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31 January 2008

The reserves were beaten 2-1 at home by Manchester City last night.

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30 January 2008
Both Kevin Ellison and Laurence Wilson were sent off last night as Chester crashed to a 4-0 home defeat by Rochdale. This was the biggest defeat of the season and sees City continue to slide further down the table with just one point gained from the last possible 24.

Ellison, who had been the subject of a transfer enquiry from Wrexham, was given a straight red card on the half hour after an altercation with Ramsden, Wilson was given similar punishment in the dying minutes after being adjudged to have pushed Perkins when he was through on goal.

Manager Bobby Williamson said after the latest defeat: “I’m the one the fans are shouting at and I’m the one getting all the blame.
I never got myself sent off, I never made a miss-placed pass, I never scored an own goal, but I’m the manager and I’m prepared to stand up and be counted.”

I felt we had very good opportunities in the opening stages. We created a chance across the face of goal but unfortunately we couldn’t get anyone on the end of it.”

To go a goal behind is disappointing and to have a sending off is even more disppointing. Kevin Ellison has said he didn’t elbow the boy. By all accounts it was a clash more than anything else. To go down to ten me it is always going to be hard and to go down to 2-0 at half time is always going to make things difficult.

“We’ve lost a few games on the bounce now and that is soul destroying. We will continued to believe that we can get a result and there’s no better place to get one than at Chesterfield on Saturday. But we know it will be very, very difficult up there and we will just have to look at the players in the next few days and see who’s up for it.”

City now have to pick themselves up from this seasons low and try to bounce back on Saturday at sixth placed Chesterfield and must do so without Ellison and Wilson who both begin bans.

Meanwhile City have announced that they have turned down bids for Kevin Ellison from both Wrexham and Bury.

League Two table

The reserves host Manchester City in a Pontins Holiday League match tonight, kick-off 19:00hrs.
This is not the Manchester City reserves side (they play in the Premiership Reserve League) but their ‘Pontins Side’.

29 January 2008

As the January transfer window draws to a close Chester have received a five figure bid from local rivals Wrexham for winger Kevin Ellison. Ellison is in his second spell with the club having signed from Tranmere Rovers in the summer. He has scored eight goals in 29+0 appearances this season and scored 19 goals in 59+0 appearances over the two spells with the Blues.

Chester owner Stephen Vaughan said: “We will consider the offer, but if their financial valuation doesn’t meet ours and, more importantly, Bobby Williamson doesn’t want the player to move on, then the deal won’t go through.”

Picture © Evening Leader

Rochdale bring their impressive away record to Deva Stadium tonight for what looks like another tough game for the Blues. Dale, who have lost just once in 15 away matches this season, currently lie two points below the play-off places and have recorded wins at leaders MK Dons (1-0), and high flying Chesterfield (4-3) and Wycombe Wanderers (1-0) in their last three League Two matches.

City manager Bobby Williamson must wait and see whether Kevin Ellison will be fit after limping off during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Rotherham United. The Blues will be looking to complete the double tonight after Tony Grant and Ellison gave the Blues a 2-1 win at Spotland back in August.

Rochdale will be without suspended defender Nathan Stanton while striker Adam Le Fondre is doubtful for tonight’s clash that kick’s-off at 19:45.

28 January 2008

Despite the return of John Murphy to the City attack, and an improved performance on recent outings, the Blues slumped to their sixth defeat in seven matches on Saturday as Rotherham United left Deva Stadium with the points following a 1-0 win.

The only goal of the game came in the seventh minute through a Chris O’Grady low strike from the edge of the box that appeared to slip under John Danby’s dive at the near post. Despite plenty of possession Chester had to wait until the final minute for their best effort which saw Laurence Wilson volley just wide.

Following the game manager Bobby Williamson said: “It’s disappointing again. I think in the last three games there’s been nothing in the matches but we’ve lost by the odd goal on each occasion.”

“There’s not been much between the three games really, we just need a break in front of goal, somebody with a bit of desire to get on the end of something.”

“We were creating chances at the start of the season but we’re not doing that now. I’m hoping we can re-ignite that early goalscoring form we showed earlier in the season. I’d still like to see us get back to the way were playing earlier on.”

