brace of second half goals from Kevin Ellison either
side of a Tony Dinning penalty helped City to fightback
claim three points at Mansfield Town on Saturday. It
was vital that the Blues picked up something from the
against another side struggling at the wrong end of League
City manager Bobby Williamson made just one change from
the side that lost last week bringing back Kevin Ellison
to replace youngster Craig Lindfield who returned to Liverpool
last week following his loan period at Deva Stadium.
The Stags, manager by former Chester here Billly Dearden,
got off to a great start with John Danby forced into his
first save in the opening minute from Jonathan D’Laryea,
the follow-up was blocked on the line by James Vaughan
with Stephen Dawson shooting the second rebound over.
City’s first effort of note came when Kevin Roberts
was sent through but the youngster fired wide when well
placed and with just Mansfield ‘keeper Carl Muggleton
The Blues continued to create half chances with both Richie
Partridge and John Murphy just failed to convert from
a Mark Hughes flag-kick.
The home side had a great opportunity to take the lead
five minutes before the break as Michael Boulding beat
the advancing Danby to a long Carl Muggleton through ball
only to send his shot wide of the goal.
It was the home side creating the chances as the half
drew to a close. Danby was well positioned to save a Matt
Hawshaw overhead kick but the home side finally broke
the deadlock on the stroke of half-time as Mullins stole
into the box and rose unchallenged to head home Hamshaw’s
City were forced into a change at the interval with Chris
Holroyd replacing the injured Paul Roberts.
The Blues drew level on 57 minutes as Holroyd won the
ball in the middle and found Richie Partridge on the left.
He cut back in and crossed to Ellison to stoop and head
home from the penalty spot area giving Muggleton no chance
in the home goal to the delight of the City fans seated
Paul Linwood cleared a Dawson effort off the line as Mansfield
attempted to regain their advantage.
But it was the Blues who scored the third goal of the
game from the penalty spot on 72 minutes. Partridge’s
left wing corner was met by Linwood, his header looped
in the air as John Murphy challenged with Muggleton the
ball again fell to Linwood who was tripped in the box
by Jefferson Louis. Referee Foster had no hesitation in
pointing to the spot and Tony Dinning stepped up to send
the ’keeper the wrong way.
Chester continued to press, Murphy saw a header ruled
out for an infringement and Hughes sent an effort over
But it was Ellison, celebrating his birthday on the day,
who wrapped the game up in the final minute as he received
a ball from Holroyd, turned, and curled in a great shot
into the far corner giving Muggleton no chance from the
edge of the box.
City’s miserable run of form continued with their
tenth home defeat of the season at the hands of Notts
County. In front of the lowest home crowd of the season
the Blues were beaten by a second half header from Danny
Crow, signed on loan 24hrs earlier from Peterborough United,
that was enough to see City drop a further place down
the table to 16th.
return of Kevin Ellison didn’t materialise, the
midfielder available following a three game ban injured
a hamstring in training and was forced to watch this
latest disjointed effort from the stand. Below, Steve
Mungall returning as assistant to Bobby Williamson took
his place alongside the manager.
After a quiet opening period it was
City striker Craig Lindfield, playing his last game
on loan from Liverpool, who had the first chance but
he shot over the bar from six yards following a Mark
At the other end on 15 minutes Crow
also had a scoring opportunity shooting wide from a
good position after beating set-up by Myles Weston who
had charged down a James Vaughan clearance.
Weston, a problem for the City defence
throughout the game, created his own chance minutes
later but, after running through from his own half,
saw his shot well parried by John Danby who was also
quick to clear the follow-up effort.
Five minutes before the break, Lindfield
almost notched his first goal in Chester colours as
he saw his cross/shot bounce off the top of the crossbar
and out, though the visitors ‘keeper Kevin Pilkington
looked to have had it covered.
Lindfield saw a header from a Laurence
Wilson cross go straight to Pilkington, but it was Weston
again causing problems as he set up Crow again who fed
Ryan Jarvis but Danby was again well positioned to save
Manager Williamson made two changes
bringing on Kevin Sandwith and Chris Holroyd at the
expense of Wilson and Lindfield.
Richie Partridge saw a 66th minute
header fly over the bar just minutes later the Magpies
claimed the only goal of the game as Crow rose unchallenged
to meet Ali Gibb’s right wing cross to give Danby
no chance from a close range header.
Five minutes later Danby kept the
score to one, saving well after Richard Butcher had
been sent through on goal.
City were reduced to long range
efforts and both Kevin Roberts and Holroyd saw efforts
go wide as the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion,
another poor defeat.
time Chester played at Dagenham both sides were battling
it out in the Conference, and, on the evidence of last
night’s performance, both could easily be back there
to think when I last saw as woeful an away performance
as the one witnessed by 147 hardy City fans who made
the long trek to east London. In truth, the 6-2 scoreline
says it all and only the bravest of Chester fans should
read on from here.
City, clad in their away yellow kit,
featured just one change in the starting line-up from
that which failed to beat Accrington Stanley at home
on Saturday, as Paul Linwood replaced Kevin Sandwidth.
But with just 12 minutes gone, it
was as though the Chester defenders had never played
together and an un-marked Ben Strevens had an easy job
slotting the ball home from the middle of the box.
It was almost the same story just
two minutes later when Anwar Uddin was unchallenged
as headed into the net in front of the despairing Chester
At this stage, City had only had one
run upfield, but the two-goal deficit did spur them
into more life, with Laurence Wilson having a shot at
Dagenham’s long-serving ‘keeper Tony Roberts.
