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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2006
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APRIL
30 April 2006
FANS FORUM
City supporters are invited to attend a Fans Forum at Deva Stadium on Wednesday night. In attendance will be chairman Steve Vaughan. The evening will take place in the Blues Bar social club at will start at 19:00hrs. The ticket office will also be open for those who wish to purchase tickets for Saturday’s final home game of the season against Shrewsbury Town.
29 April 2006
COBBLERS CELEBRATE PROMOTION
Chester’s 1-0 defeat at a packed Sixfields today gave home side Northampton Town promotion to League One. The only goal of the game came on 26 minutes when Scott McGleish was allowed to outjump the City defence to head home from eight yards. The Cobblers join Carlisle United who were promoted last week with the third automatic promotion place to be decided next Saturday.

At the other end of the table Rushden & Diamonds are relegated back to the Nationwide Conference and they will be joined by Oxford United if they fail to beat promotion chasing Leyton Orient at home next weekend. Should the U’s win then one of six other teams would be relegated.


Meanwhile Swindon Town have joined Walsall in being relegated down to League Two next season.

28 April 2006
NORTHAMPTON v CITY
City travel to Northampton Town tomorrow for their last away match of an eventful season. Sixfields will have the Sold Out signs up as the Cobblers look for a win to guarantee automatic promotion to League One.

The home side have called tomorrow’s all-ticket sell-out ‘Claret Day’ and supporters are urged to get to the ground early to avoid congestion, gates open at 13:30.

Colin Calderwood’s team currently occupy second spot, and, like Chester, have enjoyed a good run of form in recent weeks that has seen them win six and draw one of their last seven matches,

City are likely to be without Stewart Drummond and David Artell, both injured in last weeks draw with Barnet and midfielder Justin Walker may get a recall as City themselves look to continue their seven match unbeaten run.

The two sides last met in November when they fought out a goalless draw at Deva Stadium. Meanwhile the club are to open negotiations with goalkeeper Chris Mackenzie with a view to extending his contract. MacKenzie will be on familiar territory tomorrow having been born in Northampton.
YOUTH BEAT RIVALS
Two goals from McManus gave Chester’s youth team a 2-1 win at Wrexham last night to complete thr double over their Welsh rivals.
25 April 2006
SHREWSBURY TICKET ARRANGEMENTS
Tickets will go on sale from tomorrow for the last home game of the season against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday 6 May. There are no restrictions to the number of tickets available per person.

Tickets will be on sale at the following times.

Wednesday 26 April 10.00-16.00hrs
Thursday 27 April 10.00-19.00hrs
Friday 28 April 10.00-16.00hrs

Saturday 29 April – No sales
Sunday 30 April – No sales
Monday 1 May Bank Holiday – No sales

Tuesday 2 May 10.00-16.00hrs
Wednesday 3 May 10.00-19.00hrs
Thursday 4 May 10.00-16.00hrs
Friday 5 May 10.00-16.00hrs

Season Ticket Holders should note that they do not need to purchase a ticket for this match but should use voucher 23 in their Season Ticket books.
HOLROYD DOUBLE SINKS DALE
Two goals from Chris Holroyd gave the reserves a 2-1 victory over Rochdale at Rossendale United’s ground yesterday.
24 April 2006
DUO INJURED

Both captain Stewart Drummond and defender David Artell had to be replaced on Saturday through injury. Drummond hobbled off after 26 minutes with a knee injury and the unfortunate Artell suffered a broken nose and a suspected depressed fracture of the cheekbone just before the break and was helped of looking dazed by Joe Hinnigan after the referee had blown for half-time. Artell will go for an x-ray to check the extent of the injury but he looks certain to take no further part this sea son.
PFA LEAGUE TWO TEAM OF THE YEAR
At last night’s PFA annual awards cermony the League Two team of the year was announced as follow:
Joe Hart (Shrewsbury Town), Danny Senda (Wycombe Wanderers), Roger Johnson (Wycombe Wanderers), Gareth McAuley (Lincoln City), Matthew Lockwood (Leyton Orient), Kevin Betsy (Wycombe Wanderers), Joshua Low (Northampton Town), Mark Jones (Wrexham), Ian Taylor (Northampton Town), Karl Hawley (Carlisle United), Michael Reddy (Grimsby Town).
23 April 2006
CITY DRAW A BLANK

The Blues failed to find the net against Barnet on Saturday as the two sides fought out a 0-0 draw at Deva Stadium. The result leaves City still in 14th place and, barring a couple of outrageous scores thanks to City’s far superior goal difference, is enough to guarantee League Two football for next season.

