ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR CITY
went down 3-1 at
Boston United this
a defeat that leaves them at the foot of
League Two. The
a Danny Thomas
as early as the third minute and went into
the break two down following Zema Abbey’s
header on the stroke of half-time.
an improved performance in the second half,
a twice-taken penalty by Courtney Pitt sealed
the points for the home side. Michael Branch
pulled a consolation goal back six minutes
from time but City were well beaten and had
five players booked to add to their troubles.
his first game in charge, manager Ian Rush
made two changes from Saturday’s starting
in Ben Davies at the expense of Stewart Drummond
and Cortez Belle for Kevin Rapley. Davies
did a man-marking
job on Paul Gascoigne in the second half and
manager Rush was full of praise for the midfielder’s
Rush said he “Couldn’t
ask any more from the players in the second half,
everyone worked hard.”
and “I think we have to look at yesterday’s defeat in a
positive way. I thought we were superb in the second half after I changed things
round at half-time”.
RUSH TAKES CHARGE
Ian Rush and assistant Mark Aizlewood will
the players today as they prepare for tomorrow’s
Bank Holiday game at Boston United. Rush was
introduced to the crowd prior to yesterday’s
0-3 defeat at the hands of Darlington and watched
the match from the main
throughout. Newly appointed Director
of Football Ray Mathias took charge of team
affairs on the day.
The Blues gifted all three
goals and were content to play
long ball, and creating nothing, until the
introduction in the second half of Ben Davies, Cortez
Belle and later Paul Carden.
Then City started to play football, passing
the ball about on the ground and carving out several
chances. It was all too late by then of course.
Tomorrow’s opponents Boston lie
19th in the table with five points from as many games
a good crowd at York Street tomorrow as The
a debut to Paul
Gascoigne after the former England midfielder came
through a full week of training. Admission prices for
the away terrace (Town End – not the end we had
last time) are: adult £13.00, under-16 £6.50,
FORMER PLAYER DIES
goalkeeper Jim MacLaren has died at the age
of 83. Jim made 30 appearances for Chester
in the late 1940s. You can read about Jim’s
RUSH NAMED NEW MANAGER
Ian Rush has been appointed the new
City. Rush became City’s most expensive
export, and the costliest teenager in Britain,
when Bob Paisley signed him for Liverpool back
after scoring 17
goals in 38+1 matches.
went on to further
his playing career
at Liverpool, Juventus,
United and Wrexham.
His career stats
player read: 769+49
goals. For Wales
capped 73 times
and scored 28 goals.
has recently been
as a striker
coach at Liverpool
which he will now
stop though he
is keen to
carry on his part-time
role with the Wales
is a high profile appointment for Chester City.
His illustrious playing career is well chronicled
and without doubt our strikers particularly can
benefit from his appointment. He brings with him
a wealth of experience and I know our supporters
will be excited by the appointment.”
have learned a lot in the last few years about coaching
and I learned so much in my time on the coaching
side at Liverpool, particularly from Gerard Houllier.
I have been offered four or five managerial jobs
in the past few years, but now I think is the
time to take a chance. This is the start of a new
era. This is an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
Chester have an excellent chairman in Stephen Vaughan
loyal and with his assistance I am sure we will
manager and Ray Mathias
has been appointed
Director of Football.
at Newport County
and took him
to Luton Town,
Town and Carmarthen
in December 2003.
FC team pictures
LDV VANS TROPHY
draw for the first round of the LDV Trophy has taken
place and Chester have been given an away tie against
Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. The game will
take place in the week commencing 27 September.
The full list of northern section ties is:
Bradford City v Accrington Stanley
Vale v Barnsley
York City v Blackpool
Mansfield Town v Darlington
Macclesfield Town v Chesterfield
Sheffield Wednesday v
Stockport County v Bury
Rochdale v Scarborough
Lincoln City v Doncaster Rovers
Hereford United v Scunthorpe
Hartlepool United v Hull City
Huddersfield Town v Morecambe
Notts County v Wrexham
Carlisle United v Grimsby Town
MANAGERIAL APPOINTMENT NEXT WEEK
Steve Vaughan has said that a decision on the appointment
new manager will be made next week.
The announcement comes as
ex-Liverpool assistant manager, and former
player, Phil Thompson
is the latest name to be linked with the vacancy
along with Steve McMahon, Ian Rush, John Aldridge
and Stan Ternent. Four points over the bank holiday
will no doubt boost Ray Mathias’ chances
of getting the job on a full-time basis as well.
the Daily Post: “I do not want this club
to be at the bottom of the table at the beginning
of September. Hopefully Ray can register the victories
that all his hard work deserves. We will obviously
have to take a decision one way or the other next
at the moment I am not ruling anything in or anything
STRIKER CRISIS FOR CITY
looks like Ray Mathias may have to venture into the loan market again as City
are suffering an injury pile-up with their strike force.
