HEROIC DANBY HELPS PRESERVE LEAGUE STATUS
series of second half saves from goalkeeper John
Danby helped City glean the point required to maintain
league football at Deva Stadium for another season.
The Blues’s goalless draw with Stockport County
means that Mansfield Town will join Wrexham next
year in the Blue Square Premier while City live
to fight in League Two for another 12 months.
This was a battling team effort against a side already
assured of a play-off spot, but Danby’s saves,
along with the tireless front running from John
Murphy, stood out in a night of great tension.
The first period produced a bit of a stalemate with
both sides failing to create any real clear cut
chances, Chester’s only notable effort came
from Mark Hughes who headed over from a Murphy knock
down shortly before the break. The game sprang to
life seconds straight after the restart though with
Paul McManus forcing a good save from Conrad Logan
in the visitors goal after good approach work had
set up the young striker twelve yards out.
The visitors, who were forced to field all three
substitutes in the opening period, responded well.
Adam Proudlock twice forced Danby into saves, the
second saw the keeper rushing out to block with
his legs when the County player had been sent through
one-on-one. City forced several corners but were
caught on the break from each by a pacy Stockport
attack. John Murphy saw a glancing header from a
James Vaughan free kick saved low down on the line
by Logan before dandy produced a stunning point
blank save from Anthony Pilkington nine minutes
from time as he palmed a header onto the bar and
over for safety.
Three minutes of added time, in which the Blues
twice conceded free kick’s on the edge of
their box, were endured by the nail biting home
crowd before referee Woolmer brought the loudest
cheer of the season with his final whistle as players
and fans celebrated this priceless point.
Danby praised the City team spirit that
has seen them pick up the two vital draws this
said: He said: “One of the big reasons why
we achieved our goal of staying in the league was
the team spirit within the changing room. There
was a lot of relief after the Stockport match,
but we did well and we deserved it in the end.”
was so important that we won a point against Stockport
because nobody in
the team wanted to go into the final home game
on Saturday against Macclesfield with us still
requiring a point. We would have had more
pressure on us, but we can now relax a little bit
more with that
pressure off us.”
Danby also praised the young City manager for City’s
escape from the relegation zone. “Simon
Davies has done a superb job in his short
time as first team manager. He
has brought a few young lads into the first team
who have really done well and we have
all worked hard in training. Simon has got us all
together and he deserves a lot of the credit
for pulling us away from
the danger zone.”
Picture © Evening
29 April 2008
INJURY CONCERNS OVER DUO
City entertain Stockport County tonight looking for a
point to preserve their Football League status. Manager Simon Davies has injury
concerns over two players as both John Murphy and former County player Kevin
Ellison are carry knocks. The
a play-off place and may take the opportunity to rest a player or two. Admission
only. There is no cash admission at the ground.
CONTRACT TALKS FOR YOUNGSTERS
City manager Simon Davies
is to sit down with six of City’s young players
in an effort to agree new
deals for each. The players in question are
defenders Shaun Kelly and Sean Newton, midfielders
and strikers Chris Holroyd and Paul McManus.
All have featured for the first team this season
having progressed through the ranks of the youth
team. The club have also revelaed that both James
Vaughan and Kevin Roberts have signed new two year
The following players are all under contract for
next season: John Danby, Laurence Wilson, James
Vaughan, Kevin Roberts,
and John Murphy.
IT’S UP TO CITY
League Two survival is in their own hands as
enter the final week of the season. The Blues
need one point from the two remaining home
Stockport County tomorrow night and Macclesfield
Town on Saturday.
A point for City would relegate Mansfield Town
who would join Wrexham next season in the Blue
Premier. Two home defeats would mean that the
Stags would have to win their final game next
at Dagenham & Redbridge to survive at City’s
Chester ground out a 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury Town
on Saturday but wins for fellow relegation candidates
Notts County and Dagenham have lifted them both
clear of the drop zone to safety.
