady after the midfielder and connected
well with a free-kick from just outside the box following a foul on Michael
Twiss by Lee Johnson. The resulting corner saw a Chris Blackburn shot
scrambled away from near the line by a home player.
The rain eased off as the second half got under way
though chances were few and far between. Ice man Bolland skillfully shepherded
Gall out of the danger zone after the striker had skipped through the
city rearguard but the main talking point came with a little over 20
minutes remaining when Jon Brady was adjudged to have led with his elbow
when challenging for a header with Roy O’Brien and was given a
straight red card.
City seemed to step a gear following this and Twiss
and Paul Carden both went close as he visitor looked to get on level
terms. Wright replaced Dave Cameron with Ryan Sugden up front and changed
the midfield bringing on Ben Davies and Kevin McIntyre for Carden and
Twiss and it wasn’t long before Davies brought a save from Weale.
With seven minutes remaining McIntytre was seemingly
fouled inside the area by Williams but referee Marriner waved play-on.
The surprised grin on the face of the defender seconds later said it
Two minutes later though City were level as McIntyre
found himself unmarked six yards out to head home from a Ben Davies corner.
And there wa almost time for a winner as McIntyre again found himself free
only to be denied by the onrushing keeper.
21 April 2003
Chester City 2 Stevenage Borough 0
Attendance: 1,745 Half Time 0-0
Booked: Hatswell, Guyett, Davies.
Chester City: W.Brown, Hatswell, Bolland, Guyett, McIntyre,
Carden, Carey, Davies (Blackburn 88), Brady, Clare (Twiss 88), Sugden (Cameron
82). Subs not used: Worsnop, Woodyatt.
Stevenage Borough: Westhead, Laker, Goodliffe, G.MacDonald (Cook
76), Travis, Carroll, Holloway (Wormull 76), Watson, Fraser, Maamria, Elding.
Subs not used: Richards, Perez, Dreyer.
Referee: P.Canadine (Rotherham).
more like it! After a week of frustrating performances against struggling
Woking, Farnborough Town and Nuneaton Borough, the Blues got back to winning
ways against in-form Stevenage Borough. Manager Mark Wright probably fielded
the strongest side he could and gave the captain’s armband to Shaun
Carey who responded to the responsibility with his best game in ages.
The game was preceded by an impeccably observed
one minute silence for City’s matchday host Carl Fielder-Shaw
who died last week.
As a game, this one got off to a quiet end-of-season
start, scrappy at times as both sides probed for an opening though
it wasn’t long before referee Canadine got into the action
booking Borough’s Gary Holloway after just eight minutes
for a foul on Kevin McIntyre. There were to be six more bookings
to follow in the afternoon, about half of which seemed warranted,
in a game which was punctuated with free-kicks throughout.
On ten minutes, City had the first real chance
of the game as Daryl Clare sent in a flashing near post header,
from a right wing cross hit at pace, that was smartly tipped
round the post by Mark Westhead in the visitors goal.
The visitors had an early chance as Anthony
Elding was given a free far post header from a corner though
he could only direct his effort wide when well placed.
Scott Guyett had a shot deflected for a corner
by Jason Goodliffe before Westhead was again called into action
producing another fine save as a well worked Jon Brady free-kick
seemed to be heading just inside the left hand post, the ball
was pushed out to Ryan Sugden who hit the side netting from a
The second half followed the same scrappy pattern
as the first but the Blues took the lead eighteen minutes from
the final whistle. Ryan Sugden broke through on the right into
the box, turned, seemed to lose the ball, but as he tried to
recover was clumsily pulled back by Barry Laker. Referee Canadine,
just six yards away pointed straight to the spot. Top scorer
Clare stepped up in front of the City fans to send Westhead the
Six minutes later City doubled their lead.
Clair was sent through on the left, controlled the incoming cross
well before beating his marker and drilling a blistering shot
straight at Westhead from a narrow angle, the ball rebounded
back out to Clare whose hard low cross was turned in by Brady
from close range for his first goal in a Blues shirt.
Minutes later City had a glorious chance for
a third as Sugden was put through thirty yards out. As he bore
down on goal it seemed as if he would chip the advancing keeper
but decided at the last minute to try and take it round him only
to see the sprawling Westhead gather the ball at his feet.