Michael Branch was substituted with a knee injury at Sunderland and strike
night Cortez Belle also picked up a knock. With Daryl Clare (hernia), Darryn
Stamp (ankle) and Kevin Rapley (ear infection) all sidelined it
looks increasingly likely that a loan player will be bought in for Saturday’s
home League Two game against Darlington.
were outplayed at the sparsely populated Stadium of Light last night but managed
to hold their own for 40 minutes, and indeed had a gilt-edged chance to take
the lead through Michael Branch, before Sean Hessey inadvertently deflected
the ball into his own net from a free-kick. Two further goals from set-pieces
in the second period killed off the tie.
CUP ACTION FOR CITY
Blues make the trip to the Stadium of Light today for a first round Carling
Cup tie at Championship side Sunderland, kick-off 20:00hrs.
Manager Ray Mathias will be hoping that on-loan signing Alan Navarro can shake
off the cramp he suffered towards the end of the game on Saturday in time for
course, in September 1998, when City lost a first-leg game in the same League
Cup competition 3-0
a bumper 20,618 crowd. Admission prices for the
match are: £10.00 (adult) £5.00 (concessions: u16, oap). Note that
to apply for the concession price a ticket has to be pre-bought from the ticket
PRAISE FOR NAVARRO
Caretaker manager Ray
Mathias praised on-loan signing Alan Navarro after his debut in the 1-1
draw at Bury on Saturday. Following Saturday’s game he said: “Alan needed
benefit from coming through it. He’s a good passer of a ball and he brought
Michael Branch into the play. It was obviously disappointing to see Alan going
off with cramp towards
of the game. I’m hoping Alan can be available for us tomorrow for our cup
match at Sunderland. Cramp is a horrible thing, but hopefully he will recover
okay and benefit from
coming through Saturday’s match.”
Michael Branch gave City a half-time
lead at Gigg Lane only to see his close-range strike
cancelled out by Chris Porter goal on 60 minutes. City
had to withstand quite a spell of pressure in the last
30 minutes and were denied a late chance on goal with
Branch being upended on the edge of the box by ex-City
defender Colin Woodthorpe when through on goal.
Mathias has returned to one of his former clubs to
sign 23-year-old midfielder Alan Navarro on a one
loan from Tranmere
Rovers. He made 33+11 appearances for Rovers last season,
no goals scored.
Navarro began his career in the summer of 2000 as
a trainee at Liverpool before being loaned out to
Alexandra for two spells where he scored 1 goal in
14+3 appearances. He had a short loan spell at Tranmere
he scored 2 goals in 4+0 games before signing permanently
from Liverpool for £225,000 in January 2002.There
appears confusion though as the official Chester website
states that Navarro IS eligable to play in the Carling
Cup at Sunderland on Tuesday night, Tranmere’s
official site says he isn’t!
CITY LOOKING TO KICK-START THEIR
the short distance to Bury tomorrow looking for their
first win of the season under caretaker manager Ray Mathias.
City’s only point to date came on the opening day
at Notts County.
City chairman Steve Vaughan and his
board have given Mathias permission to bring in one
or two loan players should he need them. The current
ankle ligament injury to Darryn Stamp and impending
appointment with the surgeon next week for Daryl Clare
have left City short on attacking options and that will
be one area Mathias will consider strengthening. Whether
anyone is drafted in in time for tomorrow or Tuesday’s
match at Sunderland remains to be seen.
Darren Liversage confirmed: “We have given
Ray Mathias permission to inquire about the availability
players, and bring them in on a loan basis if he
desires. The board backs Ray Mathias, and we have
been impressed with the way he has adapted to the
role of caretaker-manager, in what can only be described
as extremely difficult circumstances.”
The Shakers currently lie 15th with
four points following a 3-1 home win over Yeovil and
a 2-2 draw at Bristol
Rovers. However, they were thrashed 5-1 at Grimsby
Town last weekend and will no doubt be looking to bounce
at Gigg Lane tomorrow. Ex-City player Colin Woodthorpe
is expected to return to the side following suspension
to play alongside another former Deva player David
of course, are managed by former City player and
manager Graham Barrow
spent eight years from 1986-94 at Chester and is
one of the most popular figures the club has ever
had. He recently returned to Deva Stadium for Wayne
has sympathy for his opposite number
fans must remember that Ray Mathias is a good manager
and he had a good track record as boss during his
time at Tranmere Rovers. Ray is in a difficult
because Chester fans would have been used to winning
season. I don’t think anyone can appreciate
the position Ray is in – only managers can
possibly understand what Ray Mathias is going through.”
