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27 February 2002
Burton Albion have announced ticket prices for the forthcoming Trophy match with Chester. They are as follows; Terrace – Adults £7.00, Pensioners £5.00, Children £3.00. However the game is NOT all-ticket and admission is by pay at the turnstile on the day. If a replay is necessary will be held at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday March 19.

Chester have distributed 180 tickets to six schools to attend their remaining home fixtures for the rest of the season thanks to an initiative launched nationally by Nationwide Building Society. The tickets have been used by local primary schools to reward it�s pupils who have demonstrated personal improvement within a specified timescale. Chester club community officer, David James, said: �Nationwide Supporters of Tomorrow reinforces our on-going commitment to maintaining strong links with the local community. By distributing free tickets we are able to offer youngsters the chance to see Chester City live.�

25 February 2002

City have been draw away to Unibond Premier League leaders Burton Albion in the quarter finals of the FA Umbro Trophy.

The game will take place on Saturday 16 March, kick-off 15:00hrs. The Brewers defeated Woking 3-0 at home in the fifth round on Saturday.

Official Burton Albion website.

The quarter-final draw in full:
Margate or Braintree Town v Scarborough or Morecambe
Northwich Victoria or Telford United v Yeovil Town or Canvey Island
Stevenage Borough v Stalybridge Celtic
Burton Albion v Chester City

The club have offered new contracts to two players today. Youngser Lee Woodyatt, who has attracted in terest from several clubs including Oxford United and Rushden & Diamonds has signed a two-year extension to his existing deal, while leading scorer Mark Beesley has pledged his future to the club until 2005.

24 February 2002
A last-gasp winner from substitute Jimmy Haarhoff saw City through to the quarter-finals of the FA Umbro Trophy after a hard fought 2-1 victory over Hereford United at Deva Stadium yesterday. The Blues took a deserved half-time lead with a Phil Bolland Header but Robert Elmes levelled things in the 76th minute before Haarhoff's injury-time winner. City win £2,500 from the Trophy Prize Fund for their victory. Joining City in Monday's draw are: Burton Albion, Stalybridge Celtic, Margate or Braintree Town, Scarborough or Morecambe, Stevenage Borough, Northwich Victoria or Telford United, and Yeovil Town or Canvey Island.

Despite the victory chairman Steve Vaughan was disappointed about the attendance or the game: �I wasn�t encouraged by the number of people who turned up to watch the team play on Saturday. About 400 of the 1,747 who turned out were from Hereford, and I expected far more City fans to turn up for such a big game. We took £15,000 in gate receipts, but £7,000 of that belongs to Hereford, and I have to find £42,000 to cover our wage bill. It�s about time the crowd started to get behind this club. We�ve appointed the best non-league manager around in Mark Wright, and we�ve brought in a number of class players like centre back Phil Bolland, and midfielders Shaun Carey and Michael McElhatton. Signings like the three players I�ve mentioned should be putting another thousand on the gate, and we need more support.� He said.

22 February 2002
[FA Umbro Trophy]City entertain Hereford United tomorrow in the FA Umbro Trophy fifth round looking to extend their unbeaten run which currently stands at eight games. The Blues will be without several players including Shaun Carey, Michael McElhatton, and Andy Porter, and defenders Mike Rose and Mark Williams but there is great competition for places at the moment and Stuart Whittaker, Chris Blackburn and Paul Carden are all expected to feature.

�The team spirit is good, but the FA Trophy is a distraction – I'd much prefer league football and get on with it, and pick up another three points, or just not get beat. I'm not frightened to make changes like I did at Nuneaton to suit the conditions and the team we were playing against. I'm pleased with the way it's going at present, but when we get safe I'll be very pleased and our job will be done.� said manager Mark Wright

Admission tomorrow for adults will cost £10 (standing), and £12 (seated); pensioners will be admitted for £7.50 (standing), and £9 (seated); and it will cost £5 for children to stand, and £6 for them to sit down.