Manager Simon Davies told the Evening Leader: “We
now know that we need one point from our two remaining
matches. Maybe the Stockport and Hereford results
will help our cause tomorrow at home to Stockport,
because Stockport can’t win automatic promotion.
But we haven’t got to think about all that.
The lads know how important our last two games are
and we’ll address ourselves in the right
manner and make sure we get the right result.”
Picture © Evening
25 April 2008
ONE WIN FROM SAFETY
should be a good following from City as the Blues
make their first trip to the New Meadow on Saturday.
Chester will be looking for all three points against
Shrewsbury Town to pull themselves out of their
relegation struggle. Their opponents are only just
safe themselves following a poor run that has seen
them pick up just one win in 17 matches, that being
a recent 3-0 home victory over Wrexham. During that
spell they have replaced manager Gary Peters with
City boss Simon Davies expects to be with both kevin
Ellison and Richie Partridge after the pair have
recovered from injury. Tony Grant will also be available
for selection but Chris Holroyd is still ruled out.
Ahead of the game Davies told the Chester Chronicle:
“It’s the biggest game for a while for
Chester City and we don’t want to be going
into that last week because Stockport are going
to be flying when we play them.
just want to make sure we do our business this
weekend and get it all wrapped up. It’s
a big game and we’ve just got to match them.
I’m very confident that we’ve got
the better players in our dressing room. We’ll
give them the respect they deserve, but we’ll
go about our business and go to win the game.”
Shrewsbury will be without
defender Graham Lee who has been recalled by Doncaster
Rovers from his loan spell with the Shrews, fellow
defender Kelvin Langmead is also ruled out through
The two sides last met in early October at Deva
Stadium when goals from Partridge, John Murphy and
Simon Yes secured a 3-1
victory for the Blues.
Tomorrow’s game is now NOT all-ticket. Supporters
who wish to pay by cash on the day though will be
required to first pre-buy a ticket from the ticket
office to pass through the turnstiles and should
allow extra time for this.
23 April 2008
A youthful looking reserves
side ended the Pontins Holiday League Division One
West season with a 7-1 defeat at home to bottom
side Rochdale at Deva Stadium this afternoon. Andy
Mitchell scored Chester’s consolation goal.
City finished the season third from bottom of the
league that was won by Morecambe. The Shrimps also
completed the double after they lifted the Pontins
League Cup with a 4-3 win over West Bromwich Albion
fixtures | Table
COACHES TO SHREWSBURY
Additional coaches will be
running for the all-ticket match at Shrewsbury Town
on Saturday. The coaches will leave the Deva Stadium
at 12:00 and will cost £8.00. Anyone wanting
to travel to the game should contact Barrie Hipkiss
between 18:00-20:00hrs tonight on 01244 379011.
SHREWSBURY NOT ALL-TICKET
Shrewsbury Town have announced
on their website today that Saturday’s match
with Chester will NOT now be all-ticket.
22 April 2008
DAVIES AWARDED TWO YEAR CONTRACT
Davies has been awarded a new two year contract.
Davies, who celebrates his 34th birthday today,
has acted in a caretaker role since replacing
Bobby Williamson who was sacked last month.
Davies told BBC Radio Merseyside: “Obviously
my first priority is to ensure our Football
League status for next season. I’m extremely
pleased to be given the job. Mr Vaughan has
backed me all the way since I was originally
appointed. There are a lot of positive people
in the Deva Stadium dressing room and around
the club, and thankfully we are now all pulling
in one direction.”
Davies is yet to appoint an assistant manager
but says he has a couple of people in mind
for the role. He said: “I have a couple
of people in mind, one who could oversee the
youth activities at the club, and another
who could come in as my assistant. Both are
excellent coaches and have experience at this
level. I am working on playing additions for
next season, but firstly we must ensure that
our Football League place is maintained.”
Supporters have until 16:00hrs tomorrow (Wednesday)
to claim their free voucher for the rearranged match
against Stockport County on 29 April (kick-off 19:45hrs).
Supporters are asked to take appropriate local identification
(utility bill etc ) to the ticket office with them.
