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30 December 2006

The Blues were once again beaten 3-0 at home this time at the hands of Milton Keynes Dons who avenged their home defeat by City last September. All the goals came in the second half after a promising opening perioid where City enjoyed the majority of possession but couldn’t make the telling breakthrough. The Dons opened the scoring on the hour through Clive Platt who was first to react and turn the ball home after John Danby had saved a Izale McLeod penalty low down. McLeod added the second five minutes later and Jon-Paul McGovern added a third from a free-kick. City had Paul Linwood sent off in the dying minutes for a second yellow card.

League Two table
29 December 2006

City could welcome back Dean Bennett (left) to the squad for tomorrow’s home game against Milton Keynes Dons following injury. There will be no place for Laurence Wilson however as he serves a one match ban. The Dons, currently lie in second place, are currently on a five match winning streak. Manager Martin Allen will be keen to avenge the defeat to City back in September when goals from Ashley Westwood and Jon Walters gave Chester a shock win. The Dons have no injury worries and are expected to name an unchanged side from the one that won 2-0 at Torquay United on Boxing Day.

The club tomorrow offer another of their kids for a quid schemes whereby one adult or a concession pays to enter the West Stand, one child up to and including the 12 will be admitted free of charge. Tickets MUST be purchased before the game from the main ticket office.
Meanwhile the club have announced that player Stephen Vaughan could be leaving in the New Year. Three League Two sides have shown an interest in the midfielder and he’s expected to move initially on a load period with a view to a permanent move. Meanwhile James Vaughan has joined Nationwide Conference North club Droylsden on a one month loan.

Picture © Evening Leader
28 December 2006

The Football Association today rejected Bury’s appeal against their expulsion from this year’s FA Cup competition. City will now face Ipswich Town in round three on Saturday 6 January at 15:00hrs. The game will not be all-ticket.

27 December 2006

After a run of three successive League wins City turned out one of their worst displays of the season on a day the fans turned out to remember a former Chester legend. Chairman Steve Vaughan officially opened the Harry McNally Terrace at half-time in this Cheshire derby, by then the Blues were a goal down and had seen Laurence Wilson sent-off following two yellow cards, the second for a reckless challenge. He now misses Saturday’s visit from second placed Milton Keynes Dons.

City simply didn’t compete anywhere on the pitch against a side having a resurgence in form since the arrival of manager Paul Ince with this win finally lifting them from the foot of the table. After the break two ex-Chester players, Kevin McIntyre and John Murphy, scored with ease – the third goal signaling a rush for the exit gates with over ten minutes remaining.

Wright blamed poor defending for the defeat: “I thought Macclesfield deserved to win, they took their chances well. However, I am boiling and angry because after good wins against Boston, Lincoln City and Peterborough, we didn’t perform to our usual levels in this game. I was disappointed, particularly with the first two goals we conceded, the defending was poor and our awareness of the situations was also poor. They are on a good run at the moment, but we still should have dealt better with certain aspects of the game.”

Wright went on to say: “Too many people expect too much of the team when it’s still early days. I think it’s time for a reality check – not only for ourselves and the players, but for the supporters as well. Maybe at times we’re not as good as people think we are. Yes, we’ve beaten Hartlepool, Boston, Lincoln, and Peterborough, but everyone gets carried away with what is happening at the time. So it is time for a a check. I think people have got to be more patient.”

Chairman Steve Vaughan receives the memorial plaque from Supporters Trust member Roger Glanville.
Pictures © Evening Leader
23 December 2006

The football club pay tribute to one of their legends when the North Terrace will be officially renamed The Harry McNally Terrace on Boxing Day by club chairman Steve Vaughan. McNally, who died just over two years ago, brought the Blues promotion from the Fourth Division in 1985/86 and then to eighth place on Division Three in 1988/89.

Harry will probably be best remembered though for carrying City though their two years in exile at Macclesfield Town between 1990-92 in the third division playing against teams such as Stoke City, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion. It is quite fitting that the Silkmen then provide the opposition on Tuesday afternoon.

