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MATCH REPORTS 2007/08
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FEBRUARY
Chesterfield (A) | Acccrington Stanley (H) | Dagenham & Redbridge (A) | Notts County (H) | Mansfield Town (A)
Saturday 23 February
Mansfeld Town 1 Chester City 3
League Two
Attendance: 2,362 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Hughes.

Mansfield Town:
Muggleton, Jelleyman (Brown 81), Buxton, Mullins, Briggs, Atkinson, Dawson, D’Laryea, Hamshaw, Louis, Boulding. Subs not used: White, McAliskey, Holmes, Wood.
Chester City: Danby, Wilson, Linwood, Butler (Holroyd 45), J.Vaughan, Ellison, Dinning, Roberts, Hughes, Partridge, Murphy. Subs not used: Palethorpe, Sandwith, Grant, S.Vaughan.
Referee: David Foster (Tyne & Wear).

A brace of second half goals from Kevin Ellison either side of a Tony Dinning penalty helped City to fightback and claim three points at Mansfield Town on Saturday. It was vital that the Blues picked up something from the match against another side struggling at the wrong end of League Two.

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 to beat.

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 corner.

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 behind.

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 the bar.

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.

More match pictures Chester Standard/Evening Leader pictures including slideshow


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Pictures © Evening Leader

Saturday 16 February
Chester City 0 Notts County 1
League Two
Attendance: 1,798 (311 Notts County) Half Time 0-0
Booked: -.

Chester City:
Danby, J.Vaughan, Butler, Linwood, Wilson (Sandwith 57), Partridge, Dinning, Hughes (Rutherford 83), Roberts, Murphy, Lindfield (Holroyd 60). Subs not used: Palethorpe, Grant.
Notts County: Pilkington, Canoville, Tann, Edwards, Mayo, Gibb, Butcher, Smith (Silk 81), Weston, Jarvis (Weir-Daley 84), Crow (Lee 74). Subs not used: McCann, MacKenzie.
Referee: Andy Woolmer.

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.

The expected 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 Hughes corner.

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 the shot.

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.

More match pictures Chester Standard/Evening Leader pictures including slideshow

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Pictures © Evening Leader

Tuesday 12 February
Dagenham & Redbridge 6 Chester City 2
League Two
Attendance: 1,328 (147 Chester) Half Time 3-0
Booked: -.

Dagenham & Redbridge:
Roberts, Foster , Uddin, Arber, Griffiths, Saunders (Hall 84), Southam, Rainford, Sloma, Nurse (Baidoo 86), Strevens. Subs not used: Thompson, Smith, Taiwo.
Chester City: Danby, J.Vaughan, Butler, Linwood, Roberts, Hughes, Dinning, Grant (Partridge 73), Wilson, Murphy, Lindfield. Subs not used: Palethorpe, Sandwith, Holroyd, Rutherford.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Last 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 next season.

I’m struggling 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 fans.

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.

Sue Choularton

More match pictures Chester Standard/Evening Leader pictures including slideshow

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Pictures © Evening Leader

Saturday 9 February
Chester City 2 Accrington Stanley 3
League Two
Attendance: 1,957 Half Time 2-1
Booked: -.

Chester City:
Danby, J.Vaughan, Butler, Roberts, Wilson, Hughes, Dinning, Grant (Partridge 76), Sandwith, Murphy, Lindfield (Holroyd 76). Subs not used: Palethorpe, Rutherford, Kelly.
Accrington Stanley: Dunbavin, Branch, Thomas, Roberts (Whalley 46), Richardson, Mannix (Todd 53), Proctor, Harris (King 79), Edwards, Craney, Mullin. Subs not used: Arthur, Doughty.
Referee: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).

Stanley 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 denied by a first class save at the other end. Man-o-the-match Murph’s header had been tipped over the bar by Dunbavin and from the resulting corner it was Accrington's swift counter attack that exposed City to more misery.

Substitute Shaun Whalley, grandson of Stanley’s popular chairman, and who made three appearances for City 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 by leading 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 find form before this match.

City lost their way in the second half after playing well to come from behind to lead at the break. Aswad Thomas 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 loan from Charlton had 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 eluded him when he looked set to score.

Instead Stanley wrested the initiative and seemed the more likely to go on to win after they levelled. The visiting 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.

Colin Mansley

More match pictures Chester Standard/Evening Leader pictures including slideshow

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Pictures © Evening Leader
Saturday 2 February
Chesterfield 1 Chester City 1
League Two
Attendance: 3,701 Half Time 0-0
Booked: -.

Chesterfield:
Roche, Downes, Kovacs, Gray (Jackson 45), Robertson, Moloney, Niven, Winter, Ward, Lester, Fletcher. Subs not used: Jordan, Allison, Picken, O’Hare.
Chester City: Danby, Vaughan, Butler, Linwood (Kelly 34), Sandwith, Dinning, Hughes, Roberts, Grant, Lindfield, Murphy. Subs not used: Palethorpe, Partridge, Holroyd, Newton.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

A 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 Wilson suspended, City manager Bobby Williamson was able to welcome back Tony Dinning following a 12 match lay-off while Kevin 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 right.

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 close range.

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.

More match pictures Chester Standard/Evening Leader pictures including slideshow

Rate City’s performance


Pictures © Evening Leader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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