Supporters are advised that there will be
no admission on the night of the game without a
voucher and NO cash entry.
Goals from Lloyd Ellams and James Gregory gave a
youthful reserves team a 2-2 draw at Bury yesterday.
The home side featured on-loan City player Simon
Yeo. The season comes to an end on Wednesday with
a home game against bottom side Rochdale, kick-off
at Deva Stadium is 14:00hrs.
fixtures | Table
20 April 2008
SO NEAR, YET SO FAR FOR CITY
another League Two defeat for City leaves the Blues
perilously close to the relegation zone. City are
now just two points above Mansfield in the second
relegation spot. The Stags narrowed the gap with
a 3-1 win over Shrewsbury Town at the weekend and
in doing so also caught up City’s goal difference.
Notts County lie level with City and have an identical
goal difference but are behind having scored fewer
goals. A point below City lie Dagenham & Redbridge.
City’s latest defeat came at Wycombe Wanderers
when a Scott McGleish goal twelve minutes from time
was all that separated the promotion chasers from
City. Once again City paid the price after failing
to take two good chances to score.
Blues manager Simon Davies, who watched the game
from the stand, said after the defeat: “It
was so near, yet so far again. It was very similar
to last week in terms of creating chances and then
missing them and it’s difficult when they
have a striker playing who has scored 26 goals in
create so many chances this week but you wouldn’t
have expected us to against a top side like Wycombe.
We played well without getting anything –
there were only a couple of chances each yet they
have the points and we come away with nothing. It
makes it hard to take and it is very frustrating.
The lack of points is a worry but the performances
City are next in action on Saturday when they make
their first visit to the New Meadow to play fellow
strugglers Shrewsbury Town, that match is all-ticket.
Chester have now notched a staggering 25 games
since they last kept a clean sheet!, that was
in the 3-0
home win over Barnet in early December. You have
to look into the pre-league archives to find a
as bad as this, April 1898 – September 1902
(32 games) and March 1920 – February 1921
(27 games). The worst League record was September
1961 – February 1962 (22 games) although
it excludes a goalless draw with Accrington Stanley
that was deleted from the records when Stanley
resigned from the Football League.
18 April 2008
TRIO BACK FOR CITY
Simon Davies is expected that be able to call on
the services of Chris Holroyd, Tony Grant and James
Vaughan for tomorrow’s important League Two
clash at promotion chasing Wycombe Wanderers. All
three have recovered from injury and are expected
to join the squad. Just four games remain of this
turbulent season and City are still looking for
points to ensure their Football League survival.
City currently lie three places and five points
above Mansfield Town in the second relegation spot,
and have a game in hand and a slightly better goal
difference. The games featuring the other sides
in the bottom five tomorrow see Notts County travel
to Wrexham, Dagenham & Redbridge visit Rotherham
and Mansfield entertain Shrewsbury.
The Chairboys are
seeking a promotion place and currently lie seventh,
the last play-off position, following a midweek
win at Grimsby Town. They are unbeaten in five matches.
A win tomorow could see them cement a play-off spot
should Chesterfield not beat Darlington. Striker
Leon Knight misses the game through suspension.
City fans watching the match tomorrow will not be
in their usual spec behind the goal. Wycombe are
designating tomorrow as a ‘Celtic Day’.
The home side have strong links with the Scottish
team with manager Paul Lambert still regarded well
at Parkhead. Neil Lennon, Rab Douglas and Steve
Guppy all played for the Bhoys while former Wycombe
boss Martin O’Neill was one of the Scottish Premier
League club’s most successful managers.
Wycombe are encouraging Celtic fans to support their
side and have allocated the usual away seating to
them. Chester fans will be given a section of the
The sides last
met in October 2007 when goals from Chris Holroyd
and John Murphy helped City pick up a point from
an exciting 2-2 draw.