20 February 2002
Two cracking free-kick goals by Michael Rose and an opener on just two minutes by Lee Woodyatt brought City a much needed 3-1 victory at Nuneaton Borough last night. The game was played on a very heavy pitch, only passed fit by the referee 60 minutes before kick-off, but persistent rain throughout the 90 minutes turned the surface into a quagmire and made for almost unplayable conditions. City gave full debuts to three players at Manor Park, Mark Williams, Shaun Carey and Michael McElhatton who all played their part in a great team performance.

A delighted City manager Mark Wright said after the game: �Shaun Carey and Michael McElhatton are quality players, and it was there for everyone to see. Now we've got competition for places because people like Paul Carden and Chris Blackburn have got to now fight to get back in, and that is the bottom line. Mark Williams has come in and done a great job, and I think by looking at that I'll be speaking to the chairman about his position because I think he's just earned himself a contract. Williams has come in over the last two or three weeks, not moaned, not asked for any money, he's just got on with his game and done very well, so I think he's deserved to get himself a contract with Chester.�

The victory lifts the Blues up three places to 16th spot in the Conference. Last night's other important bottom of the table clash between Stalybridge Celtic and Leigh RMI was postponed.

Defender Gary Brabin's non-appearance for City last night had everyone guessing as to his whereabouts. It transpires that Brabin, who is a non-contract registered player, complained of a bad back before the game and has been linked with a move to League of Wales side TNS Llansantffraid. An annoyed chairman Steve Vaughan said: �I paid a substantial signing-on fee for Gary Brabin and he�s being paid a maximum fee. I know he�s being linked with a move to TNS, but I spoke to TNS manager, Ken McKenna yesterday and I told him I was annoyed about the situation concerning Brabin. I believe Brabin said he had a bad back before last night�s game, but I hope he can resolve his differences with us because he can play a big part.”

19 February 2002
According to the official Rushden & Diamonds website Chester have taken midfielder Michael McElhatton on a month's loan. The 26-year-old has recovered from a serious injury sustained in October 2000 and appeared seven times in the first-team this season, scoring one goal against York City. �We need him back to his best as soon as possible, and this move will sharpen him up. It will do Chester a favour in their fight against relegation; it will do himself a favour and he�ll come back to us stronger and sharper.� said Diamonds' manager Brian Talbot.

Meanwhile City travel to Nuneaton Borough tonight (kick-off 19:45hrs) looking for a win that would lift them out of the bottom three of the Nationwide Conference. New signing Brian Carey, who played in City's reserves last Friday, may feature as the Blues look to extend their seven match unbeaten run. �We had Nuneaton watched at the weekend. They�re a strong outfit, but it�s not about them, it�s about us. We�ll go to Nuneaton with a positive attitude, stay solid, and hope we can come away with the points. �Nuneaton conceded three goals in the last 12 minutes at Stalybridge which surprised a few people.� said City manager Mark Wright. Andy Porter misses the game through suspension.

Striker Darren Wright has had his contract cancelled today and has joined Unibond Premier League side Droylsden.

A big thank you from the Chester City ladies FC to all those who attended the night last Friday 15th February at St. Werburgh's Parish Centre. It was a joint one with their Sunday League team and over all raised just under £580 which the club's will share. It was a great night and St. Werburgh's were great hosts.

16 February 2002
Two goals by David Brown gave City a 2-2 draw at Morecambe last night to keep the two sides neck and neck at the top of the Lancashire League Division One. City almost came away with three points but a late chance for Jimmy Haarhoff was missed. Chester, who named 18-year-old Welsh schoolboy international, Andrew Hughes, as goalkeeper, after the player�s move from Telford United, are now level on points with the Christie Park club at the top of the table.

15 February 2002
Chester have signed 25-year-old midfielder Shaun Carey from Rushden & Diamonds. Carey's career started at Norwich City where he made over 50 appearances before joining Rushden & Diamonds in August 2000. He's made 14 appearances for the Nene Park side this season and also three games on loan at Stevenage Borough. Carey is expected to make his City debut at Nuneaton Borough on Tuesday, although he is cup-tied and won't be able to play for City in any remaining FA Umbro Trophy matches this season. The Blues have also signed central defender Mark Williams from Hereford United. Williams has been on trial at the Deva and scored for the reserves against Marine earlier in the month. The former Rochdale and Rotherham man left Edgar Street under a cloud earlier this week following a breach of club rules.