But it was soon game over on the 22nd
minute when another Dagenham cross into the box found
the head of David Rainford and the League Two strugglers
were 3-0 up.
The biggest hope for the Chester fans
was now the advancing fog and 147 sets of lungs were
suddenly trying to breathe out in the hope their icy
breaths would add to the encroaching gloom.
Nature didn’t put us out of
our misery, but City did make a brighter start to the
second half. Not long after John Murphy had an on-target
header saved by Roberts, his cross found Kevin Roberts,
who scored with a neat strike.
Chester now had their best spell of
the game, with the most optimistic of fans seriously
eyeing a potential draw as City won a couple of corners
in the space of a few minutes. But those ideas were
soon vanquished when the Chester defence fell asleep
again on the 59th minute and Strevens scored his second
goal of the night.
Richie Partridge came on for Tony
Grant with 17 minutes to go. But he barely had a run
on the ball and on the 81st minute the score turned
into a rout when Jon Nurse scored from a Dagenham corner.
A good Partridge cross, which found
the head of Murphy, gave City supporters a final crumb
of comfort when he headed the ball in from close range
in stoppage time.
But that wasn’t the last action
of the night as Dagenham’s Ryan Hall found the
net just a couple of passes from the re-start to make
the scoreline a total embarrassment to the loyal supporters
who’d made the long round trip. It’s going
to be a tough end to the season.
put the knife in to Chester with a cruel winner to
finish this entertaining match deep into stoppage
time. Seconds before Craney's goal Murphy had been
a first class save at the other end. Man-o-the-match
header had been tipped over the bar by Dunbavin and
from the resulting corner it was Accrington's swift
attack that exposed City to more misery.
Substitute Shaun Whalley, grandson of Stanley’s
popular chairman, and who made three appearances
a few years ago, swept past Vaughan and crossed for
Craney to drive the winner past an injured Danby.
Having steadied the ship with a point at Chesterfield
last week, and seemingly to have turned a corner
at half time, City’s fragile recovery was wrecked
by Accrington Stanley. It was City’s ninth home
league defeat and Stanley’s seventh win away
from home but both sides have been struggling to
before this match.
City lost their way in the second half after playing
well to come from behind to lead at the break. Aswad
was allowed too much space to turn and shoot and
reacted quickest to Danby’s parry to equalise
for the visitors. Earlier, the same defender, on
popped up on the edge of the penalty area to rifle
a crisp shot into the corner of the Chester net.
Chester equalised when Sandwith’s free kick found
Murphy at the far post and his header across goal was
met by Butler who nodded the ball in. City’s second
goal was a peach following clever play down the right
leading to Hughes crossing for Murphy to shoot home. Without
ever threatening to overwhelm Accrington, Chester dominated
until half time and a ten minutes or so afterwards. But
they couldn’t sustain the pressure on Stanley to
finish them off – with little width on either
flank crosses to Murphy were few but at least two
when he looked set to score.
Instead Stanley wrested the initiative and seemed
the more likely to go on to win after they levelled.
fans had just started singing “Give me joy in my
heart give me Stanley” when their team duly obliged.
It was a hard way for City to lose and heaps the pressure
on next Tuesday’s trip to Dagenham.
battling point for City who stopped the disappointing
run of four straight defeats with this 1-1 draw
at Saltergate. With both Kevin Ellison and Laurence
City manager Bobby Williamson was able to welcome
back Tony Dinning following a 12 match lay-off
Sandwith replaced Wilson.
The home side started quickly and John Danby was called to make his first save
of the match after just a couple of minutes from Jamie Winter.
City’s first shot of
note came a couple of minutes later but Barry Roche
in the home goals was able to gather Dinning’s
low effort with ease. Moments later Tony Grant saw
a volley fly wide from just inside the box.
The home side continued to press
and Ward saw a free kick dip over the bar and Brendan
Moloney shot wide when well placed as the home side
pushed for an opening. Dinning was well placed to block
a dangerous Lester shot following a break down the
City were forced into a change on
33 minutes as Paul Linwood had to leave the field suffered
from a recurrence of a groin injury, Shaun Kelly deputised
from the bench.
The home fans appealed for a penalty
on 14 minutes as Jamie Ward took a tumble under a challenge
from James Vaughan on the edge of the box but referee
Oliver was having none of it.
Just before the break Janos Kovacs
was booked for a two footed reckless challenge on Craig
Lindfield that brought a yellow card, manager Bobby
Williamson thought it should have been red. He said: “It
should have been a red – that’s the rules.
The fourth official’s tried to explain to me
that if it’s a two-footed tackle and he doesn’t
get the player and gets the ball then it’s only
a yellow, but that’s nonsense. If your feet come
off the ground and it’s reckless and dangerous,
it’s a sending off and the referee has got that
wrong I’m afraid.”
The home side took the lead on 54
minutes. Maloney beat Vaughan on the left and delivered
a cross to the far post for Ward, he slipped the ball
to Lester to convert past the advancing Danby from
Five minutes later though City were
back on level terms. Hughes delivered a ball into the
box, Murphy controlled it and turned the static defence
before firing past Roche.
Dinning saw a 25-yarder clear the
bar before the home side forced a succession of corners,
Danby caught most but one found its way into the back
of the net only for the referee to rule the ‘goal’ out
for a foul on the City ‘keeper.
The home side continued to apply
the pressure in the closing minutes, Danby saved well
from Kovacs and Steve Fletcher but the Blues rearguard
held firm to glean a valuable away point.