December 2004 |
MACCLESFIELD TICKET CHANGE
The game on New Year’s Day at Macclesfield Town
will not now be all-ticket. The east Cheshire club have announced
without pre-bought tickets may now also
pay at the turnstile’s on the day. The change of plan is due to less than
anticipated numbers of tickets sold.
BRANCH RESCUES A LATE POINT FOR CITY
well-taken goal seven minutes from time by Michael Branch rescued a point
for City at Rochdale after the Blues had seen their
early lead wiped out by the home side midway through the second period.
Kevin Ellison had given City a dream start on six minutes lashing the ball
home at the far post following good work from Branch to the delight of
the large away support. However the home side hit back after the break
goals though Leo Berton and Taiwo Atieno and looked to be heading for all
three points before Branch’s late solo strike brought a point.
A delighted Ian Rush said: “I
think two weeks ago if we’d gone 2-1 down we would
have lost the game, but
the lads kept on battling away and they got what they
deserved in the end. Our first half performance at
Rochdale was excellent, and we battled back after going
down and deserved a draw in the end.”
It’s two months since the
Blues last scored two goals in a league game and the
City still in 19th place ahead of the next
at Macclesfield Town
on New Year’s Day. The match at Moss Rose
will kick-off at 15:00hrs.
Both Michael Branch and Andy
Harris picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season
at Rochdale and have received a one match suspension,
they will miss the forthcoming FA
at AFC Bournemouth on 8 January.
DESERVED DRAW FOR BLUES
Ellison’s first-half equaliser brought
City a deserved point against the league leaders Scunthorpe United at
Earlier, Steve Torpey had given the visitors the lead as early as the
third minute. The point leaves the Blues still in 19th place ahead of
Bank Holiday clash against seventh placed Rochdale at Spotland, kick-off
One player who looks sure to miss the game is goalkeeper Wayne
Brown who suffered a back injury
and was replaced by Chris MacKenzie midway through the second half.
A satisfied Ian Rush commented
after the game: “I thought we absolutely outplayed
the best team in the league for 85 minutes. In fairness
we’ve been working on the players mentally because
their fitness isn’t a problem. I felt we deserved
to win it and it was a credit to our players for the
way they played. Scunthorpe were playing the high ball
in the second half, but they knew when to do that. It
was an incredible improvement but things just don’t
CHRISTMAS TRAINING FOR SQUAD
squad will be in for training later today. Manager Ian Rush (left) is
determined that his side will be in the right shape
Sunday’s Boxing Day clash with league leaders Scunthorpe United at
Deva Stadium (kick-off 15:00hrs).
“We have decided to get the
players in for training at 6pm on Christmas Day,
simply because we will know
who has been following the rules and who hasn’t,
We will soon tell who has been over-eating or having
drink too many. It is vital to conduct ourselves
in a professional manner, The lads have had their
party and enjoyed it, but now it is back to business.
Players have to remember that supporters usually
turn out in bigger numbers than usual on Boxing Day
New Years Day, so we must be in a position to give
them value for money.” Rush told The Chronicle.
There are doubts over the fitness
of Michael Branch who has a hamstring
injury but Kevin Ellison returns to the side following suspension.
MACCA FOR MACC
Another experienced player from last season’s
McIntyre, has moved on. He has signed
League Two rivals Macclesfield Town. McIntyre joined City in May 2002 from
Doncaster Rovers and
has played 102+3 games for the Blues, scoring three goals. Good luck to Kevin.
MIDFIELDER SIGNS ON LOAN
City have taken 19-year-old Preston North End midfielder
on loan until the end of the season. Brown, who has yet to make a first
team appearance for the Deepdale outfit, was signed after impressing Ian
in a recent
“I got asked to go down for a trial game at Chester. I had a word with
the manager there Ian Rush, and his assistant and they wanted me to come down
for the rest of the season. Obviously the Christmas period is always busy so
it will be good to get a few games under my belt because I don’t think
there is a reserve
game until maybe next year. I need
get a few game under my belt there and score a few goals and help
up.” Brown told the Preston website.