“It’s the same guys here playing now that were doing the business at the start of the season, so we’re hoping now that they recover their form and get a break sooner rather than later.”

Despite the latest defeat City remain in 12th place in League Two and welcome Rochdale on Tuesday night for what will be another tough encounter, Dale having won at leaders MK Dons on Saturday to move within two points of a play-off place.

Picture © Evening Leader
25 January 2008

Both John Murphy (left) and Tony Grant are expected to be fit and available for selection for tomorrow’s visit of high-flying Rotherham United to Deva Stadium. Striker Murphy has been sidelined since picking up an ankle injury in the 5-3 Boxing Day defeat at Morecambe while Grant has been out of action for 11 matches since the derby at the Racecourse in late November where he injured a hamstring.

Manager Bobby Williamson, who used to play for Rotherham, has seen his City side pick up just one point from the last 15 as the Blues have slid down League Two in January from a play-off place to mid table and is eager to see Murphy start tomorrow.

Williamson said: “John Murphy will certainly give us something different in attack. Chris Holroyd has been doing a sterling job up in attack on his own, with Kevin Ellison and Richie Partridge aiming to get alongside him to make a three, but it hasn’t happened at times, especially at Notts County when we knew we would have to defend at times. But I'm hoping we can get John Murphy back into the team because then we’ll have options now that we've got loan player Craig Lindfield with us as well as Holroyd, and they can feed off John. John has got a lot of stature and he gets himself about in the area which should take away the attention of our other strikers.”

City also welcome back tomorrow defender paul Linwood following suspension. Two other players on the treatment table over recent weeks Tony Dinning and Nathan Lowndes are expected to be back in contention next week after returning to training.

Rotherham, under manager Mark Robbins, are bang in form have lost just twice in their last 18 league matches, a run that has seen them rise to second spot, seven points behind MK Dons with a game in hand. They bring with them an impressive away record that has seen them concede just eight goals away from home this season. Robins may have to do without Ryan Williams tomorrow as he has a virus.

The teams last met at Millmoor in September when a first senior goal for Kevin Roberts brought back a point from a 1-1 draw.

Picture © Evening Leader
23 January 2008

The club have announced a new sponsorship deal with local waste management company Alan’s Skip Hire. The company are based in Bretton near Chester and have over 25 years of history in the business. They join UK Sameday and Total Fitness and main partners to the football club.

Club Managing Director Bob Gray said today “This deal involves pitch-side, match day programme and website advertising and both organisations will exploit each others well established names to further their businesses. We are pleased that a local company with a great reputation like Alan’s Skips has come on board with us and we hope it will the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership.”

21 January 2008

Tonight’s away reserve game against Wrexham has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Buckley Town’s Globe Way ground. However the two sides did play a friendly game on the Field Turf synthetic pitch at Colliers Park with the Dragons running out 2-1 winners. On-loan striker Craig Lindfield had given Chester an early lead.

Manager Bobby Williamson was pleased with the effort of the team despite Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Notts County. A goal on 58 minutes from Adam Tann separated the two sides though Williamson believed the effort should have been ruled out for offside. The all-important goal came just two minutes after home goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington had made a great save to deny Kevin Sandwith.

Williamson said: “We felt it was offside, we felt that the man was deep on everybody else but the linesman was not in a very good place to call it, so it’s the way luck isn’t going with us just now.”

“I felt we deserved something out of the game, the goalkeepers save from Sandwith’s free kick was the turning point I felt, but the goal changed it a bit. We showed a bit of character, kept on fighting and I don’t think our fans can complain about the effort.”

“We showed a lot more urgency than we did last week at home and we have to keep reminding ourselves that we have got to play like that every week and we just need a slice of luck.”

“The fans must stick with us, I’ve got belief in these guys, I think they give everything they have got and they do work hard and the only problem at times is that their confidence gets sapped and it looks as though there is a lack of effort, I can assure fans that is not the case, they will work hard for each other because they want to do well – it is only a matter of time before we get a break and we start winning games again.”

New loan signing Craig Lindfield came off the bench midway through the second period but was unable to make an impression on a resolute home defence. The young Liverpool striker was expected to turn out for the reserves tonight before the match with Wrexham fell foul of the weather.