In truth it was the Bees who had the better of the chances through the 90 minutes and will probably think they should have taken all three points. The Blues had Tom Curtis to thanks for clearing one late effort off the line and Chris MacKenzie somehow managed to save a one-on-one after Nick Bailey had been put clean through. City’s cause wasn’t helped by being forced to make two substitutions in the opening period as Stewart Drummond and David Artell left the action through injury.

Manager Mark Wright said after the draw: “It wasn’t the best game, because there was so much at stake, but it’s obviously nice to extend our unbeaten run.”

City are next in action on Saturday when they face a tough trip to second placed Northampton Town. The match is all-ticket and a win for the home side would guarantee them runner’s-up spot.

21 April 2006
CITY v BARNET

The Blues will be looking to do the double over Barnet tomorrow and in doing so preserve their league status for next season. City’s recent run of good form has seen them rise from bottom place to 14th and a point tomorrow will make things safe.

At the same time the Bees, who were promoted as Conference champions last season, have also been deeply involved in the relegation struggle and they currently lie 21st, three points above Rushden & Diamonds in the second drop place.

The sides last met at Underhill back in October when goals from Michael Branch, Ryan Lowe and Tom Curtis brought a 3-1 victory in a game that also saw a red card for Stewart Drummond.

Defender Scott McNiven is reported to be out for the rest of the season after picking up a shoulder injury during last Saturday’s victory over Wycombe Wanderers, there is better news regarding Tom Curtis though as the midfielder has overcome a groin strain picked up at Bury on Monday.

The welcome back striker Giuliano Grazioli to their squad following a broken bone in a hand, he scored the Bees’ consolation goal earlier in the season. Anthony Charles and Damian Batt both face late fitness tests ahead of the game that kick’s-off at 15:00hrs..
SPONSORSHIP CONTINUES
UK Sameday have agreed to sponsor the football club for another season. Director, and life long Chester supporter, Paul Baker has done a tremendous job during the last eight months and Blues fans will be delighted with the news of this extended deal.
BAN FOR HESSEY
Sean Hessey has been handed a five-match suspension after being found guilty of violent conduct by the Football Association. The charge related to the 2-1 home defeat by Stockport on 11 February. Hessey denied the charge. The defender was also fined £700, and the suspension will start at the beginning of the 2006/07 season.
19 April 2006
ALL-TICKET MATCHES

With Northampton Town pushing for automatic promotion, they have announced that their fixture with Chester City on Saturday 29 April will be all-ticket.

City’s allocation is 850 seats and these tickets will be on sale at Deva Stadium after the Barnet game on Saturday. Following that they will also be on sale next week from 10:00-16:00 Monday to Thursday, and from 10:00-12:00 on Friday.

Ticket prices are as follows:
Adult: £14.50
Concession: £10.00 (over 60, under 16, and student)
Children under 7 have free admission.

City’s last game of the season at home to Shrewsbury Town is also all-ticket. Details will be announced shortly.

DEALS FOR BACKROOM DUO
City have offered new two year deals to first team coach Kelham O’Hanlon and assistant manager/physiotherapist Joe Hinnigan following yesterday’s similar offer to Mark Wright. Chairman Steve Vaughan said: “As a team, the three of them have turned our season around, and we would like to reward them for their efforts. I am looking for stability on the management side at the club and that is why I want to get this management team under contract and in place speedily.”
17 April 2006
ANOTHER POINT TOWARDS SAFETY

City’s winning sequence came to an end at Gigg Lane this afternoon but the Blues will nevertheless be pleased with a point that lift’s them to 14th in League Two after the two sides fought out a goal-less stalemate. Bury had the better share of today’s game at times as they looked for points to guarantee League safety, but City, playing in front of over 1,000 traveling fans are a tough nut to crack these days and held on well for a point.

