Tuesday 28 December 1999
Chester City 1 Leyton
Chester City: Brown,
Moss, Spooner, Fisher, Woods, Doughty, Richardson (Reid
28), Nash, Eve, Beckett, Laird (Wright 28). Subs not
used: Conkie, Berry, Lancaster.
Leyton Orient: Barrett, Joseph, Clark, Smith,
Donner, Ampadu, Walshaerts, Brkovic, Lockwood, Griffiths (Christie
65), Watts (Rowbotham 77). Subs not used: Bayes, Beall, Martin.
Referee: T.Leake (Darwen).
Where do you start!
Quite possibly City's worst performance
ever at the Deva. Chester were totally outplayed by
the one team below them in the Football League. They
simply failed to compete in key areas on the pitch.
Orient striker Carl Griffiths did the damage with a
hat-trick which included two penalties.
It took just seven minutes for the
O's to take the lead. Matthew Lockwood cut through
on the left and squared the ball for Steve Watts who
had the simplest of task to side foot the ball home
inside the right hand post.
A double substitution mid way through
the half, Reid and Wright coming on for Richardson
and Laird was a sign from the bench that things weren't
right. Reid was soon in the action, volleying wide,
moments earlier Angus Eve failed to meet a Martin Nash
However it was Orient who created
the better chances for the remainder of the half. Clark
hit the post following a corner and Griffiths should
have done better than lob wide when put clean through
The lead was doubled on 37 minutes
when Darren Moss brought down Watts in the box and
Griffiths sent Brown the wrong way from the spot kick.
Following the break a second penalty
effectively killed-off the game. Again Moss was the
culprit as he brought down Ampadu, Griffiths once again
sent Brown the wrong way. 0-3.
The fourth goal soon followed as
Griffiths had the simple task of side-footing home
after Berkovic had beaten the offside trap (and Brown's
awful knee high challenge) to set up the chance.
Darren Wright pulled a goal back
on 66 minutes side-footing home from six yards after
his close range header had been saved by 'keeper Barrett.
Four minutes later Christie headed
home a Lockwood corner to complete the rout.
The result was the final straw
for owner Terry Smith who announced immediately after
the game that he would be appointing a manager within
the next few days.
Sunday 26 December 1999
Mansfield Town 2 Chester
Mansfield Town: Bowling, Williams,
Tallon (Roscoe 73), Richardson, Andrews (Asher 89), Bromby, Sisson,
Blake, Clarke, Lormor, Greenacre (Boulding 59), Subs not used:
Chester City: Brown, Moss, Cross (Doughty
48), Spooner (Laird 64), Fisher, Woods, Richardson, Nash
(Wright 81), Milosavijevic, Eve, Beckett. Subs not used:
Referee: S.Tomlin (Lewes).
Two change for Chester from the side that beat
Halifax Town with Matt Woods replacing Doughty (who�d had flu over
Christmas) and Jon Cross replacing Kamu Laird.
Despite a first-ever league goal from Matt Doughty,
and what a goal it was, City slumped to a disappointing Boxing
Day defeat at Field Mill.
City fell behind through an own goal through
Nick Richardson on 11 minutes, the skipper heading, unchallenged,
into his own net past a helpless Wayne Brown following a Stags'
corner and a Lee Bromby follow-on header.
Despite this Chester created the better chances
in the first period. The best effort fell to Matt Woods who headed
just over after being given a free header following a near post
corner from Martin Nash.
Nash himself then had a golden opportunity to
bring City level but his goal-bound header was superbly saved by
Bowling at the foot of the left-hand post. Richardson was then
denied by a timely tackle from Michael Sisson after being set up
by Angus Eve.
Following the break Richardson again had an opportunity
to make up for his earlier error but blazed his shot over the bar
from 20 yards. The equaliser came on 68 minutes with a stunning
25-yard volley from Matt Doughty whose exuberant celebrations earned
him a booking!
However City�s concentration lasted four minutes
as the home side restored their advantage as Boulding headed home
(off the bar) at the far post from Darrell Clarke�s right wing cross.
Saturday 18 December 1999
Chester City 2 Halifax Town 1
Chester City: Brown, Moss, Doughty,
Eve, Spooner, Milosavijevic (Woods 60), Nash, Richardson, Beckett,
Laird (Wright 45), Fisher. Subs not used: Conkie, Cross, Lancaster.