STRIKER HUNT CONTINUES
The hunt for a striker continues
with Bury player Dave Nugent City’s latest target.
The 19-year-old Bury marksman as already scored 12 goals
this season and is out of contract in the summer. He
is currently in talks with Bury to extend his deal at
Gigg Lane. Ian Rush said: “We are going through
the formal channels to see what Bury’s feelings
are. We will have to wait and see. We have one or two
other irons in the fire and I haven’t ruled
out getting a player in for the weekend.”
City chairman Steve Vaughan is as
anxious as anyone to see a striker brought on board
before the next league match against Scunthorpe United
“I spoke to Ian Rush following
the Southend game, and we will intensify our search for
strikers. It may be that we offer certain players from
our squad plus cash if any deal is to be secured. But
one thing is for sure, we need to move smartly this week.
We want somebody in before Christmas, and we are working
all hours to bolster our squad.” said Vaughan.
21 December 2004
FITTING TRIBUTE TO HARRY
Saints’ Church in Hoole was packed today for the
funeral service of ex-manager Harry McNally. There was
standing room only at the back as hundreds packed into
the church to celebrate the life of one of the clubs greatest
men. Players and officials from the club joined many ex-players
and colleagues of Harry who turned up to pay their respects
as did several managers, past and present, from league
and non-league clubs
• A report
and pictures of the day can be read here.
Former managers Kevin Ratcliffe
and Graham Barrow.
POOR RUN CONTINUES
suffered a 1-0 defeat at
Southend United on Friday
night that leaves them
19th place in League Two and without a League win in
their last seven games.
As expected both Luton Town loan
players, Ian Hillier and David Bayliss, player
their part and both fitted in to the side quite
Belle passed a fitness test to play though defender
was sidelined. To add to City’s woe, striker
Michael Branch limped off after just 15 minutes
with what looked
that is the case he could well be sidelined for
the busy Christmas period.
With Branch and Stamp injured,
City’s lack of fire power is once again exposed
with a busy schedule of four matches in nine
up. The Blues will continue to hunt for a striker this
week. Stephen Vaughan said: “I spoke to
Ian Rush following the Southend game, and we
our search for strikers.
It may be that we offer
certain players from our squad plus cash if any
deal is to be secured. But one thing
is for sure, we
need to move smartly this
The only goal of the
game came two minutes
as substitute Lawrie Dudfield
on a poor clearance from Andy Harris and made no mistake
YOUTH TEAM BEATEN
The youth team also lost 1-0 at the weekend, at home to
league leaders Port Vale on Saturday.
TOUGH TASK FOR CITY
make the long journey to Southend for tonight’s
League Two clash looking for an improvement on recent
form that has seen them
up just three points from the last 18 available. New
loan signings Ian Hillier and David Bayliss are expected
but both Cortez Belle and Richard Hope are both carrying
Hope was injured in last weekend’s fiery game
with Shrewsbury Town, while Belle picked up an injury
week. Darryn Stamp, who came on as a substitute last
Saturday, also picked up a knock playing for the
reserves in the week. It
remains to be seen whether either will feature tonight.
player who won’t play is Kevin Ellison who
is suspended . Southend
are currently sixth in the table, eight points clear
Chester, and have six home league wins under their
belt this season. They are expected to name an
unchanged side from the one that won 1-0 at Bury
HATTERS DUO SIGN ON LOAN
Luton Town defenders, Ian Hillier and David Bayliss,
have joined City a month’s
loan. The pair will be at Deva Stadium until 15th January
2005 and go straight into the squad for the League Two
game at Southend United on Friday.
Bayliss is 28 year old Liverpudlian and began
his career as a trainee at Rochdale.
He went on to make 195+20 appearances for the Spotland
club scoring nine goals. He moved to Luton
2001 and has made 31+10 appearances for the Hatters,
scoring one goal.