Nearly 1,200 fans made the trip
to Notts County and City can expect another large following
for their first
visit in nine years to Gigg Lane, Eddie Bishop scoring
in City’s 1-1 draw on that occasion.
LDV VANS TROPHY
The draw for the first round of
the LDV Trophy will take place live on SKY TV on their
Soccer AM programme on Saturday 28 August. Dates for the
first three rounds are:
Rd1 week commencing 27 September
Rd2 week commencing 1 November
Rd3 week commencing 29 November
The Blues will compete in the
northern section along with: Barnsley, Blackpool
(the holders), Bradford City, Bury, Chesterfield,
Darlington, Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Hartlepool
United, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Lincoln City,
Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town, Notts County,
Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Rochdale, Scunthorpe
United, Sheffield Wednesday, Stockport County, Tranmere
Rovers, Wrexham, Accrington Stanley, Carlisle United,
Hereford United, Morecambe, Scarborough and York
Admission prices for Chester fans
at next Tuesday night’s Carling Cup game are: £10.00
(adult) £5.00 (concessions: u16, oap). Note that
to apply for
the concession price a ticket has to be pre-bought from
the ticket office. All prices are for reserved seating.
Sunderland Ticket Office: 0191-551-5151.
The Reserves kicked-off their
Pontins League Division One West campaign with a 1-0
home defeat by Macclesfield Town. Sean Hessey missed
for the Blues. The next fixture is away at Stockport
County on 1 September.
18 August 2004
Chester City have moved to clarify
their position on the departure of manager Mark Wright
earlier this month. Last
season’s Nationwide Conference champions have kept
silent on the reasons behind the former England defender’s
decision to walk out on the eve of the new season almost
a fortnight ago.
However, Wright’s decision to go public
at the weekend with his side of the story has promoted
Chester to issue their own statement.
“Mr Wright refused to sign a contract offered
by CCFC to protect his own interests,” said the
statement from board of directors.
the commencement of the 2004/05 season Wright was
again offered an
improved three-year contract.
This contract remained unsigned as at the time of
his departure. The club insisted that it be signed
the season commenced.”
Chester’s board also claimed Wright,
who quit on the eve of the new season and was followed
manager Dave Moss, did not act in the proper manner
“Mr Wright’s conduct was to be a significant
factor in the departure of two senior players from the club. Both players refused
sign the much-improved
offers made to them,” the statement continued.
“During April 2004 Mr Wright was warned by the chairman as to his conduct
and not to speak to other clubs regarding other managerial positions, having
previously been interviewed by Tranmere Rovers.”
“Wright persistently flouted his managerial position with regard to the
size and budget of the first-team squad. Having already over-committed the budget
for the 2004-5 season, he continued to pursue additional signings, promising
players contracts without board permission.”
“Shortly before 10am on August 6 Mr Wright resigned and walked out of the
club, taking his backroom staff with him. When he departed Mr Wright failed even
to have the decency to enter the dressing room and address his players, choosing
instead to simply drive away.
“The club has consistently maintained from the time of Mr Wright’s departure
that this is a non-football related matter and we still hold that view.”
SURGERY FOR CLARE
striker Daryl Clare could well
be out of action for up to six weeks
after it was revealed that he requires
a hernia operation. Clare saw a
on Friday who diagnosed the hernia
and surgery is imminent for the
striker who bagged 30 goals last
season. City will be hoping that
absence may coincide with the return
of Darryn Stamp who has only played
one pre-season game before suffering
an achilles injury.
said: “Sometimes you get
to an age where you do have little
problems that need sorting out.
I played quite a few games last
season with a bit of a tear in
the leg, and sometimes when you
do play with an injury you develop
other injuries. I know it’s
bad timing for the club but at
the end of the day a fully fit
Daryl Clare is more use to Chester
City Football Club than a half
fit Daryl Clare.”
VAUGHAN CONSIDERS HIS POSITION
Steve Vaughan has stated on local radio that he is
considering his position
today’s 0-3 home defeat by Mansfield Town.
He told Dee 106.3 Radio: “It’s
Mathias’ position, it’s about Mark Wright walking out on the
job. The players are his and they were a shambles today. The side is a shambles,
the squad is a shambles. The money I’ve
spent is an embarrassment to me and at the moment I’m not prepared
to put in another penny. This (manager’s) job is up for applicants
and the right appointment will be made but I’m considering my own position
at this moment. I’m not prepared to take the blame for something that
I had nothing to do with.”
half goals by The Stags condemned City to their second home defeat of the
week and left them next to bottom in the League Two table, above fellow promoted
side Shrewsbury Town. Things had looked so better in the opening period which
City dominated but failed to convert the chances created.