17 April 2008
CONFUSION OVER ‘SUSPENSIONS’
Two days after the City manager announced that:
“Both Paul and Tony have been suspended by
the club after a breach of club discipline”
the PFA have announced that this apparently isn’t
the case: A spokesman for the Association has staded:
“The PFA can confirm that following discussions
with Chester City FC club officials, Paul Butler
and Tony Dinning have not been suspended, contrary
to media reports.” It appears that the duo
have been frozen out from partaking in any further
matches this season.
16 April 2008
MINI DERBY DEFEAT FOR BLUES
The reserves were beaten 2-1 at Wrexham tonight.
The side, consisting mainly of the youth team, found
themselves 2-0 down at the break. Despite a spirited
second half showing they only had a Paul Smith goal
to show for their efforts in the match played at
fixtures | Table
15 April 2008
Two of City’s senior players, Paul Butler
and Tony Dinning, have been suspended by the club
with immediate effect for what they describe as
a “serious breach of club discipline”.
City manager Simon Davies told the press: “Both
Paul and Tony have been suspended by the club after
a breach of club discipline. This is an internal
dispute, and the decision has been taken for the
best interest of Chester City Football Club. Neither
player figures in my plans for next season.”
Butler was signed last summer and has made 38+0
appearances scoring two goals this season. Dinning,
who signed from Stockport County last October scored
twice in 22+0 matches for the Blues.
Last month defender Simon Marples was given gardening
leave after apparently refusing to take a place
on the substitutes bench for the game at Darlington.
14 April 2008
A young reserves side lost 2-1 tonight away at Morecambe.
City’s consolation goal came in the last minute
through Lloyd Ellams.
The side are next in action on Wednesday with an
away game at local rivals Wrexham, kick-off 19:00hrs.
fixtures | Table
DEFEAT HAS CITY LOOKING OVER
suffered their 13th home defeat of the season on
Saturday after they contrived to miss a host of
chances, including one from the penalty spot, during
the afternoon before surrendering an early lead
to lose 2-1 to Lincoln City.
Worringly the defeat leaves City just five points
above the relegation zone with just four games remaining.
Two of those remaining games are against play-off
chasing opposition in Wycombe Wanders (A) and Stockport
The Blues had been given a dream start in the fourth
minute when they were awarded a spot-kick following
a foul by goalkeeper Alan Marriott on John Murphy
in the area. Last weeks penalty hero Kevin Ellison
stepped up but his weak penalty was easy saved by
Marriott who hardly had to move. Sixteen minutes
later through Paul McManus pounced to socre his
first senior goal for the club after receiving a
through ball from Paul Rutherford.
The lead lasted less that a minute as Jamie Forrester
notched an equalised and compounderd City’s
misery three minutes later when he ghosted in at
the back post to score thesecond following a flick-on
from Dany N’Guessan.
The visitors were reduced to ten men after the break
with N’Guessan receiving his marrching orders
following a second bookable offence.
City manager Simon Davies said after the latest
defeat: He said: “There are two things I can
take from the game – our unprofessionalism
after we went 1-0 up, and secondly, we’'ll
never create as many chances as we did in a game
again for a long while, so after creating 15 or
20 chances I expected a better return than one goal.”
“We missed a penalty,
we hit the bar, and we missed open goals. Our
plan was to get the ball into wide areas and up
to John Murphy, and mix it up. I thought everything
went to plan, but our players have got to take
their time and use their qualities to put the
ball in the back of the net.”
“The early penalty
was a perfect opportunity to get off to a really
good start, and it’s an issue when we don’t
score penalties because they play a key part in
a game, but I can think over and over about the
amount of chances we had and there's no answer to
Time is running out for City to claim three more
points that should guarantee league Two safety.
They travek to Wycombe Wanderers next on saturday.
The Chairboys currently occupy the last play-off
spot following their 2-2 draw at leaders MK Dons
on Saturday. City have yet to win in six visits
to Adams Park.