Ian Hillier is 24 years old
and began his career at Tottenham Hotspur. He
break into the first team there and moved to Luton
Town in August 2001, initially on loan and then
time. He has so far made 39+28 appearances, scoring
one goal. HIllier has also represented Wales
City manager Ian Rush told the
local press: “Both players are extremely experienced
and they will bring some extra quality to our squad. We’ve
watched them a number of times playing for Luton’s
reserves and they both have a very good attitude.”
Two goals from Shaun
Whalley and another from Kevin Ellison gave City’s
reserves a 3-1 over Rochdale at Deva Stadium this
in a Pontins Holiday League fixture.
The club have announced that tickets for the New
Day game at Macclesfield Town will go on sale today
Season Ticket Holders between 10:00-19:00hrs from
the ticket office with no limit on ticket purchases.
The remainder of tickets will go on general sale
tomorrow, Thursday 16 December, 10:00-16:00hrs only.
Stand: £17.00 (adult) £12.00 (oap, under-16).
Terrace: £13.00 (adult) £8.00 (oap, under-16).
14 December 2004
funeral will take place on Tuesday 21 December at All
Saints Church, Hoole Road, Chester at 13:15hrs, this will
be followed by a Wake in The Frog, Liverpool Road, Upton.
The funeral is expected
to be attended by the current Chester side and many many
former players. Gary Bennett said: “I’m
sure there will be a big turn-out for the funeral. It’s
a bit early to say how many people exactly, but there
will be lots of former players and certainly all the Chester
team. This will be a celebration of Harry’s
life. He would not have wanted us to be sad. That’s
the way he was. He would have liked to see us all together
again, raising a glass to him. We’ll
have one or two bottles of red wine and will fill a glass
up for Harry because he will be with us in spirit. There
will be tons of football stories. That’s
TRIBUTES POUR IN FOR HARRY
The local press have been
carrying tributes to former manager Harry McNally in the
last day or so as former players and friends paid their
“Harry was a fantastic character and he gave me
my opportunity to become a physio when I finished playing.
I’ve a lot to thank him for.”
Joe Hinnigan (Ex-player
“We are very shocked and
saddened by the news. He was a real character. I remember
he used to come over and ask if my wife and I could put
up some of the young lads at the club and we had five
of them here once – players like Milton Graham and
Robbie Painter. Harry got results on a shoe-string budget
and brought players through the ranks who made the grade.
Harry will be remembered as one of the great managers
of Chester City Football Club.”
Barrie Hipkiss (Supporters
“This is a sad loss. I linked
up with Harry in the summer of 1990 when I became secretary.
He was an excellent and knowledgeable manager but the
game also lost a great character yesterday, he had a great
sense of humour. Anyone who knew Harry will have their
share of stories to tell. He was very professional and
would respect you and we had an excellent working relationship.
It was always nice to see him and have a chat with him
when he returned to the club.”
Tony Allen (Football
“Harry was like a father
figure to me. He had a big influence on my life personally
and on my football career. This is a big loss. It was
out the blue but you never knew what was round the corner
with Harry, he was that type of guy. He knew I was there
and I think he would have appreciated that.”
Gary Bennett (Ex-player)
was a one off there’s no doubt about that but because
of the character he was, people often forgot quite what
a football man he was. He could spot a player as well
as anyone out there and I for one will always be grateful
for the chance he gave me. You look at the likes of Tony
Kelly, Kevin Langley, Warren Aspinall, Mike Newell, John
Butler and David Lowe to name just a few of the players
he brought through and it's obvious what a talent he had
for spotting players and getting the best of of them.
“There are certainly a lot of players who’s
careers may not have been half as successful as they were
if it wasn’t for Harry’s influence in their
early days. Everyone has a story about Harry, there are
hundreds of them and the best thing about it is that they
are all true!”
Paul Jewell (Wigan Athletic
manager official club website)
stories of Harry are legendary, everyone who met him had
their own favourite tale. In an interview he did for Match
of the Day magazine in July 1998 Harry described two of
his favoured anecdotes:
I tell you about the Christmas party we had at Chester
one year? We went for a meal and the players wanted
to go on for a drink. Well, after a while I agreed,
just so long as they were discreet... The last thing
I remember before passing out was Keith Bertschin shouting
‘This is how I scored the winner at Anfield!’
before launching himself full-length across the bar.