City player Wes Kilgannon has left the Deva Stadium and signed for League of Wales side Caernarfon Town until the end of the season. Youngster Paul Roberts has also moved to Caernarfon after a trial period.

City's reserve team travel to Morecambe tonight for a top-of-the-table clash in the Lancashire League Division One. With no Conference fixture (for both sides) tomorrow manager Mark Wright was contemplating playing many of his first team but a fear of injury may put a stop to that.
13 February 2002
[Dean Spink]Dean Spink's hat-trick at Solihull last night takes City through to a home tie against Hereford United in the fifth round of the FA Umbro Trophy on Saturday 23 February. City twice came from behind at Damson Park in an exciting Trophy encounter that also saw a missed penalty for each side.

Hat-trick hero Dean Spink said after the game: “It�s always nice to go back to an old club, it has changed since I was there, they are at a different ground now and there was a lot of new faces, but there were some I recognised. No insult intended but considering the league that Solihull are in their ground was excellent, of a very high standard. To score a hat-trick in any game is great, but it is always nice to get one at an old club, I took a bit of stick early on, but I just got on with it.

The whole team played well and as the boss said at the break we could have already been three or four up. We are in the last 16 now and we�ve got Hereford at home in the next round, it would be nice to make it to the final and play at a massive ground like Villa Park.”

The Conference match at Hereford scheduled for FA Umbro Trophy fifth round day will now take place at Edgar Street on Tuesday 26 March.

12 February 2002
City travel to Solihull tonight for a fourth round FA Umbro Trophy replay. Solihull's Damson Park ground can be found at Damson Parkway, Solihull, West Midlands (Tel: 0121 705 6770). There is no pitch inspection planned and the game looks set to finally go ahead at 19:45hrs.


Leave M42 at Junction 6. A45 for two miles towards Birmingham. Past Honda Garage and opposite Holiday Inn Hotel, left at filter to traffic lights into Damson Parkway. One mile to roundabout by Rover works. Go round, down other side of dual carriageway for 100 yards and the ground is on the left.

11 February 2002
There is no pitch inspection planned at Solihull Borough today ahead of tomorrow night's FA Umbro Trophy fourth round replay. However it has rained right through the night and this morning and the club say if there is an inspection it will be tomorrow, though they couldn't say what time. If the game is off Chester will not be playing Scarborough at the Deva in the Conference. This game has been rearranged for Tuesday 5 March, kick-off 19:45hrs.

[Ian Atkins]An interested spectator tomorrow night if the game goes ahead at Damson Park will be Solihull resident and former City boss Ian Atkins (left).

“I always keep a look out for Chester because I really enjoyed my time there,” said Atkins, who replaced current City boss Mark Wright as the new director of football at Oxford United earlier this season. “I�ve always told you they�re a great little club and they won�t go down this season; I�m sure of that. This time of the season teams like Chester can go on a winning run because other sides are just playing out their games.

I don�t see them having any problems in staying up and they�ll probably finish eighth or ninth in the table – and then they can start planning for next season. I�m just pleased for the supporters that things have changed down there because they deserve success.”
Defender Mike Rose can expect to receive a two match ban following his second red card of the season on Saturday. He would miss the match on the 23rd in either the Trophy or Conference and the following game at home to Leigh RMI.
A reminder that the ISA annual general meeting takes place tonight, 19:30hrs at the Deva Stadium. City chairman Steve Vaughan and manager Mark Wright will be in attendance for the first half of the meeting. The second half will be ISA business including the annual report and accounts, committee membership etc for members only. Members can rejoin on the night. Volunteers are still required to serve on the ISA Committee to help maintain the ISA's role in supporting Chester City FC and Football in the Community in general. Due to a number of resignations, the committee is in desperate need of strengthening if it is to continue to work. Nominations are invited for positions on the ISA Committee prior to the AGM. Please specify which position you are applying for: i.e. Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, or Member of the Committee and enclose a brief C.V.
8 February 2002
Danny Collins who only signed for Chester at the end of last year is wanted by Stockport County. Chief scout at Edgeley Park Harry McNally wants to take the City striker on trial, Chester are considering the offer.