Wright brought on three substitutes in the
dying minutes as the game petered out. Not a classic performance
by any means, but a big improvement on the previous three, though
played in front of the lowest home league crowd of the season.
19 April 2003
Nuneaton Borough 1 Chester City
Attendance: 1,371 Half Time 1-0
Nuneaton Borough: McKenzie, Clifford, Love, Whittaker
(B.Williams 60), Weatherstone, Angus, Barrick, M.Brown, Mansell, Brodie
(McGregor 88), Murphy. Subs not used: Wheeler, D.Williams, Dyson.
Chester City: Worsnop, McIntyre, Bolland, Guyett. Kelly, Carden,
Davies, Joy (Blackburn 75), Brady (Twiss 66), Clare, Cameron (Sugden 56).
Subs not used: Carey, Woodyatt.
Referee: S.Tanner (Bristol).
may be some who said Chester City’s final run in would be easy… they
should have thought again.
Games against clubs like Woking,
Farnborough Town and Nuneaton Borough could all have
been billed as Chester certainties, but all these
clubs are in danger of relegation and all have demonstrated
the need to play well to retain Football Conference
Nuneaton Borough put on a spirited
performance against a sorrowful Chester side who
failed to impress the travelling Chester faithful.
The first chance of the game went
Nuneaton’s way following a crude challenge
by Kevin McIntyre on ex-Chester player Michael Brown,
but Stuart Whittaker sent the free-kick wide.
Daryl Clare came close to but Nuneaton
keeper Chris McKenzie saved it.
It was all going Nuneaton’s
way with them dominating possession, passing the
ball around as though it was they who had got into
the play-off and not there opponents, this confidence
paid off when Guyett’s 11th minute own goal
put them ahead initially the goal was awarded to
former Chester team mate Brodie.
The second half picked up a little
for Chester. Cameron was replaced by Sugden in the
55th, Twiss on for Brady in the 65th and Blackburn
on for Joy in the 74th
No Wayne Brown today through injury
and Worsnop replaced him making some fine saves.
My man of the match: Ben Davies.
15 April 2003
Chester City 0 Farnborough Town 2
Attendance: 1,869 Half Time 0-2
Booked: Brady, Clare.
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt (Blackburn 46), Bolland,
Guyett, McIntyre, Brady, Carey, Davies, Joy (Twiss 57), Clare, Sugden (Quayle
68). Subs not used: Cameron, Carden.
Farnborough Town: Pennock, Piper, Vansittart, Lee, Taggart, Green
(Potter 89), Piper, Patterson, Harkness, Charlery, Baptiste. Subs not used:
Osborn (only two subs named).
Referee: R.Lewis (Shrewsbury).
this season was a video, City fans could be forgiven for wishing they could
fast-forward to the play offs now. With Chester safely ensconced in the
end of season lottery, Mark Wright’s approach was to experiment.
It was by no means a second fiddle City team that took the field against
Farnborough – how could it be when there was still something at stake
for the visitors? But there were quite radical changes to the team which
snatched a point against Woking at the weekend.
In to the frame came Woodyatt, Carey and Brady along with Sugden in attack.
And there was a debut for Ian Joy in the wide left midfield position. City
began as they had finished on Saturday with a 4-4-2 formation.
Attacking the home end first half Chester began very brightly indeed and
there seemed to be an immediate improvement on Saturday’s lacklustre
display. The midfield seemed more mobile, Sudgen’s running lent an
extra dimension up front and City passed the ball around effectively instead
of from side to side.
Clare chased a ball wide on the left and crossed to the far post, Brady
met it well but his header flashed just wide of the post. Clare and Brady
combined again a few minutes later as Pennock spilled Daryl's direct free
kick at the foot of the post. Brady got to the rebound first but Pennock
recovered to block his shot bravely at the cost of a nasty cut across the
eyebrow. From the corner Guyett powered a header narrowly over the top.
It began to look good for City.
Their bubble was burst however when, Woodyatt, attempted to bring the ball
away from his own penalty area. He overhit the ball and lost it to a Farnborough
player who quickly fed Baptiste and the unmarked forward scored with ease.