11 April 2008
SHREWSBURY ALL TICKET
It’s just been announced that the away league
Two game at Shrewsbury Town at the New Meadow on
Saturday 26 April is to be all-ticket. Tickets go
on sale at the Deva Stadium ticket office today
from 10:00 to 16:00hrs and will also be available
after Saturday’s game against Lincoln City.
Prices are Adults: £15.00 and Concessions:
(Over 65, students with ID, under 16, disabled)
CITY SQUAD STRETCHED AGAIN
The Blues entertain Lincoln City tomorrow knowing
that three points against the Imps will go a long
way to securing League Two football at Deva Stadium
again next season.
City manager Simon Davies will once again be without
several key players for the important clash. Richie
Partridge and Paul Butler are both expected to be
out after picking up injuries last Saturday in the
2-2 draw at Edgar Street. Chris Holroyd has a heel
injury and will once again miss out as will Tony
Grant who has a hamstring injury. It remains to
be seen whether defender James Vaughan who has been
struggling with a hamstring injury is risked. One
player returning to the squad following suspension
though is Tony Dinning.
Lincoln are manager by former Chester favourite
Peter Jackson. Jackson is currently away from the
club as he undergoes treatment for throat cancer,
I’m sure all City fans will wish him well
and a speedy return to football. The visitors will
be without Lenell John-Lewis through injury, while
Scott Kerr is suspended. Shane Clarke (Achilles)
and Paul Green (hip) are rated as doubtful for the
match that kick’s-off at 15:00hrs.
Chester are looking
to do the double over their opponents following
a 1-0 win, thanks to a Dinning penalty, at Sincil
Bank in November. The game, Jackson’s first
in charge for Lincoln, will be best remembered for
its very late 20:40 kick-off time after the City
team coach had been held up in traffic.
A reminder that all home supporters attending tomorrow
will be given a free ticket for the rearranged home
game against Stockport County on Tuesday 29 April,
10 April 2008
VIDEO DIARY LATEST
The weekly Evening Leader video diary from manager
Simon Davies is now online.
9 April 2008
ELLAMS AT THE DOUBLE
Two goals from Lloyd Ellams
helped the reserves to notch a 2-1 victory away
at top of the table Preston North End this afternoon.
The side are next in action on Monday with an away
fixture at second placed Morecambe.
fixtures | Stats
COUNTY DATE CONFIRMED
rearranged home game with Stockport County will
take place on Tuesday 29 April, kick-off 19:45hrs.
Once again the West Stand is given over to visiting
City fans who attend this Saturday’s home
game against Lincoln City will receive a free ticket
for the County match. West Stand season ticket holders
should take their season ticket book to the ticket
office window before the Lincoln City match, there
the club will remove Voucher E and exchange it for
a ticket for the Stockport County game.
Stockport have been given a free allocation of 2,000
tickets for the occasion.
7 April 2008
VITAL POINT FOR CITY
staged a great second half fight back at Edgar
Street on Saturday to glean another priceless
point towards their fight to remain in League
Two. Trailing 2-0 at the interval, a superb
25-yard strike from Kevin Sandwith on 68 minutes,
and a coolly take injury time penalty from
Kevin Ellison, following a handball in the
area by John McCombe, brought City a share
of the spoils that seemed unlikely at the
The home side had taken a two goal advantage
with Ben Smith shooting in the first from
close range before Gary Hooper raced through
to score a second with players and fans appealing
Manager Simon Davies was full of praise for
his side and the spirit they showed. He said:
“We didn’t play well in the first
half and we had a little chat at half-time.
In the second half we put it together really
well with a good team performance and every
player deserves massive credit and I have
told them so.”
“We’re looking to finish as high
as possible, but at the same time we want
to make sure we don’t fall through the
trapdoor at the other end. I’ve just
said to the players that with that team spirit
and that performance, you won’t have
any trouble at all.”
The point put a dent in the hopes of their
opponents who are looking to achieve automatic
promotion under manager, and ex-Chester defender,
With other sides around them picking up points
City remain 20th in league Two, six points
above the drop zone with a slightly better
goal difference. The team are next in action
on Saturday when Lincoln City visit Deva Stadium,
YOUTH TEAM LEAVE IT LATE
A goal five minutes from
time by Jack Rowlands gave the youth team a 1-0
home win over Preston North End on Saturday morning.
