season came to an end at Sincil Bank with another defeat,
this time at the hands of Lincoln City whose two goal
win cemented a play-off place against Bristol Rovers.
Caretaker manager Simon Davies made
a couple of changes to the side that drew with Peterborough
last week, dropping Phil Bolland to the bench along
with ex-Imp Simon Yeo. Kevin Sandwith and Lee Steele
With the home side needing a point
to guarantee a play-off spot they raced away from the
start to force a corner in the opening 20 seconds that
the Chester defence cleared. The home side attacked
straight back and Mark Stallard shot wide when well
On 20 minutes Chester were given a
golden chance to take the lead. The Blues broke quickly
and Chris Holroyd’s burst of pace brought a rash
challenge from Scott Kerr that sent the young forward
sprawling in the box. He picked himself up and placed
the ball on the spot himself. However, with a first
senior goal in his sights, Holroyd placed a weak penalty
to the left of Alan Marriott who saved with ease after
initially pushing the ball up in the air.
At the other end John Danby was called
into action to save again from the dangerous Stallard
as the Imps forced a series of corners.
The Blues still looked dangerous on
the break and saw Dave Artell head wide and Shaun Hessey
put a long range effort just wide of Marriott’s
The last action of the half saw Lincoln
attacking as Nat Brown volleyed over.
Chester continued to press after the
break with Jamie Hand trying his luck from outside the
box but just after the hour mark a slip by Dave Artell
on the left outside the box led to the opening goal.
Forrester pounced on the loose ball and squared for
Stallard to score with ease and no doubt settle the
home fans’ nerves.
Simon Yeo, no stranger to Sincil Bank,
came off the bench for Holroyd and immediately forced
a corner as the Blues looked to strike back. The flag-kick
was easily cleared though by the home rearguard.
Ten minutes from time Steele put Yeo
through but the striker failed to control his chance.
Glenn Cronin replaced Dean Bennett
and with a few minutes remaining Yeo thought he’d
leveled the score as he turned the ball home from lose
range after Marriott had failed to hold a Hessey drive.
Referee Friend ruled out the effort for offside and
awarded a free-kick.
With the game entering stoppage
time Lincoln sealed matters with a second goal. Hughes
sent in a cross from the right that struck Sandwith
on the arm and Forrester converted the spot kick past
the outstretched arm of Dandy.
what would turn out to be his last game in charge,
manager Mark Wright saw his City side hold his former
United at Deva Stadium and in doing so prevent the
London Road side claiming a play-off place in the process.
Wright, and his assistant Graham
Barrow, departed Deva Stadium 36 hours later after
a string of poor results that has seen the side slip
to 18th in League Two after just three wins in 20 matches.
Prior to the game goalkeeper
John Danby was presented with his well-deserved official
Player of the Year trophy with defender Dave Artell
picking up the second prize. Both have turned in
consistent performances in what has proved to be
a disappointing campaign.
It took seven minutes for the
visitors to have their first effort on goal, a shot
from Peter Gain that flew by Danby and the City goal
from 20 yards out. Chester replied with an effort
from Glen Cronin, making his first start in a City
shirt, held well by Mark Tyler in the Posh goal.
The Blues took the lead on
13 minutes through a mistake from the visitors
as Simon Yeo intercepted a poor header back to
from Adam Newton to lob Tyler. The Blues almost
doubled their lead with Yeo again in the action.
ball by Paul Rutherford was met by Yeo who beat
Tyler but clipped a shot off the outside of the
The Posh enjoyed plenty of
possession for the rest of the half but clear-cut
chances were few and far between, a shot from Newton
against the outside of the post was all they really
The visitors brought on Richard
Butcher for Gavin Strachan at the interval and he
was quickly in the action setting up Boyd who blasted
a shot straight at Danby. Danby produced a good save
to deny Mackail-Smith the resulting rebound being
skied over the bar by Butcher as the visitors began
to take control.
Hyde wasted a good opportunity,
like Butcher, blazing high and wide while Boyd also
wasted a similar chance.
City were pinned in their own
half but did hit the side-netting with a Jamie Hand
Artell blocked a Mackail-Smith
effort before the unfortunate defender handed Posh
the equaliser as he sliced a Mackail-Smith cross-shot
into his own net giving Danby no chance with 20 minutes
Peterborough continued to press
but the City defended in numbers and continued to
frustrate their opponents. Chris Holroyd, introduced
earlier for Lee Steele, was creating problems with
his pace however and saw an effort blocked by Newton.