Picture © Evening Leader
20 January 2008
Chester have completed the loan signing of 19-year-old Liverpool striker Craig Lindfield. He was named on the bench at Notts County on Saturday and made a second half appearance from it replacing Mark Hughes for the last 23 minutes in the 1-0 defeat.

Picture © Evening Leader

18 January 2008

John Murphy, Tony Grant, Nathan Lowndes and Tony Dinning are all reported to still being unavailable for selection as City head for a league Two clash Notts County tomorrow.

As well as their absence manager Bobby Williamson, who is currently suffering with flu, must do without the services of Paul Linwood through suspension. However fellow defender Paul Butler retruns to the squad at Meadow Lane.

The home side have failed to win a game since beating Shrewsbury Town at home in early last December. The Magpies currently lie 20th, just four points above the relegation places. Manager Ian McParland will be without injured defender Guy Branston tomorrow.

Ahead of the first meeting between the sides this season assistant manager Jimmy Bone (left) told the Chronicle: “It’s a difficult fixture, but our away form has been very good this season so we don’t fear it at all. In the modern game, I think a lot of players prefer playing away from home than at home. When you go away from home, you can sit in and be patient going forward, whereas there’s always pressure at home and when you get the ball you have to go forward.”

“The biggest single thing over the last few matches has been that we haven’t had the rub of the green.
We look as if we need a large slice of luck, we need something to go our way to change things. The players are working very hard in training and they’re working very hard in the games, but their confidence has taken a little knock so what we all need is something to go our way to bring the confidence back.”

Picture © Evening Leader
City are hoping to capture the loan signing of 19-year-old Liverpool striker Craig Lindfield. The move could only take place if Chester can overcome issues regarding their salary cap situation.

The forward, an England Under 19 international, is based in nearby Ellesmere Port and has had a loan spell this season at fellow league Two side, and Saturday's oppponents, Notts County where he scored one goal in four appearances.

Club owner Stephen Vaughan said: “We’re hoping to complete the signing of Craig Lindfield. We have got to overcome the salary management cap, but if we can do that he will join us on loan until the end of the season.”
14 January 2008

The reserves drew 1-1 at home with Carlisle United this afternoon. The City goal came early on through trialist Craig Reid a striker currently on the books of Cheltenham Town. The Cumbrians drew level with a goal late in the game. The point lifts City to fourth in the Pontins Holiday League Division One West.

Reserve fixtures | Stats | Table

Chester suffered their sixth Deva defeat of the season on Saturday against Mansfield Town who themselves registered their first away victory of the campaign. Another below par performance from City saw them slump to a 1-0 reverse with the only goal of the game coming four minutes after the interval through Matthew Hampshaw. City created little of note in response though Stags ‘keeper Carl Muggleton did well to save Kevin Ellison’s powerful header 13 minutes from time.

Following this latest defeat manager Bobby Williamson said: “We knew exactly how they would come here and go about their business and that’s exactly what they have done. We are disappointed. We never created as much as we would have like and we never showed any urgency at all throughout the game. I’m disappointed for the fans and disappointed for the players because they can play a lot better than that.”

“Confidence can disappear very very quickly and that looks like being the case for some of our players. I’m disappointed that some players can’t be man enough to accept that, get on with the game and play football. But we’ll pick these guys up and go again next week.”

“We’ll have Paul Butler available next week, I think Paul Linwood might be unavailable after picking up another booking today, we’re disappointed with that. Shaun Kelly did reasonably well as did Kevin Roberts and hopefully we'll have a couple of other players back in contention because we could do with putting somebody else in there who can freshen things up and take us forward.”

The Blues have only picked up one point from the last fifteen, that drop in form has seen them slip from a play-off place to eleventh in League Two.

Picture © Evening Leader
Defender Paul Linwood picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday and will miss next weekend’s away trip to Notts County through a one match suspension.

Picture © Evening Leader

11 January 2008

Kevin Ellison (left) returns from suspension tomorrow as City look for all three points at Deva Stadium against a Mansfield Town side currently lying second from bottom in League Two. However Paul Butler will be missing from the squad as he serves a similar one match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card recently.