When I came round I was in hospital as was Keith; both
of us had to have our stomachs pumped.”
“I remember returning from
Darlington once and we had a right good session. The drink
was flowing and someone put on a Glenn Miller tape. Soon
all the lads were up on their feet, dancing around and
playing imaginary instruments like a crazy big band. The
Stoke City coach goes past us, and I know for a fact,
because someone later told me, they looked across at us
and Lou Macari says, ‘Blimey, Chester must have
got a good result today.’ Then someone pipes up
from the back, “No they didn’t boss –
12 December 2004
very sad to have to report the death of a true Chester
legend, former manager Harry McNally, he was 68. Harry
suffered a heart attack on Friday morning and passed away
today in the Countess of Chester hospital. Former players
Graham Barrow, Gary Bennett and John Kelly were at his
never played in the Football League but spent most if
his playing career at Skelmersdale United, before going
on to manage at Altrincham, Southport and Wigan Athletic.
He joined Chester as manager in the
summer of 1985 and, after adding Milton Graham and John
Kelly, amongst others, to the squad performed a minor
miracle in taking the club to promotion from Division
Four in his first season, playing great football and
finishing runners-up to Swindon Town.
Harry will probably
be best remembered though for steering Chester through
the two most difficult years in their history while
in exile at Macclesfield from 1990-92. He always managed
to get the best from his players despite, more often
or not, the odds being stacked against them. Harry’s
achievement in staving off relegation, despite having
to play home games 40 miles away, earned him the Manager
of the Year award from The Sun newspaper in 1992.
lived life to the full, he was a wonderful character,
with a great knowledge of football in the north
west, and was a frequent visitor to Deva Stadium.
will be sadly missed.
Kevin Ellison has been handed a one match ban following
his red card, for two bookable offences, on Saturday.
The ban is immediate and so he will miss the game at Southend
United on Friday night.
YOUTH TEAM WIN
A hat-trick from Gavin Lynch, and an own goal,
helped the Chester youth team to a 4-2 home win over bottom
side Notts County on Saturday morning. City have now moved
into second place of the Youth Alliance North Central
10 December 2004
SIX-POINTER FOR CITY
serving a four match ban following his red card at Northampton,
striker Cortez Belle is available again for selection
for tomorrow’s all-ticket home game with Shrewsbury
Belle is expected
to start for the Blues but one player who won’t
feature tomorrow is Sean Hessey who serves a one match
ban, while Darren Edmondson is doubtful with a groin
injury. Darryn Stamp has returned from his loan spell
at Kidderminster Harriers and will be available. City
have failed to register a win in their last five League
matches and can ill-afford to slip up tomorrow against
a Shrews side also struggling at the wrong end of the
Promoted with City last May, Shrewsbury
currently lie below Chester in 22nd place with 18 points,
five fewer than City and recently appointed Gary Peters
as their new manager following the resignation of Jimmy
Quinn. They have won only
once on their travels, at Kidderminster Harriers, and
this week have signed Tranmere winger Neil Ashton on loan
for the rest of the season. He is expected to feature
in tomorrow’s encounter.
The ticket office is open today between 10:00-16:00hrs
for ticket sales, there is no restriction on numbers that
may be purchased. Please note the club say there will
be NO tickets sold tomorrow on the day of the match. Season
Ticket holders need not apply for a ticket but just show
their pass on the turnstiles as usual.
Shrewsbury have so far
sold 1,150 of their 1,700 allocation.
9 December 2004
City’s reserves suffered
a 1-0 home defeat to Blackpool yesterday in a Pontins
Holiday League match at Deva Stadium to slip to second
bottom of the league.