Manager Mark Wright told the reporters after the match: “Unfortunately the game wasnt particularly entertaining and I apologise to our supporters for that. However I did think that if anyone was going to win the match, it would have been us. They didnt hurt us and we made their goalkeeper work on a number of occasions. Its amazing that we have 53 points and we still arent mathematically safe. I have given the players a deserved two days off and they will hopefully come in fresher for Saturdays game against Barnet.”

Meanwhile following City’s impressive run of late, chairman Steve Vaughan has offered Wright a two year contract. He told the Daily Post: “We have made Mark what I consider to be a generous offer, and hopefully I will receive a decision from him in the next few days.”

The Blues are next in action on Saturday when Barnet visit Deva Stadium (15:00hrs). The Bees are just three points above the drop zone and like the Shakers will be battling to maintain their place in the Football League just one season after being promoted as Conference champions.

15 April 2006
CITY GO NAP

Stewart Drummond’s second half goal was enough to bring three more points over play-off chasing Wycombe Wanderers as City notched a fifth successive victory and another clean sheet. Drummond was on hand to help a Dave Artell header over the line following a Ben Davies corner on 64 minutes.

Despite there being no call-back clause, defender Mark Albrighton returned to Doncaster Rovers to play in their game with Bradford City. Albrighton’s return meant a recall for Luke Dimech who played alongside Artell and Shaun Hessey in defence. Scott McNiven had to leave the pitch with a shoulder injury and was taken for a precautionary x-ray. The shoulder was injured at Oxford last week and he fell awkwardly on it after a 28th minute challenge.

The win keeps the Blues in fifth place, seven points from a relegation spot. City are back in action tomorrow when they make the short trip to Gigg Lane to play Bury.
14 April 2006
CHAIRBOYS NEXT FOR CITY

City entertain Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow looking for a fifth successive win that will go a long way to guarantee League Two football for the Blues next season. The Chairboys currently occupy fifth spot after a recent run of four defeats has seen them drop from an automatic promotion place that looked a certainty until a few weeks ago.

Wycombe boss John Gorman believes that after the recent run of results his side come to Chester tomorrow as underdogs. He said: “Chester are probably the favourites now, which is good for us because everyone has said that we were favourites in every game we’ve played this season. Until recently, we were the team that everyone wanted to knock down so perhaps it will be good to have the pressure take off us a wee bit.”

The two sides last met in October when they fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Causeway Stadium. Stewart Drummond and Michael Branch (2) were on the scoresheet that afternoon in what was billed as the League Two clash of the day.

Manager Mark Wright is expected to name an unchanged side tomorrow for the first of two matches over the Easter weekend. On Monday the Blues make the short trip to Gigg Lane to play Bury who currently lie just three points below City.
13 April 2006
ALBRIGHTON STAYING PUT?
The club say they have refused Doncaster Rovers permission to recall defender Mark Albrighton. The official Doncaster Rovers website had stated that defender was to return for their game against Bradford City on Saturday. This was due to Middlesbrough recalling Dave Wheater who has been on loan at Belle Vue.

However, Chester have stated there is no ‘call-back clause’ in the deal and that the player will be staying at Deva Stadium until the end of the season. Albrighton has so far made 9+0 appearances for City and was named Man of the Match in last night’s home win over Wrexham.

Picture © Evening Leader

RESERVES LOSE
The reserves lost 1-0 at home to Bury at Deva Stadium this afternoon.

Match report

12 April 2006
DERBY DELIGHT FOR BLUES

Second half goals from Ben Davies, a penalty following a foul on Gregg Blundell (left), and man-of-the-moment Derek Asamoah gave Chester a 2-1 victory over Wrexham at Deva Stadium tonight. In between the City strikes the visitors had equalised through Lee McEvilly. This fourth win on the run lifts City up to 15th in League Two.

A delighted manager Mark Wright said after the victory: “We controlled proceedings for long periods, in the second half and deserved the win. We controlled the midfield and even towards the end, when they were going forward for a winner, I didn’t think we were unduly troubled.

Derek Asamoah is on fire at the moment, and again he took his goal exceptionally well, and of course he could have scored another in injury time. We now have 49 points on the board. I always thought that 52 points should be the target this season, so that basically means we need one more victory, hopefully we can get that on Saturday when we face Wycombe.”

