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THE FIRST MATCH AT ‘THE STADIUM’ SEALAND ROAD
Chester City v Wigan Borough August 29th 1931
League Division Three (North)
Chester City 4 Wigan Borough 0
Scorers for Chester – Hedley 53, Ranson 55, Jennings 60, Hedley.
Attendance: 12,625 Receipts: £700

HUGE CROWD CHEER CITY HOME
The first league game at The Stadium back in the summer of 1931 when Wigan Borough were the visitors. Ironically the result was to later be expunged from the records when Wigan resigned from the league the following Ocotber.

Amongst the civic dignatories attending the opening day were John Major, the Mayor of Chester, Robert Matthewson, the Sheriff and the President of the Cheshire FA Harry Hughes.

As 'Wanderer' of the Chester Chronicle reported, thousands were in the ground an hour before kick-off and buses ploughed their way through the closely packed roads. The sun beat down and whilst the Wigan directors were able to inspect the pitch their Chester counterparts were too busy making sure that everything ran smoothly behind the scenes.

Five minutes before kick-off a roar broke out as Tom Jennings led Chester out, followed by visiting skipper Sharp, and the rest of the Wigan Borough side. The match was underway with Borough having the advantage of a slight breeze, but their 'keeper Mittell was the first in action, saving Reilly's free kick. Ernie Keeley had an outstanding game, forging a fine partnership with Jack Ranson. When they first combined Julian was alert to cut out the danger.

Keeley shot over after a fine run and when Wigan full back Wade was penalised, Mittell did well to push our Reilly's free kick. Later Hedley was denied by the 'keeper's legs but Jennins put the ball wide of an open goal.

Frank Cresswell came closest to giving Chester the laad sending in a low shot which Mittell pushed away for a corner, keeping the socre to 0-0 at half time.

After the break Wade nearly scored an own goal froma back pass. Stevenson made a good run for Borough but Johnson saved well. Then came Chester's opener on 53 minutes when Mittell could only parry Frank Cresswell's shot and the ball had already dropped over the line as Hedley made sure. It was said that the cheer could be heard on the Town Hall Square! Two minutes later and Chester doubled their lead. Wade failed to clear jennings' cross and Jack Ranson forced home.

On the hour Julian conceded a corner which was taken by Headley and met by Tom Jennings, 3-0.

Wigan tried to hit back but Johnson saved from Oakes. Jennings pulled up with a leg injury in chasing a through ball from Jones and had to leave the pitch after Foster Hedley had made it 4-0 dribbling round Mittell.

Chester: Johnson, Herod, Jones, Keeley, Skitt, Reilly, Matthews, Ranson, Jennings, Cresswell, Hedley.
Wigan Borough: Mittell, Wade, Julian, Shears, Martin, Sharp, Moon, Tebb, Valentine, Oakes, Stevenson
Referee: G.Stevenson (Liverpool) Linesmen: G.Cahill, T.Talbot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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