Midfielder Andy Porter has been given a two match ban starting a week tomorrow, he misses the games at Nuneaton Borough and the following Saturday whether it be in the Trophy or Conference.

7 February 2002
Manager Mark Wright and assistant Ted McMinn are searching for a loan striker in time for Saturday's trip to Margate. McMinn said: �We�re obviously trying to get some players in before the weekend trip to Margate, but nothing has been agreed yet. We receive faxes from clubs every day containing names of players who are available, and we�re hoping to look at a number of players before our trip to Margate.� City will be looking to extend their five match unbeaten run when they make their first ever visit to Hartsdown Park. The pitch at Margate was today in “excellent” condition and no pitch inspection is planned unless there is a drastic change in the weather.

[Lee Woodyatt]Hot on the heels of Oxford United, Rushden & Diamonds are the latest club reported to be interested in City�s Welsh u-18 international Lee Woodyatt.

Blues chairman Stephen Vaughan said of the Rushden approach: “Yes, we�ve been contacted about the youngster, but as I�ve said before, we are trying to create something at this club not dismantle. If the player wanted to move, we wouldn't stand in his way, but at the same time, I hope he would like to be a part of what Mark Wright is creating at Chester City. Ideally, we would like to sign the lad ourselves on a three-year contract, but if the boy sees his future elsewhere, then we would have to consider our stance.”

City will want £100,000+ for the 19-year-old Chester defender who's been on great form in recent weeks

The club shop at the Deva Stadium is now being run jointly by members of the official supporters club and the ISA on a voluntary basis. The shop is currently open on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays between 12:00-16:00hrs and on match days/nights. New stock is currently being.
A goal by Brett Baxter gave City�s Reserves a 1-0 home win against Northwich Victoria last night. The victory lifted the Blues to joint top with Morecambe Reserves in the Lancashire League Division One. However, defender Iain Jenkins suffered a thigh injury in the match and may be out of action for up to six weeks.

As at 7 February 2002 P W D L F A GD Pts
Morecambe Reserves 20 15 3 2 81 21 60 48
Chester City Reserves 21 15 3 3 67 19 48 48
Marine Reserves 19 11 3 5 45 32 13 36
Guiseley Reserves 14 11 0 3 35 24 11 33
Southport Reserves 17 10 0 7 49 24 25 30
Ossett Town Reserves 15 10 0 5 27 31 –4 30
Burscough Reserves 18 9 2 7 35 30 5 29
Rosendale Utd Reserves 18 8 5 5 37 34 3 29
Accrington Stanley Reserves 19 9 1 9 35 30 5 28
Lancaster City Reserves 16 6 3 7 23 28 –5 21
Northwich Vic Reserves 17 7 0 10 34 49 –15 21
Altrincham Reserves 19 4 5 10 21 41 –20 17
Barrow Reserves 15 5 0 10 33 46 –13 15
Leigh RMI Reserves 17 4 3 10 26 55 –29 15
Bamber Bridge Reserves 18 3 2 13 25 54 –29 11
Ashton United Reserves 17 3 1 13 19 44 –25 10
Colwyn Bay Reserves 14 1 1 12 15 45 –30 4

6 February 2002
The reserves are at home to Northwich Victoria reserves at the Deva Stadium tonight kick-off at 19:00hrs. Admission will be £2.
City's Trophy replay match at Solihull Borough postponed last night due to a waterlogged pitch will now take place next Tuesday 12 February kick-off 19:45hrs. However, when I contacted Chester City this afternoon they confirmed that the Conference match with Scarborough scheduled for that night hasn't been cancelled yet and will take place if the Solihull game is postponed again. There is a pitch inspection due at Damson Park, Solihull on Monday.