Picture by David Jones

DERBY DAY ARRIVES
The Blues entertain local rivals Wrexham tonight for the first league derby at Deva Stadium since October 1994. The game was controversially originally scheduled for a 12:00 kick-off over Christmas but postponed then due to a frozen pitch.

Much has changed at City since then however, a new manager, new players, and with three wins in a week new hope of revenge since the sides met at the Racecourse just three weeks ago. The Blues lost 2-1 on that occasion but will be in a positive frame after the recent Derek Asamoah show, Wrexham have lost both their games against Grimsby Town and Shrewsbury Town since that victory over the Blues.

City started slowly at the Racecourse and found themselves two down at the break. But they rallied well in the second half, pulled a goal back through debutant Jake Edwards and almost snatched a last minute equaliser. Manager Mark Wright knows his side must be switched on from the start tonight. He told the Daily Post: “We must ensure that we play with the same intensity for a full 90 minutes when we meet them at our place. It won’t be easy, they are an extremely competent side. But we have set a high standard of performance in our last three matches, and the players know anything less than that level of performance is not acceptable.”

City have a slight doubt over defender David Artell who picked up a knock on Saturday but there are no other reported fresh injury worries. Wrexham will be without Dean Bennett who is suspended.

Supporters are urged to arrive early for the all-ticket match tonight. The gates will open at 17:45 for the match that will kick-off earlier than normal at 19:30.
11 April 2006
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE RESULTS

There was a good show by all the teams on Sunday as they head towards the end of the season. The under 9s lost out 7-6 away at Shrewsbury on astro turf in an end to end game.

Coach Danny Jones will be happy as the under 10s more than deserved a 2-0 away win also played on astro turf.

The under 11s have got stronger in the second half of the season as they get used to 11 a side football and dominated this derby game winning 2-1, the goal of the game a 20 yard lob over the keeper.

The under 12s found the going tough against a strong Shrewsbury side losing 2-0 away, but the older 13s went one better and won 2-1 at home in a very entertaining game.

The under 14s will not be happy letting a two goal lead slip eventually losing out 3-2 with coach and ex-City player Sean Carey blaming defensive errors for the defeat.

The under 15s also played out a very physical game at home and should have had the game wrapped up at half-time but will rue many missed chances as they drew 1-1. The main highlight for City was a great all round performance from Sean Richards in midfield who capped it off with a 30 yard lob over the keeper.

Mark Newman, Centre of Excellence Manager
10 April 2006
DEADLY STRIKES AGAIN
On-form Derek Asamoah was the City here again on Saturday as his sixth goal in three games was enough to bring another victory for City and three more priceless points in the battle to avoid the drop. The Blues had a game plan that worked perfectly on an afternoon that saw Chris MacKenzie rarely troubled by a toothless home side. This is the first clean sheet since the away victory at Leyton Orient 23 matches ago.

Manager Mark Wright, making a first return to the Kassam Stadium since he managed there in 2001 said atfter the victory: “It wasn't pretty, but I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. There were spells of decent football but it wasn’t a great spectacle. Maybe that was my fault for the way I set out our team.”

This third win on the run sets up Wednesday night’s all-ticket local derby with Wrexham nicely. A win against their arch rivals would lift City to 15th before the weekend’s Easter double against Wycombe Wanderers and Bury.

Fans are urged to get to the ground eary on Wednesday. The gates will open at 17:45 for a game that will kick-off 15 minutes earlier than normal at 19:30.

Picture © Evening Leader
7 April 2006
SAME AGAIN CITY?
City travel to Oxford United tomorrow looking for a victory at the Kassam Stadium to lift themselves further away from the relegation zone. A disastrous run had seen City slip from a play-off position to the foot of League Two, but two wins in succession over Boston United and Macclesfield Town have given the City faithful hope that a quick return to the Nationwide Conference can be avoided.

Oxford currently lie one place and two points above City. Like the Blues have had a bad run with just two wins from their 15 matches played since thay ran out 1-0 winners at Deva Stadium at the start of the year. Two weeks ago they appointed the experienced Jim Smith as their new manager. Smith had previous managed the side between 1983 and 1985 when he led them into the old first division.