The victory lifts the Blues two places to fifth
in the North West Conference.
4 April 2008
ELLISON SET TO RETURN
City travel to Hereford United tomorrow looking
for three more points to secure their League Two
status. They face a Bulls side that currently lie
in third spot just a point ahead of the chasing
squad is being stretched through injury and suspension.
Manager Simon Davies will be without Tony Dinning
who, with last Saturday’s game being abandoned,
serves his one match suspension at Edgar Street
tomorrow. City will also be without Tony Grant
and probably James Vaughan who has a hamstring
injury. Up front Chris Holroyd is still nursing
a foot injury but Kevin Ellison is expected to
return to action after recovering from a knee
injury sustained recently at Barnet.
Davies through has faith in
the squad to pick up the required points to prevent
the drop between now and the end of the season.
He told the Chester Chronicle: “To be quite
honest, I believe in the squad of players I’ve
got right now. Apart from Peterborough and MK
Dons, who I think are very, very strong, I think
anyone can beat anyone in this division. It’s
all on the day and how you approach the game.
On the day, I think we’ll give a good account
Hereford will be without Luke
Webb while forward Steve Guinan may return after
a long lay-off through a calf injury.
The two sides last
met on 12 October when they fought out an entertaining
Friday night 1-1 draw at Deva Stadium. City look
a second half lead through Simon Yea before Toumani
Diagouraga levelled for the Bulls.
3 April 2008
FOOTBALL CLUB AGM
The football club are holding
their Anual General Meeting at the Deva Stadium
on Thursday 10 April. The meeting. the first since
the early 1990’s!, will take place in the
Blues Bar and begins at 19:30.
2 April 2008
PROVISIONAL STOCKPORT DATE
It’s being reported
that he rescheduled home League Two game against
Stockport County could be played at the Deva Stadium
on Tuesday 29 April (kick-off 19:45hrs) subject
to Football League approval. Stockport have been
given a free allocation of 2,100 tickets for the
match. Chester fans who attend the home game against
Lincoln City on 12 April will be given a voucher
that will entitle them to free admission for the
Stockport match. When ever the match is played Season
Ticket holders will be admitted in the usual manner.
1 April 2008
DAVIES: I WANTED THE GAME ON
manager Simon Davies says that he wanted Saturday’s
abandoned game against Stockport County to have
be played out to the end, and has accused County
boss Jim Gannon of pressurising referee Iain Williamson
into calling the game off.
The match was poised at 0-0 when on 59 minutes Williamson
called it a day and took the players off. Only fifteen
minutes earlier the pitch had passed a half-time
inspection after a lot of hard work by the ground
staff. Davies told the Chester Chronicle: “To
be fair, all the players on the pitch wanted the
game on. It wasn’t the greatest football game
in the world but you get that throughout the season.
You have to play the elements. You have to get on
with it. With half an hour to go it was drizzling,
so I’m quite baffled as to why he chose that
moment to call it off.”
“ Their manager was trying to get it off,
in my opinion. I got one of the other coaches to
monitor the referee’s door at half-time because
I know he (Gannon) was trying to have a word in
the referee’s ear about that. I wanted the
game on. I know it was heavy but we were up for
Gannon (pictured) for his part thought the game
should have finished earlier. He said: “I
thought the decision should have been made 10 or
15 minutes after kick-off. You could see the ball
wasn’t running true. He (referee Williamson)
allowed it to continue for the first half, decided
to have an elongated half-time, which was endangering
players’ safety, then decides to bring them
out and play 15 minutes more and then take them
off. You could see the pitch was unplayable in the
first half and the game should never have gone beyond
As yet there has been no confirmation of a new date
for the fixture. There is also a real possibility
that the rearranged fixture could be all-ticket
following the overcrowding that marred Saturday’s