Not long later it was two-nil as one of the Pipers crossed from the left,
Green headed back across the area to find Baptiste whose looping header
sailed over Brown.
The stuffing seemed to have been knocked out of City after this. The closest
they came to getting a goal back was when Joy let loose a long range shot
which Pennock caught comfortably just under the bar.
After the break Blackburn emerged to replace Woodyatt. His long lay off
due to injury has allowed him to grow his hair so long that he looks as
though he should be a member of the band Oasis. He looked sharp from the
word go and began to spark fresh life into City. They received a boost
in the 56th minute when Lee, who had been booked in the first half for
hauling down Sugden, clattered him again and was shown the red card along
with his second yellow.
Ken Charlery, who had spent several minutes of the first half having a
head wound bandaged, moved back into defence and tried to shackle Sugden.
He too was booked for a foul on the lively forward.
City could not make their numerical advantage tell, despite all of Blackburn’s
encouraging endeavour. Twiss came on for Joy (Well, he was pretty happy
anyway. (Joke)) and he and McIntyre began to make inroads down the left.
But for all their pressure Chester failed to create a clear cut chance
or to test Pennock in the Farnborough goal. It looked as though Wright
might pitch Cameron in to the fray against Farnborough’s towering
defenders but instead he gave the nod to Quayle to replace Sugden.
Farnborough held firm. Their defenders out-muscled our attackers when the
ball was played in to feet and, when City did get behind them, no one seemed
able to deliver a killer pass. So the visitors, who only brought two substitutes,
twenty-six supporters on the South Terrace and three mascots danced a jig
of delight at gleaning three points towards Conference survival.
Wright must have been heartened by Blackburn’s second half performance
but can have gained little comfort from much else in City’s performance.
True, it was a game Chester didn't need to win but you would have thought
that players would be fighting for a place in the line-ups for the games
that really do matter.
Three more awkward games to go to complete the fixture list, then it all
boils down to the play-offs. Two or three more games to determine whether
this season will be judged a wonderful success or a disaster – there
seems to be little in between the two extremes – if you are a football
fan. So I’m just going to go along to Nuneaton to enjoy the game
without worrying too much about the result, grateful to the players and
management that at least we have a chance of getting back into the League.
The play-offs will come soon enough.
12 April 2003
Chester City 2 Woking 2
Attendance: 2,165 Half Time 0-1
Chester City: W.Brown, Ruffer, Bolland, Hatswell (Twiss
66), Guyett, McIntyre, Carden (Brady 82), Kelly, Davies, Clare, Beesley
(Quayle 22). Subs not used: Carey, Joy.
Woking: Bayes, Townsend, Boardman, Collins, Campbell, Williams,
Canham, Hamilton (Clark 90), Smith, Foyewa, Nade (Patmore 90). Subs not
used: Tucker, Sharpling, Kember.
Referee: S.Proctor-Green (Rotherham).
men prancing and cavorting up and down the terracing, punching the air
with delight, bouncing off the walls with ecstatic abandon such
were the chaotic scenes on the North Terrace of the Deva in the last minute
of this otherwise mediocre game. Easter came a week early as City rose
from the dead against Woking to snatch the point that ensured a play off
Much of what had passed before will no
doubt soon be consigned to memorys dustbin. City were
simply awful. Unable to string two passes together all afternoon,
Chester were disjointed, lethargic and disorganised. They
began with three at the back, with Ruffer coming into the
centre of a five man midfield. Try as they might they couldn’t
make headway against a hard-working and tightly marking visiting
side. It’s a scenario that has been repeated often
at the Deva this season and despite another change of formation,
City could not adapt their game and get the ball up to the
attackers quickly enough.
Beesley partnered Clare but was soon replaced
by Quayle after a clattering tackle on the right wing. The
Cards strike force of Nade and Foyewa caused plenty of problems
with both their pace and strength. They combined on thirty
minutes to give Woking the lead. Nade refused to be shaken
off the ball and rolled it across the six yard box for Foyewa
to hold off Hatswell and turn to force a powerful shot past
Brown. Bleasdale ordered Ruffer back to right back as City
reverted to 4-4-2. Still City barely mustered a shot and
were booed off at half time.