120 people attended Wayne Brown’s
testimonial dinner in Chester recently,
click here for
news and pictures from the evening
and the results of the Best City
XI competition run towards the end
of last season.
City’s Youth Team kicked off their
season today in the Youth Alliance North Central Conference with a 1-2 defeat
Chester’s goal coming from the penalty spot by Gavin Lynch.
Fans will be
pleased to see the return of Kevin McIntyre tomorrow
the defenders three match suspension.
McIntyre will go straight into the City starting X1
against a Mansfield
lost both its opening matches, at home to Bristol Rovers
Saturday (0-2) and at Oxford United 0-1 on Wednesday
night. Caretaker manager Ray Mathias, who watched
tomorrow’s opponents on Wednesday night, will
be insisting on
an improvement after Tuesday night’s poor
showing against Wycombe Wanderers in front of Stags
City captain Andy Harris had this message for
the fans ahead of tomorrow’s game: “Our
supporters have got to realise that there won’t
be any weak teams coming to play us this season.
be times when it won’t be pretty, but we’ve
got to dig in, fight, and we’ve got to be
organised and get results quickly.”
ALDRIDGE DENIES LINK
Former Tranmere Rovers
manager John Aldridge has denied that he’s applied
for the managerial vacancy at Deva Stadium. He told the
BBC website: “I
read last night I have been linked with the job but it
is the first I know about it. I have certainly not put
my name forward but I know Steve Vaughan well and he knows
where I am if he wants to talk to me.”
City’s eagerly awaited return to home Football
League action after four years ended in a damp squib as The Blues were
outplayed by Wycombe Wanderers
at Deva Stadium, a goal in each half gave the Chairboys a comfortable 2-0 victory
on the night and left City still looking for their first victory of the season.
As on Saturday, City found it very hard to create any openings for Michael
Branch and Daryl Clare and hardly mustered a shot on target all night.
Ray Mathias was as disappointed as anyone after City failed to master the wet
conditions. “I was very disappointed with our performance against Wycombe
because I thought we stopped playing after the first 10 or 15 minutes. We got
caught in the puddles on the pitch a couple of times and it seemed to knock one
or two of our boys confidence. Our passing on the night was absolutely awful.
If we can’t pass the ball we’re not going to play and all credit
to Wycombe who did exceptionally well.”
One interested spectator last night will have been Keith Curle. He brings his
Mansfield Town side to Chester on Saturday looking to go one better than last
season when The Stags were beaten in the play-off final by Huddersfield Town
BACK IN ACTION
entertain Wycombe Wanderers tonight in their first home
of the season (kick-off
19:45hrs). Tony Adams’ side, who were relegated with Notts County last
season, opened the League campaign on saturday with a 2-1 win over Cambridge
United. Both their goals came from Naythan Tyson was was later stretchered
off with a
rib injury and may be doubtful.
Still without the suspended Kevin
McIntyre, City caretaker manager Ray Mathias looks set to name the same squad
that gained a point at Notts County on Saturday, Ben Davies the only doubt with
a foot injury.
9 August 2004
OPENING POINT FOR CITY
goal by Kevin Rapley three minutes from time gleaned
fans home happy after they seemed to be heading for defeat
in their opening League Two match of the season at a
County, on Saturday.
Caretaker manager Ray Mathias will also no doubt have
been pleased with the result, especially considering
he took charge of the team only 24 hours before. This
was a gutsy performance from City, who, in truth, failed
to create any chances of note in the 90 minutes, against
a strong side playing two divisions higher than them
this time last year.
Half of Saturday’s team,
Darren Edmondson, Kevin Ellison, Stephen Vaughan,
Drummond, and Michael Branch were making
League debuts for the Blues.
City were somewhat fortunate to go in at the break
level, the home side missing a series of good chances
and Vaughan heading clear off the line. But the Blues
fell behind on 62 minutes when a Wayne Brown foul on
Gavin Gordon resulted in a penalty, Julian Baden sending
Brown the wrong way with the spot-kick.
The all-important equaliser came
three minutes from time. City were awarded a penalty after
a Drummond shot was handled by Mike Whitlow. Clare’s
penalty was saved but former County player Rapley turned
home the rebound in front of the delighted City fans.
VAUGHAN & WRIGHT
Radio Merseyside mentioned tonight that
chairman Steve Vaughan and ex-manager Mark Wright had
held talks this evening and an official statement would
by the club tomorrow.