Three minutes from time City broke away and Yeo planted
a header wide, while Newton was on hand again to
block a Paul Linwood effort.
Four minutes of added time
were played but the City defence held firm, the frustrations
showed on the Posh bench as manager Darren Ferguson
was sent to the stands for the final minutes by referee
McDermid for dissent.
travelled to Boston with the same starting X1 that featured in last Sunday’s
home game against Shrewsbury Town. Due to a chronic injury list, the Pilgrims
could only field ten professional players and name three
youth team substitutes on the bench as they looked for a win that would
be vital in their chances of escaping the relegation trapdoor back to the
after five years in the Football League.
Despite their precarious
position it was the home side who started brightly
and Clarke saw a free-kick
curl over John Danby’s bar after five minutes.
David Galbraith shot wide soon after from long distance
before a controversial moment on 18 minutes.
City defender Kevin Sandwith
was adjudged to have handled on the line to prevent
a Paul Ellender header
hitting the net. Sandwith was given a straight red
card and Jamie Clarke took the responsibility of
the spot-kick. Danby, a favourite to pick op Saturday’s
Player of the Season award, guessed right though
and dived at full stretch to divert the penalty wide
for a corner.
The home side continued to have the better of things
for the rest of the half with Ellender, taking on
an unfamiliar strikers role, in the thick of the
At the other end Chris Holroyd and Simon Yeo, despite
a lot of running, failed to test Andy Marriott in
the home goal.
The Blues brought on Laurence Wilson for Holroyd
at the break and forced an early corner met by a
header from Paul Linwood that was cleared.
Just before the hour mark
the home side almost took the lead as a dangerous
free-kick evaded three onrushing
players, Jamie Stevens, Francis Green and mark Greaves,
and out to safety. Moments later Green missed another
great opportunity as he slid Farrell’s cross
wide of Danby and the post.
However, with seven minutes remaining Boston grabbed
the goal their second half pressure had threatened.
Referee Moss awarded United a corner, though City
players appealed for a goal-kick, and Galbraith crossed
for Stevens to head home unchallenged at the far
Brad Maylett who spent a short loan spell at City
recently should have wrapped up the points in the
dying minutes but shot high and wide when well placed.
For City, who had threatened little all afternoon,
there was no coming back as they crashed to their
sixth successive away defeat.
promotion chasing Shrewsbury Town, City started with
Rutherford, Chris Holroyd and James Vaughan and gave
another youngster Shaun Kelly a first place on the
bench at a sunny
visitors making up over half of the all-ticket crowd
the there was a scrappy opening period to the game,
the first effort of note coming the Shrews way. A foul
on ex-City player Derek Asamoah saw a free-kick swung
over only for Dave Edwards to glance his header wide
of John Danby and the post.
Edwards was soon in the action again
getting on the end of a piercing through ball and shooting
low and hard but Danby was well placed to make a smart
Chris Holroyd was causing problems
down the left and former City defender Richard Hope
was forced to concede a free-kick after one promising
run. The ball was crossed and partially cleared to Jamie
Hand who sent an effort wide from 20 yards after it
appeared to deflect off Simon Yeo on the way.
On 35 minutes mix-up in the City defence
almost let in Asamoah, Danby and Dave Artell seemed
to get in each other’s way while trying to clear
a through pass, the ball fell to Asamoah but Artell
was well placed to block his effort. As the half drew
to a close Yeo flashed a shot over.
The City defence came under pressure
straight after the break as Shrewsbury forced a series
of corners without bringing a save from Danby. With
neither side gaining control Rutherford played a delightful
through ball to Holroyd but the pacy striker was closed
down as he ran through on goal.
A foul by Sean Hessey on Andrew Cooke
gave Asamoah an opportunity and his curling free-kick
was parried wide for a corner by Danby at the foot of
the post. Asamoah’s resulting flag-kick drifted
Neil Ashton shot over from 20 yards
and the visitors continued to press. They did have the
ball in the net after Langmead headed home only for
referee Taylor to adjudge that Richard Hope had obstructed
Danby in the build up.
With the Blues under pressure at the
back Linwood, who’d picked up a first-half booking,
was replaced by Shaun Kelly.
With minutes remaining the woodwork
came to City’s rescue twice. First Cooke met a
drifting free-kick at the far post, chipped Danby only
to see his effort hit the bar. Moments later Ashton’s
corner was met by Asamoah who sent an overhead kick
crashing against the bar though the linesman’s
flag ruled out his spectacular effort for offside.