Halifax Town: L.Butler, Wilder, Jules,
Mitchell, Stoneman (Stansfield 70), Potter, Cullen, P.Butler,
Reilly, Caughan (Painter 69), Clarke (Bradshaw 45). Subs
not used Parks, Lucas.
Referee: P.Joslin (Newark).
Two goals by debutants Angus Eve and fellow
Trinidad & Tobago player Kamu Laird secured City's second home
win of the season and lifted them off the bottom of the table for
City's first goal on 26 minutes came as Town
keeper Butler couldn't hold an Angus Eve shot which appeared to
be heading for goal, Laird was on hand though to bundle the ball
home from a couple of yards out. Four minutes later it was 2-0
as Eve shot home from the edge of the box.
Woods replaced Milosavijevic, who appeared
to be still struggling with his hamstring injury, and the defender
was involved in a mix-up which led to Halifax pulling a goal back
through Lee Potter with 12 minutes remaining. A superb save by Wayne
Brown and a fine last-ditch takle by Darren Moss preserved City's
lead and the three vital points.
Wednesday 16 December 1999
Darlington 3 Chester City 1
Darlington: Samways, Liddle,
Heckingbottom, Aspin, Brumwell (Hjorth 71), Atkinson, Gray,
Oliver, Heaney, Gabbiadini, Duffield. Subs not used: Nogan,
Leah, Reed, Finch.
Chester City: Brown, Moss, Doughty, Reid,
Milosavijevic, (Lancaster 51), Woods, Nash (Jones 87),
Richardson (Wright 73), Cross, Beckett, Fisher. Subs not
used: Conkie, Berry.
Referee: A.Kaye (Wakefield).
Goran Milosavijevic returned to the Chester
side following a hamstring injury.
Striker Luke Beckett missed two great chances
to open the scoring following good work from Jon Cross and
NIck Richardson headed wide from 10 yards as City spurned
a golden opportunity to take the lead at Feethams.
The Blues were punished for these misses
as Quakers striker Peter Duffield scored twice from close
range in five minutes. The first goal came when full back
Darren Moss was beaten to a cross by Oliver's header; Wayne
Brown saved superbly only to see his block rebound off the
post into the path of Duffield to score the rebound.
Striker Marco Gabbiadini set up the second
goal minutes later. He outbattled Woods to the ball, cut
inside and unleashed a fierce shot. Once again Brown saved
well but the ball fell loose and Duffield was first on hand
to poach the second.
After the break Duffield missed a hatful
of chances to increase the lead and Gabbiadini also hit the
City bar before the Blues pulled a goal back in bizarre fashion.
Darren Wright's cross took a deflection into the Darlo box
and following a melee was gathered by home keeper Samways,
however the linesman flagged and a goal was given with the
referee claiming that the ball had crossed the line. Samways
appeared to be standing behind the goal line when he gathered
the ball. Gabbiadini earned himself a booking in the resulting
City however never looked like getting
an equaliser and it came as no surprise when Jesper Hijorth
added a third in the dying minutes from 12 yards.
Sunday 12 December 1999 - FA Cup
Chester City 1 Manchester City 4
Chester City: Brown, Moss,
Doughty, Reid, Spooner, Woods, Nash (Berry 87), Richardson,
Wright (Cross 80), Beckett, Fisher. Subs not used: Conkie,
Manchester City: Weaver, Edghill, Wievens,
Horlock, Bishop, Goater, Pollock, Peacock, Jobson, Kennedy,
Granville (Whitley 45) Subs not used: Cooke, Allsopp, Tiatto,
Wright Booked: Horlock.
Referee: T.Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe).
the travesty of a scoreline, this was a game that Chester
could really have got something from. Their performance belied
their status as the League's bottom club and a draw would
have been the least they deserved. It was their wasteful
finishing that once again let them down though some poor
defending once again gifted goals to the opposition.
Chester's midfield battled well with Shaun
Reid making his presence felt with some crunching tackles,
earning him a booking for his troubles later in the game.
Doughty and Nash were linking up well down the left and it
was the home side that had the better of the opening period.