Chester improved after the break. Ben Davies,
never very happy out on the right, got more involved in the
middle and started to get things going. Clare manufactured
a cross out of nowhere which set up Quayle for a simple chance
but he took his eye off the ball and missed it completely.
Cue sardonic chants for Ryan Sugden (Sitting in the stand).
At the other end Woking threatened a number
of times. Wayne Brown kept City in the game. First, when
caught on the edge of his area, he raced back to scoop Canham’s
speculative long shot off the line. Then he saved from Canham
again, this time at close range. Thirdly he stretched full
length to keep out Foyewa’s shot following a dazzling
run in which Guyett ended up tied in knots.
As City strove for the equaliser Clare
crossed for Quayle to head for the top corner. Bayes finger-tipped
it away for a corner. McIntyre's kick then flashed across
the goal and eluded everyone. It seemed City would never
As if to rub salt in the wound Woking went
up the other end and Foyewa caught Guyett in possession and
set off on another stunning run which ended with him flicking
the ball past the advancing Brown and into the back of the
net. It was unfortunate that Guyett had slipped but was still
a classy finish from the forward on loan from Bournemouth.
Twiss had been introduced to try and lift
a jaded City. Hatswell who had had a good game (And was awarded
the man of the match) was sacrificed for him. McIntyre dropped
to left back.
The crowd on the terraces and in the stands
were thinning out. McIntyre took a corner on the right with
three minutes to go and was greeted by virtual silence. Bayes
let it slip through his fingers at the far post and Ruffer
cracked it nonchalantly in to the roof of the net. It seemed
no more than a consolation, especially when from the restart,
Foyewa set off on the most spectacular of his solo runs which
finished with him being up-ended in the penalty area. Foyewa
declined the chance to complete his hat-trick from the penalty
spot and, instead, up stepped number 24 Martin Williams.
To our great delight he had clearly been studying at the
Kevin Noteman school of penalty kicks because his effort
sailed way over the bar.
City were given a new lease of life and
came forward for one more attempt at goal. They won a free
kick on the left. Guyett rose majestically to meet it. Quayles
effort was blocked but the ball sat up nicely for Twiss to
crash it into the back of the net. The wild delerium described
above commenced. You would be forgiven for thinking that
City had won the championship instead of scraping a point
against a side threatened with relegation. Put it down to
eighty seven minutes of sheer frustration which went before.
Results elsewhere meant that the point salvaged was a precious
one Chester are now safely into the play offs. If
theres as much excitement to come in those as we witnessed
in the last three minutes on Saturday then they should
be worth watching.
Saturday 12 April 2003
Chester City Youth 3 Lincoln City Youth
Merit League Division Two North
Chester City: Louie Macken, Paul Connolly
(Adam Hunter), Ian Lathom, Danny Ventre, John Davies, Matty
Cook, Adam Kelly, Michael Simpson, Dean Buckley, John Moore
(Darren Jones), Peter Dogun (Lee Reece).
The youth team won 3-2 at home to Lincoln City on Saturday taking the lead
through Paul Connolly. Lincoln levelled before half time and took the lead
in the second half. However, Chester stole the points with two late strikes
from Dean Buckley.
Friday 11 April 2003
Barrow Reserves 3 Chester City Reserves
Lancashire League Division One
Chester City: Jon Worsnop, Louis Potter, Paul Edwards, Darren Jones,
Adam Hunter (Kyle Jones), Iain Jenkins (Steve Kinnear), Tony McLaughlin,
Chris Blackburn, Danny Ventre (Tom Leonard), Danny Byrne, Sion Griffiths.
Chris Blackburn and Danny Byrne on target for the Blues who lose out to
the odd goal in five.
Saturday 5 April 2003
Chester City Youth 2 Oldham Athletic Youth 3
Youth Merit League Division Two North
Chester City: Louie Macken, Tom Coulson, John Davies (Lee Reece),
Paul Connolly, Adam Kelly, Danny Ventre (Matt Cook), Mike Simpson, Peter
Dogun, Ian Lathom, Dean Buckley (Tony McGlaughlin), John Moores.
