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DEVA STADIUM GREATEST GOAL

Thanks to all who voted in the competition to pick the best Chester City goal scored at Deva Stadium.

Chairman Steve Vaughan kindly agreed to donate two match tickets and a pre-match meal for the Liverpool X1 game as a prize and the winner of the competition was Mark Dobson of Ellesmere Port.

Three or four goals polled consistently well with Tony Hemmings’ goal in the 5-1 romp against Mansfield Town on 25 March 2000, Roger Preece’s 30-yard free kick in the 2-0 FA Cup win against Hull City on 4 December 1993, and Graham Lancashire’s winner against Preston North End 2 April 1994 all receiving plenty of backing.

However, the goal that polled most votes proved to be Junior Agogo’s brilliant solo effort against Cheltenham Town on October 19th 1999. Agogo, now playing for Conference rivals Barnet, was on loan from Sheffield Wednesday at the time and his powerful run and individual skill brightened up what had proved to be a dour encounter. Picking up the ball in midfield from Luke Beckett he threaded his way between four, five or six players (depending on your own memory and which match report you read) before firing a tremendous left foot shot past Steve Book. Agogo celebrated in typically flamboyant style while “Wake me up before you go go” played over the tannoy. After the game a reticent Agogo claimed “I can’t remember what happened with the goal. I got the ball from Luke and was looking to give him the ball back but I just kept going and I was trying to score.”

DEVA STADIUM GREATEST MATCH

During the summer we held a vote to elect the greatest match played at the Deva Stadium over the last 10 years. Supporters were asked to vote for their top three games and three points were awarded for a first place choice, two points for a second place and one for a third place. There was a tremendous response with more than 50 different games being suggested but when the votes were added up the following games came out top of the pile.

123 Points
City 3 Preston North End 2 (33 first choices)
2 April 1994 • League Division Three • Attendance 5,638
The Easter weekend clash, between two sides chasing promotion to Division Two, produced a real thriller with Chester coming from 2-1 behind to snatch a vital three points thanks to a goal two minutes from time from on-loan signing Graham Lancashire. Playing into a strong wind Preston took a 14th minute lead when an unmarked Gareth Ainsworth headed home Ian Bryson’s cross. Within ten minutes City were on level terms after Lancashire scored following some good work by David Pugh. Before the break Tony Ellis put Preston in front after a mistake by player-manager Graham Barrow. In the second half Chester’s passing style began to pay dividends and after Man of the Match Mark Leonard had levelled for Chester Lancashire earned the eternal gratitude of City fans as he bundled home Pugh’s cross to seal a famous victory.

The match marked Graham Barrow’s last appearance in a City shirt while the Preston team included future Chester favourite Stuart Hicks.

90 Points
City 3 Oxford United 2 (21 first choices)
9 December 2000 • FA Cup Round 2 • Attendance 2,798
Chester stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games with a superb comeback against struggling Second Division side Oxford United in a classic FA Cup tie. After only 16 minutes Chester found themselves undeservedly trailing 2-0 after goals from Phil Gray and Matt Murphy but City showed great resilience and Paul Beesley pulled a goal back after 34 minutes when he headed in Neil Fisher’s free kick. The scene was set for a storming second half and Chester did not disappoint as they continued to pile on the pressure. On 54 minutes Steve Whitehall fired home from close range with Oxford keeper Richard Knight lying prostrate after failing to cut out Mark Beesley’s cross. Five minutes later Whitehall again benefitted from good work by the younger Beesley as his deflected shot looped over Knight. It was a tense final 30 minutes but Chester deservedly held on to earn a Third Round tie against Blackburn Rovers.

This was the first time that Chester had beaten FA Cup opponents two divisions above them since 1970 and the first time they had recovered a two goal deficit at home since 1972.

29 Points (6 first choices)
City 3 Hereford United 1
23 April 1994 • League Division Three • Attendance 3,845
Less than a month after victory over Preston the Blues were able to clinch promotion to Division Two with this conclusive victory over Hereford United. There were few signs of nerves on the pitch as leading scorer David Pugh met Spencer Whelan’s cross to open the scoring on 18 minutes and the lead was extended on the hour when the irrepressible Graham Lancashire volleyed home a brilliant second. Howard Clark quickly pulled one back for Hereford but the celebrations started after 70 minutes when Roger Preece grabbed a third and news filtered through of Crewe’s defeat at Rochdale. The champagne flowed in the stand after the game as the supporters acknowledged the work done by player-manager Graham Barrow and his unlikely band of heroes.

This game marks the only occasion that Chester have secured promotion at home.

Other high scoring choices were the 6-0 thrashing of Doncaster Rovers (also 29 points but with less first votes), the relegation match against Peterborough United (28 points), last season's 5-1 victory over Stevenage Borough (25) and the opening League match at the stadium on 5 September 1992 when City beat Burnley 3-0 (20). Votes were also cast for 44 other matches.

Deva Stadium top 10 facts.

© 1997-2008 Steve Mansley | User Stats | Technical | Webmaster
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