CITY BEATEN AT ROVERS
remain in 19th place in League Two after last night’s
4-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers. City never really recovered
after going a goal down in the third minute, Craig Disley
taking advantage as Wayne Brown failed to hold onto a
Jamie Forrester shot, Disley knocking in a close-range
City came back into
the game gradually as the half wore on and equalised
on 27 minutes through Kevin Ellison who fired home through
a crowd of players after some neat build up play. However
Brown conceded a penalty on the stroke of half-time
as he was adjudged, by the linesman, to have brought
down Forrester on the edge of the box.
Richard Hope, having a good game
at the time in the centre of the defence, was substituted
midway through the second period, and within five minutes
two more sloppy goals were conceded to condemn City to
their third defeat in four matches.
YOUNGSTER ON TRIAL
City currently have 20-year-old
former Everton midfielder Brian Moogan on trial, he was
a regular member of the Toffees’ reserve-team squad
last season but released from the Goodison Park club in
TRIO BACK FOR CITY
Manager Ian Rush welcomes
back Phil Bolland, Stewart Drummond and Ben Davies from
suspension as the Blues travel to play Bristol Rovers
at the Memorial Stadium tonight (kick-off 19:45hrs). Darren
Edmondson is suffering from a groin strain and is doubtful.
Rovers, who are managed by ex-City boss Ian Atkins, lie
in 15th place, just two points above City and have lost
just once at home in the League so far this season.
Chester’s derby match
at Macclesfield Town on New Year’s Day has been
made all-ticket on police advice. More details will be
Sean Hessey picked up his
fifth yellow card at Halifax Town and will serve a one
match ban this Saturday, missing the home match against
SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE RESULTS
The results from Sunday’s
centre of excellence games were:
under 9s – Caernarfon Academy (H) won 13 -1
under 10s – Rochdale (A) drew 2-2
under 11s – Caernarfon (H) won 7-1
under 12s – Caernarfon (H) drew 3-3
under 13s – Caernarfon (H) lost 1-3
under 14s – Rochdale (A) won 4-1
under 16s – Rochdale (A) won 5-2
5 December 2004
FA CUP THIRD ROUND DRAW
City have been drawn to
play AFC Bournemouth away in the third round of the FA
Cup. The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday
8 January 2005 at the Fitness First Stadium (Dean Court).
The Cherries currently lie fifth in League One and beat
Carlisle United 2-1 in the second round on Saturday after
overcoming Forest Green Rovers, following a replay, in
4 December 2004
CITY THROUGH TO ROUND THREE
goals either side of the break from Michael Branch helped
City to a 3-1 away victory over Conference high-flyers
Halifax Town in the second round of the FA Cup.
There were debut’s, from the
bench, for both Gavin Lynch and loan player Eddie Anaclet.
City will now pick up £24,000 prize money, as
well as 45% of the gate receipts, following the win.
The last time City reached this stage
of the competition was in 2000/01, our first Conference
season, when victory’s over Easington Colliery,
Plymouth Argyle and Oxford United set up a tie at Premiership
Blackburn Rovers that City eventually lost 2-0.
The draw for the third round, made
by Gary Pallister and Tony Cascarino, will take place
live on BBC TV tomorrow after the televised Hinckley United
v Brentford match at 16:00hrs. Chester will be ball number
3 December 2004
LOAN PLAYER CAPTURED
have completed the signing of 20-year-old Southampton
reserve midfielder Eddie Anaclet on loan, and in time
for tomorrow’s second round FA Cup match at Halifax
Town. Anaclet was born in Tanzania and came through the
youth ranks at Oxford United. Although a midfielder he
can also play on the wing.
The Blues have a chronic striker shortage at present with
Darryn Stamp out on loan, Michael Branch recovering from
injury, and Cortez Belle suspended – leaving just
Kevin Rapley up front for the last two matches.
It will be a tough test for
City tomorrow who could be backed with around 1,000
fans at The Shay. Halifax
have already disposed League Two side Cambridge United
in the first round and currently lie third in the Conference,
they also have two ex-City players in their ranks with
Ryan Sugden and Matt Doughty. The second round prize
money up for grabs is £24,000.