Steve Vaughan will cut a blue ribbon in front of the terrace during the half-time interval and ex-players including Stuart Rimmer, Gary Bennett and John Kelly are expected to be present. The Supporters Trust will also present Steve Vaughan with an etched brass plaque to commemorate the occasion.

The youth team will play their FA Youth Cup fourth round tie at Bristol City on Tuesday 16 January, the kick-off time is to be confirmed but will probably be 19:00hrs. This is the also same night as the scheduled reserves Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final at Cammel Laird.

22 December 2006

Following an inspection this morning by local referee Russell Booth tonight’s League Two match against Mansfield Town has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. There is no new date as yet for the fixture.

20 December 2006
Pending an appeal, Chester City have been reinstated into the FA Cup after second round opponents Bury were removed from the competition today. Bury were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player Stephen Turnbull, who is a loan signing from Hartlepool United and played for 80 minutes in last week’s replay that the Shakers won 3-1 without the necessary registration paperwork in place.

An FA statement said: “Bury selected Turnbull without receiving the required permission from Hartlepool United and lodging that permission with The FA. Bury also failed to comply with the required timescales for registration of players for the FA Cup.”
Chester have also been awarded the £24,000 second round prize money and will now host Championship side Ipswich Town in the third round at Deva Stadium on Saturday 6 January.

Bury intend to appeal against the Football Association’s decision and the hearing will take place on 28 December.
A delighted City chairman Steve Vaughan said: “We now will prepare for our match against Ipswich Town and go into the game in a positive frame of mind. We have enjoyed a bit of luck for which I am overjoyed, and I feel that it is the first bit of good fortune Chester City have enjoyed for many a long day.”

The rules deemed to have been broken are:

(j) Temporary (loan) Transfers
(i) A player on a temporary (loan) transfer is ineligible to compete in the Challenge Cup Competition unless permission to do so is given by the lending Club in writing and a copy is received by The Association by 12 noon on the Friday prior to the date fixed for playing the Round. Any permissions must clearly state that the player has approval to play in the Challenge Cup Competition.

18 December 2006
Chester City moved to tenth in League Two following Saturday’s 2-0 at Peterborough United. It was a happy return for manager Mark Wright, sacked by the London Road side in January, as two first half goals from Jon Walters and a Mark Arber own goal were enough to give City their third league away win of the season.

Wright told the Evening Leader: “This is not about Mark Wright – it is about a good performance and three deserved points for my team. The players produced a first-class display and defended in a great manner to keep a clean sheet. We came here to get the win and that is exactly what we did. That is all I care about.

I was at Peterborough and had a lot of happy times. Last season I would have got promotion. I was so confident we’d get promotion with the side we had put together and with the way the players were playing. But then all of a sudden for Barry Fry to do all the things he did and said upset me. But it hasn’t finished yet because I’m speaking to my solicitors today and we’ve got a meeting because I’m refusing to let go what Peterborough accused me of.

I’m going to give the players today off as a thank you for giving me a performance at Peterborough on a day which meant a lot to me.”

Picture © Evening Leader
16 December 2006

The Football Association are to hold an enquiry following reports that Bury may have fielded an ineligible player in last week’s second round replay at Deva Stadium. The player in question, Stephen Turnbill, is on loan from Hartlepool United and played for the first 80 minutes of the match.

The FA are to investigate whether the correct registration procedure was followed with the player. Bury have until Wednesday to present their case to a Challenge Cup sub committee and will make no official announcement on the situation until then.

If the Shakers are found guilty of a breach of rules there are several penalties available including fining Bury, ordering a replay, remove Bury from the competition or do nothing.

Chester secretary Tony Allen said: “Whilst everyone sympathises with Bury, the FA rules and regulations are there to be adhered to. We now just hope that the FA do the right thing.” Manager Mark Wright also had sympathy for Bury as he told the Evening leader: “The rules state quite clearly that if a club fields an ineligible player and they have not had permission then the club is out of the competition. There is no points deduction, you just can’t play an ineligible player, and you’ve got to feel sorry for Bury. You never know, it might be a reprieve for us, because at the end of the day rules are rules. I know damn well that if it had been us in the wrong then we would have been out by now. But at the same time it’s very unfortunate for Bury.”