Both Tom Curtis and Abdou El Kholti are doubtful for City who could name an unchanged side form the one that beat their Cheshire neighbours on Saturday. Oxford welcome back no fewer that five players back from either flu or injury: Leo Roget, Jon Ashton, Matthew Robinson, Andy Burgess, and Eric Sabin.

Manager Mark Wright will be making his first return to Oxford since he left there in November 2001 after just 22 matches in charge. Another member of the City ranks, Scott McNiven, also had a spell at Oxford, where he made 95 appearances between 2002/04.
5 April 2006
HOME WIN FOR RESERVES
Just like the first team, the reserves recorded their second victory in a week as they beat Carlisle United 1-0 at Deva Stadium this afternoon thanks to a near post header from Chris Holroyd. The Cumbrians are currently top of the Pontins Holiday League Division One West. The Blues under manager Jim Hackett are now unbeaten in five matches.

Match report | League table

4 April 2006
EXILES JOIN THE FIGHT FOR LEAGUE STATUS
We are delighted to announce that thanks to the generous support of Paul Baker and Club Sponsors, UK Sameday, Chester City Exiles are planning to organise free road transport to the remaining three home fixtures (following the Wrexham match on 12th April) for all Exiles members.

The fixtures in question are:

3.00pm – Wycombe Wanderers – Saturday 15 April
3.00pm – Barnet – Saturday 22 April
3.00pm – Shrewsbury Town – Saturday 6 May

Paul Baker said, “I am delighted that UK Sameday are able to pay for the Exiles to get to the remaining home fixtures. They are amongst our most dedicated supporters and spend a lot of their own money to support the team. This gesture means that lack of money should not prevent any Exiles travelling to our remaining matches at the Saunders Honda Stadium. Nothing matters more than giving the team our maximum support in their effort to retain league status.”

We will finalise details of routes times and pick up points when we have assessed the demand for transport. But as a minimum we are envisaging transport (Minibus/coach) from London and possibly other transport from locations where our membership is concentrated (ie Yorkshire/The South West).

Please notify me by Friday 7th April AT THE LATEST if you would like to take up this very generous offer with an indication of which matches you would like to come to and if possible a preferred pick up point (we will try to accommodate as many people as possible).

The Exiles are urging all City supporters who may know of Chester fans living in Exile who may like to take up this offer to get in touch. Exiles Chair, Pauline Meakins said, “If you support Chester you are very welcome – all it will cost you is £12 to join the Exiles and your transport to these three matches will be free!”

David Evans
Exiles Committee
e-mail all enquiries to: coaches@chester-city.co.uk
Phone 0208 778 0429

Remember the deadline is this Friday 7th April AT THE LATEST

RESERVES VICTORY
Goals from Mark Cadwallader and a great strike by James Scales gave the reserves a 2-1 win over neighbours Wrexham at Deva Stadium last night in a Pontins Holiday League clash. The reserves are next in action on Thursday when Carlisle United visit Deva Stadium (14:00hrs).

Match report | Reserve fixtures | Table | Stats
RYAN LOWE
Former player Ryan Lowe who left City on Friday is having a trial at Crewe Alexandra this week.

2 April 2006
HOME JOY AT LAST FOR CITY
At the start of an important month for City, two goals from on-form Derek Asamoah gave the Blues their first home victory since they dumped Nottingham Forest out of the FA Cup 11 matches ago in November 2005.

Asamoah’s double against Cheshire rivals Macclesfield Town, on top of his midweek hat-trick, have given the Blues a great lift since last Sunday’s derby disappointment with back-to-back wins that will go some way to easing their relegation worries.

Manager Mark Wright was full of praise for the Ghanian-born striker. He said: “I asked him beforehand if he could give me a goal, and he said yes. Derek is on fire and when he is playing like that is a very valuable asset. You can’t stop him at the moment and long may it continue. He is a smashing lad with a bubbly personality, so it couldn’t have happened to a nicer man.”

Victory yesterday came after a stunning individual strike three minutes into added time by the on-loan Lincoln City striker. He had earlier given City the lead with a close range effort only to see that cancelled out by a header from substitute Kevin Townson.

The three points lift City to 20th spot above Stockport County thanks to a far superior goal difference. One place above Chester are Oxford United and City travel to play the U’s next Saturday at the Kassam Stadium.

Picture © Evening Leader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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