For those who want to listen to
internet commentary of tomorrow’s game they can
do this through this FA website link.
v Halifax Top 10 matches | Classic
1969 FA Cup encounter
2 December 2004
CITY TO BID FOR JEVONS
Steve Vaughan has said that the club will table a substantial
bid for Yeovil Town striker Phil Jevons. The offer may
also include a player as part of the exchange. “Phil
is the sort of quality player who would improve our squad.
I will be contacting Yeovil and making a substantial offer
for the lad. He has played
with Michael Branch during their time together at Everton,
and we hope to have him on board quickly.” said
His counterpart at Yeovil Town Gary Johnson didn’t
seem to keen at the idea of a move though: “Jevo
is going nowhere – if he does move away from Yeovil
I’d expect him to move up a couple of divisions.
The club know nothing about Chester’s interest in
the player and until I speak to their manager it’s
all speculation. We’ll just have to wait and see
if Chester do make contact with us. Jevo is not unsettled
here and he’s done well for the club so far this
season. Unless a club like West Ham, who are signing Gavin
Williams today, come in for him, then I’m not expecting
Jevo to go anywhere.”
DUO TO LOSE WELSH POSITIONS
||Both Ian Rush
and Mark Aizlewood are set to lose their Welsh under
17 coaching roles. New Welsh manager John Toshack
has streamlined down the national coaching staff
from 13 to 6 with Brian Flynn taking over the under
17 role. Full story here.
1 December 2004
BLUES MUST PICK THEMSELVES UP
a spirited second half performance, City were knocked
out of the LDV Vans Trophy 1-0 by rivals Wrexham at Deva
Stadium last night. A solitary first-half goal from Juan
Ugarte was enough to seperate the sides in a pulsating
After a disappointing first-half display from City manager
Ian Rush introduced Robbie Booth at half-time and the
change up front was dramatic. He set up three chances
in the opening five minutes after the break and was instrumental
in a rejouvinated City almost levelling on at least three
occasions. Kevin Ellison hit the bar and Booth himself
saw a close range effort cleared off the line and Phil
Bolland will still be wondering now how he managed to
steer a last-minute free header wide!
Harris said after the game: “If you look at the
possession during the second half I think we deserved
something out of the game. They had one chance in the
first half and another deflection has done us –
we conceded a deflected goal on Saturday and another
deflection has done us, and unfortunately we’ve
lost the game as a result. We had chances in the second
half but we just couldn’t convert them. The manager
and Mark Aizlewood decided we needed to do more attacking
in the second half, so we threw Elly (Kevin Ellison)
and Boothy (Robbie Booth) on up front, and I thought
Boothy looked excellent when he came on. He delivered
some great quality from wide and we started knocking
the ball around in their half, but we just couldn’t
capitalise on our pressure.”
City must now pick themselves up
quickly as they have another tough match on Saturday when
they visit Halifax Town in the second round of the FA
Cup. The squad resources will be stretched to the limit
at the Shay as Cortez Belle, Phil Bolland, Stewart Drummond
and Ben Davies are all suspended for the match. It remains
to be seen whether a striker can be brought in on loan
in time and whether Michael Branch will have recovered
from injury to take his place in the squad.
RESERVES WELL BEATEN
A youthful looking reserve
side lost 5-1 at Shrewsbury Town today in a Pontins Holiday
League game. Ian Lathom scored City’s consolation
goal direct from a corner.
Chester City: Ryan Brookfield, Danny Ventre,
Karl Carney, Mike Walsh, Matty Cooke, James Scales, Sean
Whalley, Adam Wade, Gavin Lynch, Kieran Dean, Ian Latham.
Subs: Ken Rollinson, James Salkeld, Mark Cadwallader,
Tickets for the home match
against Shrewsbury Town on 11 December will be available
from the club office between 10:00-16:00hrs next Monday–Friday.
Normal matchday prices apply. Note that current season
ticket holders do NOT need to purchase a ticket for this