15 December 2006

Chester travel to sixth placed Peterborough United tomorrow looking to forget Tuesday’s disappointing FA Cup exit and carry on the league form that saw them comprehensively beat both Lincon City and Boston United last week. It will be a return to their former club for manager Mark Wright, who was controversially sacked back in January, along with former Posh players Phil Bolland, Jamie Hand and Ryan Semple who will all be looking to put one over their former employers.

Speaking of Wright’s return, assistant manager Graham Barrow said: “As far as the gaffer is concerned it’s always a big occasion when you go back to a former club. I’ve experienced it this season against Bury. But you have to admit that the gaffer left Peterborough in a good position even if he did leave them in unfortunate circumstances. Peterborough have been splashing quite a bit of money around this season and it looks like that will continue. They look like they are moving in the right direction.”

The Posh have lost just once in a ten match run that has seen them beat Swansea City and Tranmere Rovers un cup competitions. Tomorrow they have striker Aaron McLean out through suspension but welcome back both winger Adam Newton and defender Guy Branston from suspension.

For the Blues there is a slight doubt over Sean Hessey who has missed training through illness but have no other injury scares.

13 December 2006

Congratulations to Jim Hackett and his Youth Team who knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the FA Youth Cup 1-0 in a third round tie at Deva Stadium tonight to reach the last 32 in the competition. Paul McManus got the all important goal on 23 minutes heading home Sean Newton’s left wing cross from eight yards out in front of a crowd of 411.

Youth team coach Jim Hackett said: “The lads were tremendous, and thoroughly deserved the win. This has been a memorable night for Chester City Football Club.”

The young Blues will play Bristol City away in round 4 on a date to be decided, though it must be before 20 January. The Robins also beat Premiership opposition tonight in the form of Fulham 3-2.

Chester City: Vernon, Rule (Rowlands 65), Newton, Roberts, Kelly, Owen, Mitchell, Carroll, Thorpe (Feliciello 53), Gregory, McManus (Morrin 79). Subs not used: Robson, Brownrigg.

Fourth round draw

Pictures © Evening Leader
After a belting performance against Lincoln City is was back town to earth for the Blues who crashed out of the FA Cup after a disappoining home performance against Bury that saw The Shakers first victory over Chester in 14 attempts. Not only did City miss out on a home third round tie against Champtionship side Ipswich Town, they also failed to pick up the second round prize money of £24,000.

It all started so well for the Blues who took a third minute lead through a great goal by Laurence Wilson whose mazy run left several Bury defenders in his wake before slotting the ball past Alan Fettis and in off the far post. City were well on top in the opening stages but Gregg Blundenn and Jon Walters both failed to convert chances into goals and were made to pay as Andy Bishop headed home the equaliser unmarked to send the sides in at the break level. Ten minutes after the interval it was game over as Glynn Hurst's towered above the City defence at the back post to head the Shakers in front and Dwayne Mattis shot through a crowded penalty area to seal the victory.

Assistant manager Graham Barrow was left to reflect on the defeat by his former club. “The defeat is disappointing because if you look at the tie against Bury as a whole you�ll find we were in the driving seat twice. We had a great start thanks to a Laurence Wilson goal in the third minute, but we then missed chances to have put the game to bed in the first 20 minutes. The disappointment of conceding an equaliser before the break seemed to hang over us into the second half despite having had 15 minutes to clear our heads, and that is a major disappointment. I think we�ve just got to look at ourselves. I feel we basically threw the tie away just after half-time.”

11 December 2006

Manager Mark Wright was delighted after seeing his City side despatch Lincoln City at the weekend and in doing so record their biggest victory of the season 4-1.