An awful mix-up between Matt Woods and
Wayne Brown (not the first) gifted the opening goal to the
visitors. Horlock's cross was left by the City pair and Shaun
Goater stepped in to score from close range. Chester responded
superbly though and were level nine minutes later through
captain Nick Richardson. Darren Wright fed Richardson from
the left and he lashed the ball home from 12 yards off the
underside of the bar.
Wright and Nash almost set up Beckett,
and the striker went close with a 20-yarder just before the
The Blues had a glorious chance to take
the lead just after the interval as Richardson burst through
following a one-two with Beckett but the skipper curled his
shot over the bar.
The visitors also had chances with the
lively Bishop at the heart of most of the moves. Brown did
well to save at the feet of Goater and was also called into
action to save Whitley's shot.
At the other end Wright spurned another
chance to grab the lead as did Beckett who was clean through
on goal before shooting straight at Weaver.
Bishop then restored the visitors' lead
on 79 minutes heading powerfully home Richard Edghill's cross.
City battled well but two late goals, a glancing Goater header
and a Matt Doughty own goal sealed victory and City must ensure
that they take heart from this performance into their forthcoming
vital league games.
Saturday 4 December 1999
Barnet 2 Chester City 0
Barnet: Harrison, Heald,
Hackett, Arber, Doolan, Davidson, Brown, Sawyers (Toms 89),
Currie, Charlerey (McGleish 77), King. Subs not used: Searle,
Chester City: Brown, Doughty, Reid, Woods,
Richardson, Fisher, Wright, Spooner, Nash, Beckett, Finney.
Subs not used: Lancaster, Jones, Carson, Conkie.
Referee: M.Fletcher (Warley).
As a subsection of the burgeoning Birmingham
branch of Chester City supporters, my sister Carol and I
travelled down on the 9.15 from New Street. Seats were at
a premium as there was also a large contingent of Brummies
(all clad in black leather, Burberry and baseball caps) on
their way to see Blues take on the Harrods' works team at
Once at Underhill we decided to take a
leisurely stroll around to survey the Football League's most
endangered ground a very real threat to Barnet's continued
status. We met the chair and secretary of The Exiles scurrying
past in the opposite direction and, like the white rabbit
in Alice in Wonderland, disappearing down the alley behind
the East Terrace, muttering something about trying to find
the players' entrance. They were late for a very important
date with Terry Smith who had belatedly agreed to set up
a meeting with the Exiles membership.
Terry was late too along with the most
of the rest of the team snarled up in traffic on the
City's first half performance seemed to
be a hangover from their late arrival whether it is
an excuse I don't know, but it looked like we would be overrun.
Darren Currie caused us lots of problems. By staying out
wide on the right he stretched even our five man defence.
We were soon behind to his direct free kick, curled over
the defensive wall. Brown got a hand to it but couldn't keep
it out. It later became obvious that Brown was carrying a
hamstring injury was this because of lack of warm
Bees then proceeded to buzz. Charlery and
Heald both misdirected headers when well placed to score
while Danny Brown hammered a shot against the inside of the
post a lucky escape. At our end City's one and only
effort on target was Woods' header from a corner which Harrison
did well to tip round the post. We encouraged Ross Davidson
to turn one in for us but he wouldn't oblige.
The second half saw a different pattern.
City responded to their uphill task and took the game to
the League leaders. We completely dominated but couldn't
turn it into goals. Doughty had one of the best efforts when
his surging run and shot was saved by Harrison. Then after
a great move Luke Beckett seemed to take the ball round the
keeper before beiing brought down. The ref appeared to have
given a penalty but then only proceeded to book Luke one
of the most honest players you are likely to find for
diving. it looked a travesty though it was up the
We were finished off when McGleish got
through to score a chance he could not miss. Wayne had earlier
pulled off a stunning save from Charlery but had no hope
this time. Personally I blame the Brighton fans (Their match
at Field Mill had been called off late), who had joined us,
for goading McGleish so much that he scored just to spite
There we are. Still stuck at the bottom but
City had actually played quite well. But for the lack of
a target man or a forward of Agogo's pace we might have taken
Barnet surged ahead at the top but does
their albatross of a ground (Quaint and loveable though it
is) mean that their continued League status is even less
assured than Chester's?
Hang on in there you Blue Boys.