Youngsters Kevin Roberts or Shaun Kelly are expected to take Butler’s place in defence. The Stags will be without captain Jake Buxton who is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in last Saturday’s surprise FA Cup win at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Picture © Evening Leader

9 January 2008
A controversial penalty just three minutes from time brought to an end City’s run in this competition at White Hart Lane in front of a crowd of 1,426.

The home side had much of the early play but had goalkeeper James Butler to thank for a point blank save that denied Kieran Morrin an early goal for Chester.

The Blues took the lead on 28 minutes through Lloyd Ellams who glanced home a Paul McManus cross from the left. Spurs equalised ten minutes later with Rose converting a right wing cross from close range. After the break it only seemed a matter of time before the hosts would take the lead but the more the game went on, with the City defence battling well, the more Chester came back into it and following the introduction of Stephen Thorpe began to cause problems with McManus’ pace on the break.

Butler again denied City, tipping Gio Feliciello’s dipping free-kick over the bar as Chester sensed the chance of a shock win. However with three minutes remaining Rose was sent through on the right, City ‘keeper Dorman stretched full length to push the ball away from the attacker who dived over the keeper and ball. To the astonishment of most in the crowd referee Lugg pointed to the spot. Hutton stepped up and sent Dorman, who didn’t appear ready for the kick, the wrong way.

So after a brave performance the young guns bowed out and received a well deserved reception from the home fans who remained to applaud them off, and roundly boo the officials!

Youth team manager Simon Davies reflected after the game: “It was a cruel way for us to go out because the referee awarded a penalty with just three minutes left. And the referee was the only person in the ground who thought the incident warranted a penalty.

Even Spurs director of football, Clive Allen, came up to me at the end of the game and apologised because he didn’t think the penalty should have been given. It was a very frustrating way to go out because I thought we were the strongest team towards the end of the game and I was looking forward to extra time.”

Chester City: Dorman, Robson (Smith, 54), Feliciello, Rule, Rowlands (Ryan Williams, 90), Owen, Morrin (Thorpe, 58), Gregory, Ellams, McManus, Mitchell. Subs not used: Newman, Simon Williams.

A DVD of the fourth-round tie at White Hart Lane is available, priced £6.00. All of the money raised from the sale of the DVDs goes towards the club’s youth development programme.

Copies will be available from Queensferry Sports, the club shop or by e-mailing Mark Newman at:

Pictures © Evening Leader
As expected Phil Bolland and Gavin Ward have been released by Chester and both have joined Wrexham.

Today’s reserve fixture at Bury has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

8 January 2008
Goalkeeper player/coach Gavin Ward looks set to be released from his contract at Chester. Ward (37) signed for the Blues in the summer but has made only one appearance from the substitutes bench so far his season, he’s expected et to join Wrexham.

Chester manager Bobby Williamson told the Daily Post: “The move to Wrexham will give Gavin first-team football, which unfortunately we couldn’t give him at Chester. His coaching contribution has been outstanding, and I would like to thank him for his efforts.”

Picture © Evening Leader

Good luck to the youth team who travel to play Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup tonight. Admission prices are £3.00 adults and £1.00 for concessions. The game at White Hart Lane will kick-off at 19:00 and played to a conclusion with extra time and penalties used if required.

Ahead of tonight’s tie youth team manager Simon Davies (left) said: “It’s a big game and we’re all aware of what the night is all about. We knocked Tottenham out of the FA Youth Cup third round at Chester last season and it’s a credit to our lads that we find ourselves in the fourth round again.”

“I've done a little bit of homework on Tottenham through my contacts at Crewe Alexandra and Bristol City. They are very good technically from what Ive seen on the tapes and DVDs Ive watched. The Chester team hasnt changed a lot from last season. Weve basically retained our strikers and midfielders, but Kevin Roberts, Sean Newton and Neil Carroll are not now eligible for the youth team, so weve had to make a few changes.”

“I’m looking for a real squad performance and we’re going down to Tottenham in high spirits and with the realistic possibility of coming away with a win.”