Roberto Martinez had given the Blues a first half lead before Jon Walters doubled that advantage soon after the break. The Imps pulled a goal back but further headers from Gregg Blundell and Laurence Wilson (or was that his shoulder!) sealed the three points to lift City to 14th in League Two.

League Two table

A delighted Wright said: “This is a big step forward for us. We did a lot of good things, got bodies in the box and put them under pressure. Earlier in the season we were creating chances but not putting them away. Now we are scoring goals and it is an exciting time for Chester City.

Gregg Blundell and Jon Walters worked their socks off up front and I think it helps our strikers that we have a good bench which puts pressure on them to score goals. I am very pleased to get a result against one of the top teams in the league. It is a major scalp for us.”

City will be looking to carry their current league form into Tuesday night’s FA Cup second round replay against Bury at Deva Stadium. The winners of the tie will pick up £24,000 in prize money and entertain Championship side Ipswich Town in round three in early January.

Picture © Evening Leader – Laurence Wilson wraps up the points.

Shrewsbury Town FC and Chester City FC have both admitted charges of failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and have requested personal hearings. The charges relate to two separate incidents during and following the match on Saturday 25 November.

Tha FA charge for both club’s is:
Charge: Two breaches of FA Rule E 20(a) – (1) In or around the 58th minute, failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderlty fashion and refraining from provocative behaviour (2) After the final whistle, failing to ensure that their players and/or officials and/or employees conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from threatening and/or provocative behaviour.

8 December 2006

High-flying Lincoln City arrive at Deva Stadium tomorrow. The Imps lie second in League Two, nine points behind runaway leaders Walsall, and already boast an impressive seven wins on their travels from Sincil Bank. City will be without the suspended Ashley Westwood and on-loan winger Ryan Semple who is not allowed to play against his actual club as part of his loan deal. Lee Steele is available after serving a one match ban though it remains to be seen whether Mark Wright will stick with the front-two paining of Gregg Blundell and Jon Walters who were both on the scoresheet in the midweek win over Boston United.
The FA website has announced that Chester City Chairman Stephen Vaughn has been charged with violent conduct in relation to a tunnel incident following the match at Shrewsbury Town on 25 November.

He has until 21 December to respond.

Meanwhile the two clubs were also charged with failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion in relation to two mass brawls during and following the same game. They have until 13 December to respond.
6 December 2006

The football club have announced they they are to rename the North Terrace the Harry McNally Terrace in tribute to the great ex-City manager who died almost two years ago.

The renaming will take place at the home Boxing Day match against Macclesfield Town. It’s also been announced that the Chester City Supporters Trust have indicated that they will be provide a commemorative plaque in a prominent position in the terrace dedicated to Harry on behalf all Chester City supporters. The marking of a former City legend is a great gesture by the club that will prove popular with all fans.

For many people Harry will be remembered for his tremendous feat of keeping Chester in Division Three in the Macclesfield years but it should not be forgotten that he also took the club to promotion in 1985/86 and 8th in Division Three (now League One) in 1988/89.

Obituary: Harry McNally

Gregg Blundell’s rich vein of goalscoring form continued last night with two more goals as City saw off Boston United 3-1 at Deva Stadium. Blundell took his tally to six from his last seven appearances with a spectacular second half strike followed by a penalty, strike partner Jon Walters added a third before the Pilgrims grabbed a consolation goal two minutes from time.

Manager Mark Wright was please with City’s second half showing. He said: “The first half was a battle where both teams were fighting against the elements. However, in the second half we settled and thoroughly deserved our win.

Gregg Blundell scored an outstanding goal to open the scoring, and his partnership with Jon Walters looked extremely good, and it was pleasing that Jon grabbed a goal towards the end.”

The win lifted City one place in League Two and are the Blues are home again on Saturday when second placed Lincoln City come to Deva Stadium. The Imps boast an impressive away record with seven wins from ten matches so far on their travels.

League Two table

Picture © Evening Leader

5 December 2006

Gregg Blundell will be available again for tonight’s home game against struggling Boston United after serving a one match ban. After a barren spell in front of goal Blundell has notched four goals in his last six appearances and will be keen to keep the run going as City look for three more points to move them nearer mid-table.