Having praised the young players who performed so well
on Good Friday manager Mark Wright opted for experience
at Edgeley Park, dropping all three fledglings to the
bench for this Cheshire derby against a Stockport side
without a win in seven matches.
was the home side, beaten 7-2 by Rochdale in their last
Edgeley outing, who started strongest with Kevin Pilkington
having a shot charged down by Kevin Sandwith and John
Danby having to save an overhead effort from the edge
of the box by Liam Dickinson in the opening five minutes.
Danby was in action again soon after
gathering an effort from Anthony Elding who attempted
to back heel an effort in. Phil Bolland, back from suspension,
did well to block another effort from Elding.
The Hatters took the lead midway through
the half. Anthony Pilkington’s long range shot
hit the post and bounced in off the back of the unfortunate
Another long-range Pilkington effort
was pushed round the post by Danby and the overworked
‘keeper was on hand to save a spectacular Elding
volley as the home side dominated the proceedings.
Wright rang the changes and brought
on James Vaughan and Chris Holroyd in place of Sean
Hessey and Lee Steele with eight minutes of the opening
The Blues found themselves two down
just after the restart. The Blues conceded a free kick
on the right after a foul on
Dickinson. Adam Griffin swept a cross in that was met
at the far post by Tony Dinning who converted with ease.
As an attacking force City were non-existent
and it took until the 72nd minute before home ‘keeper
Joe Lewis was called into serious action when he blocked
an effort from Simon Yeo with his legs and Laurence
Wilson was unable to convert the follow-up.
Paul Rutherford replaced Wilson soon
after and continued the good form he showed against
Darlington with a header over from Yeo’s cross
and a shot just wide.
But it was the home side creating
all the chances with Pilkington seeing another effort
zip wide and Elding saw a volley dip just over Danby’s
bar before referee Uriah Rennie brought a halt to the
For the second home match running, manager Mark Wright
recalled the three youngsters Paul Rutherford, Chris Holroyd
and James Vaughan to the starting X1 and youth team player
Shaun Kelly on the bench as the Blues looked to bounce
back from the disappointing defeat at Hartlepool United.
The visitors fielder two ex-City players in striker Gregg
Blundell and Ricky Ravenhill who spent a short period
on loan from Doncaster Rovers at the start of the season.
Both sides struggled to make
inroads during the first period that ran along
at a similar pace to a pre-season friendly in the
warm Deva sunshine. The visitors did have the ball
in the net following Martin Smith’s near
post corner but referee Singh ruled the effort
out for a push on John Danby. Smith was in the
action again soon later forcing a full stretch
save from Danby.
Despite forcing several corners,
City had to wait until just after the half hour mark
before they tested Russell in the Darlo goal as he
gathered a long ranger effort from Jamie Hand.
Just before the break Blundell
was sent clear of the City rearguard but with Danby
advancing the former City forward shinned his effort
wide of the post when it looked like he was going
lob the keeper.
Just after the break it was City’s
turn to have an effort ruled out as Simon Yeo was
adjudged to have strayed offside before finding the
net. But the Blues faithful didn’t have to
wait long before the opening goal.
The Quakers defence seemed to hesitate in clearing their lines on half-way
and Holroyd sent Yeo through with a clear run on goal, he took the ball wide
of Russell before turning to shoot into the net from a narrow angle to the
delight of the fans on the sparsely populated home terrace behind.
A rejuvenated City went looking
for a second goal. Holroyd almost doubled City’s
lead but he saw an acrobatic overhead kick palmed
away by Russell from point blank range and Kevin
Sandwith sent a header over the bar when well placed.
The visitors introduced the former
Aston Villa forward Julian Jochim as they looked
to get back into the game and he immediately set
up Neil Wainwright who saw his shot on goal blocked
by Danby. The visitors continued to press and forced
a series of corners, with a series of poor clearances
by the City rearguard only adding to the pressure.
With just four minutes remaining
though the Blues squandered a golden effort to seal
the game as Rutherford broke away and raced through
on the right, just as it looked like he would shoot
he squared the ball for substitute Lee Steele who
failed to control it properly and the chance was
Three minute’s later the
Blues were left to rue that wasted opportunity as
Blundell, sent free on the left was brought down
by Laurence Wilson on the edge of the box. Singh
pointed to the spot as the City defence claimed that
the incident took place just outside the area. Blundell
dusted himself down to convert the spot-kick and
rescue a point for his side.