STADIUM SPONSORSHIP ANNOUNCED
The club have announced a two-year sponsorship deal with
a local company that sees the name of the ground changed
from Deva Stadium to the Saunders Honda Stadium. Ron
Saunders is a familiar figure at the stadium having sponsored
the club on many occasions before.
WRIGHT NEVER SIGNED CONTRACT
City chairman Steve Vaughan has
revealed that ex-manager Mark Wright never signed a three
year contract at the Deva. He said: “Mark was offered
a three-year contract a number of months ago when he
was being chased by Tranmere Rovers.
That contract position has never changed, other than reviewing it when we won
promotion to the Football League. Mark has had a three-year contract sat with
him with all terms agreed, but the contract was never signed by the manager.
I think you need to ask Mark why he never signed it. There were also contracts
on offer to David Moss and Alan Lewer, but they never got around to being signed.
So at this matter in time there is no legal issue with reference to the football
club or any former employee.”
6 August 2004
WRIGHT LEAVES THE DEVA
Mark Wright has left Chester City, he is believed to have resigned this
morning and has, according to the club, left for ‘non-football related
reasons’ according to the club, though Wright disagreed saying on
radio Merseyside the matter was totally football related.
Chairman Steve Vaughan told the press: “The manager’s
resignation is not a disappointment, not at all. No individual is bigger
club. The players and everyone at this club are as determined as ever
to go out and challenge the title for the new league. Chester City is
going to be OK and I have no concerns that this latest event will have
any effect whatsoever on the club. It will be business as usual this
club is used to drama. The fans do not have to worry, because I, Stephen
Vaughan, will remain at this club and continue to invest in the club
financially. The time for fans to worry is when Stephen Vaughan leaves
Wright told the Liverpool Echo: “It was my decision. The position
was untenable. I did not want it to happen, but it has. It’s not
the right time and I apologise for that. It’s a very sad day. I
know the side is a good side.” Assistant manager David Moss and
Alan Lewer have also left the Deva Stadium with him. Wright had been
at Chester for two and a half years and took them to the Conference Championship
Only yesterday Wright was talking of the challenge
ahead in League Two and of bringing in extra cover for the injured
Sean Hessey, he said: “We’ve
worked extremely hard to get this club back into the Football League
and everyone was pleased to see us win the Conference Championship last
season, but there are no rewards anymore. I’m now looking forward
to seeing Chester playing in the Football League, holding our own and
challenging for a top-seven spot in the table at the end of the season.
My priority at the moment is the right side of centre half. I still think
that position is a problem for us and I’ve got a couple of options,
but I don’t want to just bring anyone in. We want to get the right
person in the side and that right person can sometimes cost a lot of
money, but we’re not prepared to do that. I’m not prepared
to go to the chairman and ask him for a lot of money because I don’t
think we need to just yet.”
This sensational news comes on the eve of Chester’s return to the
Football League. Four years after relegation to the Nationwide Conference
City will kick-off tomorrow as a League outfit once again following last
season’s promotion campaign. How the news will effect the players
preparation remains to be seen.
ON THE WAY?
has hinted that there may still be more signings before
the week is out. Last night he mentioned in the press
that he was keen to sign another striker and this morning
a right-sided central defender was on the shopping list.
One striker Wright is keen on, Iyseden Christie, has been
the subject of an offer from fellow League Two side Kidderminster
3 August 2004
The Blues drew their
final warm-up game last night 0-0 with a Blackburn Rovers
X1. Chances were few and far between on the night as manager
Mark Wright gave a run-out to 19 players. Sean Hessey
left the field with suspected concussion and must be a
doubt for Saturday’s league opener at Notts County.
2 August 2004
LAST WARM-UP FOR BLUES
Chester play their
last scheduled pre-season friendly tonight when they entertain
a Blackburn Rovers side at Deva Stadium, kick-off 19:45hrs.
The Rovers squad for tonight’s game has been released
on their website and is as follows: Yelldell, Peers,
Danns, McEveley, Bruce, Harkins, Donnelly, Jansen, Gallagher,
Douglas. Subs: Taylor, Drench, Watt, Johnson, Derbyshire.
City have completed
the signing of 25-year-old Kevin Ellison. The attacking
player has featured three times in City’s pre-season
campaign and has previously played for Lincoln City, Stockport
County, Leicester City, Altrincham and Conwy United.
Chester Ladies begin their season in the
Northern Combination with a home fixture against newly
relegated Bangor City on 5 September followed, a week
later, by a trip to play North Ferriby United.