Back Home


Pre-Season | August | September | October | November | December | January | February | March | April |
Alfreton Town (H) | Gloucester City (A) | Brackley Town (A) | Darlington (H)
Saturday 20 April
Chester 0 Darlington 0
National League North
Attendance: 2.537 Half Time: 0-0
Booked: -.

Chester: Stanway, Roberts, Edwards, K.Burton, Woodthorpe (Heywood 93), Williams, Weeks, Daly, Tollitt (Norton 74), Thomas (Caton 53), Peers. Subs not used: Taylor, Coates.
Darlington: Hedley, Platt, Lees, Lawlor, Nelson (Curry 57), Hatfield, Barrow, Asante (Rutledge 57), Rivers, Salkeld (Liddle 64), Young. Subs not used: Griffiths, Cornish.
Referee: Matthew Norton.

The trajectories of these two sides had been moving in opposite directions over the last couple of months. Darlington, under former Blues boss Steve Watson, had confirmed their escape from the relegation places which they had occupied for much of the season with a win over Farsley Celtic last weekend. Meanwhile Chester had slid from third in the League table at Christmas to knowing that they would fall short of a play-off place by their 3-1 defeat at Brackley on the same day.

So they met at the Deva for the final game of the season in what had become a mundane mid-table clash with little more than pride at stake. Perhaps appropriately the game ended goalless. Chester have become difficult to defeat under Calum McIntyre – but have found putting the ball in the net at the other end more troublesome, this season especially.

Not that the match was devoid of attempts on goal. Salkeld finished a strong run for the visitors with a shot palmed away by Stanway at full stretch. Platt also had a shot from distance, narrowly wide. The Blues carried a threat up front too with Peers looping a shot wide and Tolitt making the most of an interception to find himself through on goal but could only shoot straight at the Quakers’ keeper Young.

As the game wore on in the second half, Chester looked the more likely to break the deadlock, with Weeks a growing influence on the play. Caton replaced Thomas and added fresh impetus to City’s attacking with his willingness to run the channels. His fierce shot caused Young difficulty but squirmed away to safety. Woodthorpe blazed wide when the ball fell to him at a narrow angle and then, in stoppage time, Peers cut the ball back for Norton who turned well to shoot but was blocked at the last ditch by Lees to prevent the goal.

The point gained moved Chester up a place to tenth in the table as the season drew to a close. Darlington finished up as sixteenth. Both teams and both sets of supporters acclaimed each other in the bright sunshine at the final whistle. There was no pitch invasion, euphoric or otherwise and the curtain came down on a campaign tinged with frustration and disappointment for City whilst Darlington breathed a sigh of relief that this fixture will be repeated next year.

Colin Mansley

Picture © Rick Matthews

Final league table |

Saturday 13 April
Brackley Town 3 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 1,241 (262 Chester) Half Time: 1-1
Booked: Williams, Roberts.

Brackley Town: Lewis, Carline, Murombedz, Dean, Newton, Roberts (Cross 63), Lyttle, Hall (Armson 86), O’Sulllivan, Lilly. Subs not used: Gudger, Bates, Turner.
Chester: Stanway, Weeks, Burke (Woodthorpe 49), Williams, Peers, Glendon, Thomas, Tollitt (Caton 63), Heywood (Norton 75), Roberts, K.Burton. Subs not used: Taylor, Daly.
Referee: Darren Rogers.

Despite taking an early lead through Ben Tollitt, Chester are beaten at third placed Brackley Town.

Picture © Rick Matthews

Latest table |

Saturday 6 April
Gloucester City 1 Chester 6
National League North
Attendance: 877 Half Time: 0-2
Booked: Weeks, Williams.

Gloucester City: Dennis, Durrell (Liggett 72), Duffus, Mbayo, Reckford, Smile, Pinchard, Hanks, Rowe (Wright 39), Brain (Smlley 76), Robinson. Subs not used: Thompson, Barlow.
Chester: Stanway, Burke, Williams, K.Burton, Heywood, Roberts (Daly 79), Weeks, Glendon, Murray (Tollitt 90), Norton (Thomas 61), Peers. Subs not used: Woodthorpe, Taylor.
Referee: Shelby Elson.

Chester keep their play-off hopes alive with a comfortable victory that relegates Gloucester.

Picture © Rick Matthews

Latest table |

Monday 1 April
Chester 0 Alfreton Town 2
National League North
Attendance: 2,537 Half Time: 0-1
Booked: Roberts.

Chester: Stanway, Woodthorpe (Taylor 52), Burton, Williams (Norton 67), Burke, Thomas, Glendon, Roberts, Weeks, Tollitt, Peers (Murray 78). Subs not used: Daly, Heywood.
Alfreton Town: Willis, Clackstone, Lund, Digie, Wiley, Thewis (Salmon 90+2), Cantrill, Day (McDonagh 73), Waldock (Perritt 86), Fewster, Newhall. Subs not used: Askew, Taylor.
Referee: Oliver Mackey.

Brief hopes of reviving City’s play-off hopes kindled by a fine win at Buxton on Good Friday were smothered by a brutal Alfreton side on Easter Monday.

Chester were outmuscled for most of the game which saw the visitors largely dictating the pattern of play. Calum McIntyre admitted afterwards that Alfreton are good at what they do – stifling the opposition and playing for set pieces where they look to bombard the penalty area for their bigger players to attack the ball.

Wiley had their first effort, heading a deep cross from the right which Stanway tipped over the bar. Wiley’s central defender partner Digie gave Alfreton the lead when his left footed effort from another cross cannoned into the net off a defender’s leg.

Chester did occasionally threaten when they managed to get the ball down and play with pace. Peers intercepted a headed back pass from Digie in the opening minutes but could only steer the ball into the side netting. And City’s best move of the first half began with Burton and Woodthorpe working the ball forward for Tollit’s intelligent run down the left but his cross was too quick for Peers. Weeks and Peers had snapshots too from the edge of the box without unduly troubling Willis in the Alfreton goal.

The Blues’ best chance seemed to be to hit Alfreton on the break by attacking with pace but by and large the visitors were content to sit back and effectively absorb any pressure City tried to apply. After an hour Digie doubled the advantage when he headed home unchallenged from another set piece.

There seemed little prospect of City recovering from this setback although they cannot be faulted for effort. Norton and Murray came on to give fresh impetus to Chester’s attacking play with the former having the best effort of the afternoon as he brought a full stretch save out of Willis. Sadly for the Blues the visitors’ defence could not be breached and with the defeat their play-off hopes, though not extinguished, are much diminished. Billy Heath’s side had put in a strong and determined performance – strong enough to make them a good bet to win the play-offs in Calum McIntyre’s opinion afterwards.

Colin Mansley

Picture © Rick Matthews

Latest table |





















© 1997-2024 Steve Mansley | Complete Site Archive | Technical | Webmaster
Back | Top
search this site»
email this page
Chester have announced the signing of 30-years-old midfielder Mitch Hancox who was recently released by Altrincham.
more »
Another good run out for Chester as their pre-season continues with a home defeat to Stoke City.
more »
Chester travel to play the Isle of Man next Friday, kick-off 19.00.
Friendly Fixtures
League table
Chester weather
Everything you need to know about the club’s history, honours, records and kits. Complete list of fixtures from 1885 and much more.
more »
The Exiles have set up a blog to provide away match information and articles for Blues fans living away from Chester. You can read it here
Exiles » | ISA »