The youth team lost 3-2 at home to Oldham on Saturday. Despite spending
long periods of the game defending they led at half time scoring on the
break with a neat finish from Dean Buckley. Oldham continued to have the
upper hand and equalised early in the second half and took the lead midway
through. They made it 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining. Mike Simpson then
reduced the lead with a terrific 20 yard strike. Chester finished strongly
looking for an equaliser, but the final whistle came too soon!
5 April 2003
Gravesend & Northfleet 0 Chester City
Attendance: 1,273 Half Time 0-0
Booked: Ruffer, McIntyre. Sent off: Quayle, Ruffer.
Gravesend & Northfleet: Wilkerson, Lovett, Skinner (Standhart
82), Burton, Owen (Hatch 60), Jackson, McKimm, Kwashi, Wilkins, Bentley,
Evans. Subs not used: Strouts, Turner, Pennock.
Chester City: W.Brown, Ruffer, Bolland, Davies, McIntyre, Collins,
Kelly, Carey (Hatswell 60), Quayle, Beesley (Twiss 81), Carden. Subs not
used: Joy, Cameron, Brady.
Referee: T.Kettle (Maidenhead).
things in life never cease to amaze us. A sunny and warm day for
the second successive Saturday, making watching football quite
a pleasure (no jokes about the tactics please!), and an eleventh
away win of the season, which must be some sort of a club record.
Gravesend turned into being one of the most pleasant grounds to
visit, friendly and a nice little Stadium to match, with a good
pitch, good view. It is very similar to some of the old league
grounds we used to visit – Leyton Orient springs to mind.
However, never mind the niceties, shame about the refereeing performance.
A certain referee, Mr. Kettle had the players boiling over (ha, ha!)
with rage, due to his apparent inability to apply common sense to any
situation. He turned the match into a farce by sending off two Chester
players robbing us all of a fair contest, but somehow City showed extreme
defensive qualities to hang on for a well deserved win. Surely the authorities
have look into officials like these and the blame must lie in the hands
of the FA. Still that is another debate.
The first half was an extremely forgettable affair. Gravesend, looking
a big and strong outfit, and came out of the blocks quickly. As early
as the fourth minute, Wayne Brown had to make a great save from Kwashi,
who looked lively all afternoon, while City struggled to get a grip on
the game, especially in midfield. Half time arrived, as we were contemplating
a fully guided tour of the adjacent cement works to try and find some
entertainment for the afternoon.
However we had no idea what drama the second half would bring. A great
run by man of the match Beesley resulted in Carey heading straight at
the Gravesend keeper, before Beesley scored a great solo goal, running
from the halfway line, after being fed by Quayle. That was to be Quayles’ last
meaningful contribution, as he was a victim of the Mr. Kettle show, being
shown a red card for an alleged stamp. Only the referee will know! Gravesend
responded with pressure on the Chester goal, with Ben Davies making a
great goal-line clearance. Hatswell was brought on to shore up the defence,
while my heart did not exactly sink when Gravesend danger man Hatch was
Things reached farcical proportions ten minutes from time, when Ruffer
was sent off for a second bookable tackle, which was rather foolish of
the player, given the referees track record. We then had the weird situation
of City playing no forwards and running the clock down. The defence remained
solid, and, in hindsight, held out fairly comfortably, much to the cheers
of the travelling support.
After all this tension, the play-off’s should be a piece of cake!
Friday 4 April 2003
Lancaster City Reserves 1 Chester City Reserves
Lancashire League Division One
Chester City: Jon Worsnop, Lee Woodyatt, Giuseppe Angiletta (Steve
Kinnear), Tony McLaughlin, Darren Jones, Iain Jenkins (Joe Amos), Adam
Hunter (Louis Potter), Sion Griffiths, Danny Ventre, Danny Byrne, Paul
Tuesday 1 April 2003
Stockport County Youth 0 Chester City Youth 0
Youth Merit League Division Two North
Chester City: Louie Macken, Tom Coulson
(Peter Dogun), John Davies, Paul Connolly, Adam Kelly, Danny Ventre,
Mike Simpson, Matt Cook, Ian Lathom, Dean Buckley, John Moores.
The youth team drew 0-0 away at Stockport on Tuesday.
They had the better of the chances but were unable convert them and had
to settle for a share of the points.