The Exiles will be holding a new members evening tomorrow starting from 18:30hrs at The Windmill, Mill Street, London WC1. New members, whatever grade, will be able to join the Exiles for the remainder of the season for just �3 on the night.

4 February 2002
If City win their replay at Solihull tomorrow night they will play Hereford United or Hampton & Richmond Borough at home in the fifth round on Saturday 23 February. The Blues are scheduled to play at Hereford United on that day so should either side progress in the Trophy then the game will have to be rearranged.

The full fifth round draw is:
Barnet or Scarborough v Morecambe
Gravesend & Northfleet or Hendon v Mangotsfield United or Stalybridge Celtic
Margate v North Ferriby United or Braintree Town
Stevenage Borough v Forest Green Rovers
Yeovil Town or Doncaster Rovers v Canvey Island
Farnborough Town or Burton Albion v Woking
Chester City or Solihull Borough v Hereford United or Hampton & Richmond Borough
Northwich Victoria v Telford United

City must travel to Solihull tomorrow night for a fourth round Trophy replay following Saturday's disappointing 0-0 draw. Solihull's Damson Park ground can be found at Damson Parkway, Solihull, West Midlands (Tel: 0121 705 6770 – you may want to check on the weather, the pitch was OK this morning but heavy rain was falling and an inspection planned for tomorrow morning). The game will kick-off at 19:45hrs. If the game is called off then this Thursday night is the next date.


Leave M42 at Junction 6. A45 for two miles towards Birmingham. Past Honda Garage and opposite Holiday Inn Hotel, left at filter to traffic lights into Damson Parkway. One mile to roundabout by Rover works. Go round, down other side of dual carriageway for 100 yards and the ground is on the left.

Those wishing to travel to Margate on Saturday for City's first ever visit to Hartsdown Park should contact Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00 and 20:00hrs to secure their seat. The bus will leave Delamere Street at 07:30, and seats cost £15. There will be no coach to Solihull tomorrow night due to lack of demand.
1 February 2002

[Match Programme]Chester return to FA Umbro Trophy action tomorrow when they entertain Solihull Borough at the Deva Stadium in a fourth round tie. Solihull play in the Dr Martens Western Division the same league as our dogged third round opponents Stourport Swifts, and overcame Runcorn 3-0 in the previous round.

Solihull manager David Busst is looking forward to the game: He said: “Stourport ran them close and I'm pleased with the draw. I like being underdogs and if everyone plays to their ability we'll run them close too. There'll be no pressure on us. The perfect result would be to get a draw up there and bring them back to Damson Park. That way we will generate some revenue for the club” The prize money for tomorrow's tie is £1,500 and should a replay be necessary it will take place at Solihull next Tuesday night.

There will also be a redesigned match programme on sale tomorrow, priced at £2. Previous editor Rob Ashcroft has taken over again and in tomorrow's issue, there are interviews with Lee Woodyatt, Stephen Vaughan and David James (CCFC Football in the Community). Telford United and Barnet match reports, focus on Solihull Borough and a feature about our evening at Stourport Swifts in the third round replay. Bearing in mind that this is the first issue, and has only had a few days preparation, Rob would welcome any constructive feedback and you can email him at

The club have cancelled the contract of midfield player Alex Higgins. Higgins only made one appearance from the substitutes bench at Dover Athletic in November. Meanwhile forward Darren Wright may join Droylsden next week.

Meanwhile manager Mark Wright has dismissed suggestions that City have signed midfielder Andy Gouck from Morecambe (as reported on their website yesterday): �I spoke to Andy Gouck at Northwich last weekend, and he is obviously a player with league experience who could do a good job at Chester, but there is no deal yet. I have a lot of players in mind for the end of the season when players will become available on a Bosman, but if someone is available before then it would be nice. I don�t think it would be a good idea to pay money out now for players, and it would be pointless trying to sign someone before tomorrow.�
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