The Pilgrims currently lie next to bottom of League two with just one league win away from York Street this season, their last outing at the one club below them Macclesfield Town 3-2. They also suffered an off-filed blow this week when they had a planning application for a new ground thrown out by Boston Borough Council which leaves the club’s future hanging in the balance.

Picture © Evening Leader

3 December 2006

Following today’s draw, should City beat Bury in their second round replay they will play Championship side Ipswich Town at Deva Stadium on the weekend of 6/7 January 2007. The club are due to play Grimsby Town in a League Two match that weekend.

Lee Steele’s red card on Saturday has earned him an immediate automatic one match ban which will see him miss the visit of Boston United on Tuesday night. Meanwhile Ashley Westwood will miss Saturday’s visit from Lincoln City after picking up his fifth yellow card at Bury.
2 December 2006
Chester and Bury both go into the hat for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round draw after the sides fought out a 2-2 draw at Gigg Lane this afternoon.

All four goals came in a pulsating ten minute second half spell. City took the lead on 63 minutes through Lee Steele after on the-loan striker had come on at the break. Andy Bishop leveled within three minutes and then Richie Baker gave the home side the lead four minutes later.

The Blues bounced back however and Steele score again on 73 minutes only to receive a second yellow card for his goal celebration after jumping the perimeter wall to join the City fans. The ten men of Chester hung on for the last 17 minutes, plus a whopping seven minutes added time to force a replay back at Deva Stadium on Tuesday 12 December at 19:45hrs.

Manager Mark Wright blasted referee Woolmer over his decision to send-off Steele. He said: He said: “The sending-off was poor. It was unacceptable. I will probably get into trouble for saying it, but referees like that ought to be assessed. Managers get lambasted and fined so why shouldn’t referees?."

Wright went to on say: “There is still a lot to do when they come to our place, but I thought the way we adapted after Lee had been sent off was a credit to the players. We even had a couple of chances when we were down to 10 men. I thought Lee Steele took his goals exceptionally well. He was outstanding when he came on and showed what an excellent goal poacher he is.”

The draw for the third round will take place live on BBC TV tomorrow at approximately 15:10 after the televised tie between Salisbury City and Nottingham Forest. The Bury/Chester ball is number 52.

Picture © Evening Leader
1 December 2006

City make their second trip of the season to Bury tomorrow as they take on the Shakers in the second round of the FA Cup. A repeat of the 3-1 league victory back in August will do nicely and set the Blues up for a possible money-spinning third round tie.

The two sides last met in the Cup at Gigg Lane in Chester’s promotion season of 1985/86 when the home side ran out 2-0 winners. City will be without the services of Gregg Blundell tomorrow as he serves a one match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in last weekend's feisty encounter at Shrewsbury. Bury are expected to have on-loan Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Andy Warrington in the side after another on-loan keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, returned to Manchester City.

Bury reached the second round stage after coming from behind twice to beat Nationwide Conference side Weymouth 4-3 at home in a first round replay. The two sides had earlier drawn 2-2 in a live televised tie.

Ahead of the tie manager Mark Wright told the Evening Leader: “Tomorrows cup tie is a big dangling carrot to sides like Bury and Chester and Im excited about winning through to a third round tie against a big club. None of my players should need any motivation for the match at Bury – if you cant get excited about an FA Cup tie you shouldnt be involved in football. Its now up to me to pick the right side for Saturdays game because its really important to us. You never know whats around the corner, but it would be great to give our chairman something back after all he has done for the club, so well be doing all we can to win. We went to Bury earlier in the season and did very well, but that counts for absolutely nothing now because they have brought in new acquisitions.”

If youre looking for a good omen, the referee for tomorrow’s match is Mr K.A.Woolmer who took charge of Citys last league win in October over Hartlepool United. The winners of the second round tie will pocket £24,000.

The last time we met in August.





















































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