Picture © Evening Leader
7 January 2008
Two goals from Chris Holroyd (left) and a third from Laurence Wilson brough City a point from a 3-3 draw at Accrington Stanley to stop the rot following three straight defeats. Holroyd gave City the lead in the opening ten minutes before Andy Proctor leveled the scores before the break. Ian Craney headed Stanley into a 2-1 lead on 63 minutes, the lead was short lived however as Wilson, just back from injury, curled in a great equaliser. Next on the scoresheet was Roscoe D’Sane who once again gave the home side the advantage before youngster Holroyd popped up to net from close range.

After the game City boss Bobby Williamson said: “We got off to a good start, we created a good goal from a set piece, Linwood’s got a head on it back across and Holroyd reacted and scored – it was great to get the start we got. But then we go and concede from a set piece also, which is bitterly disappointing as this is stuff we work on, but you can only manufacture the best you can and delegate the best you can. It is up to the players to switch on and make sure their men don’t get on the end of things but unfortunately for us it has happened twice today again.”

Picture © Evening Leader

4 January 2008

Admission prices for next Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup fourth round tie at Tottenham Hotspur will be £3.00 adults and £1.00 for concessions. The game at White Hart Lane will kick-off at 19:00 and played to a conclusion on the night with extra time and penalties used if required. It will be the first FA Youth Cup game at the Lane since Spurs reached the semi-finals in 2005/06, home cup matches are normally played at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road.

Youth team manager Simon Davies is looking forward to the clash a year after a goal from Paul McManus dumped Spurs out at the same stage of the competition at Deva Stadium. “I think they’ve (Tottenham) shown us a bit of respect there. We knocked them out at this stage last season and perhaps they don’t want to take us to a pitch that has been churned up over Christmas. Maybe they want to knock it around on the bowling green at the Lane to show us how good they are.”

“Three or four players have broken through to the first team. It is great for them because they get to listen to the manager during games and even if they don’t play they are always sent back having done some intense fitness work to keep them as close to match fitness as possible. They are all level-headed and understand that this is just the beginning. There is a togetherness about this squad so no-one has a problem coming back after first-team duty.”

Chester travel to Accrington Stanley tomorrow looking to end a run of three straight defeats. They will be without the services of Kevin Ellison who is suspended and John Murphy who misses out again through injury. Laurence Wilson, Nathan Lowndes and Tony Grant have started training again and Tony Dinning is expected to be back training next week. Whether manager Bobby Williamson recalls Mark Hughes to the starting X1 or keeps to the same youthful starling line-up at New Year’s Day remains to be seen.

Record signing Ian Craney returns to the Accrington squad for tomorrow’s clash at The Fraser Eagle Stadium where the home side have lost on no less that eight occasions already this season. Stanley currently lie three places and three points below City and picked up two away wins over Christmas at Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town, both 2-1, before being beaten 2-0 at home by Bradford City.

3 January 2008

Striker Simon Yeo has joined Bury on loan until the end of the season. Yeo was a target for Shakers Director of Football Keith Alexander in the summer before he signed for Chester. Yeo previously played under Alexander at Lincoln City.

Picture © Evening Leader

2 January 2008

Chester’s new year started the same way as the old one had ended at Griffin Park with a below par display and a defeat. City suffered their third reverse in a row losing to Grimsby Town 2-0 on the back of holiday defeats at Morecambe and Brentford. Following the poor display in Brentford manager Bobby Williamson drafted in both loan midfielder John Welsh and youth team player Sean Newton for debuts. There was also a second start for another youth team player Paul McManus and surprisingly a drop to the bench for midfielder Mark Hughes.

City had a great chance to open the scoring just before the break as McManus was sent through one-on-one with Grimsby ‘keeper Phil Barnes but the youngster dragged his shot wide of goal.

Chances were few and far between and the visitors were gifted an opening midway through the second half as John Danby was adjudged to have tripped Danny North in the box, Danny Boshell converted the spot-kick. Robert Atkinson sealed the points for the Mariners heading home six minutes from time.

Manager Bobby Williamson reflected after this latest defeat: “A goal would have lifted our confidence and we could then have lifted ourselves and expressed ourselves. We could all see that Grimsby started to play a bit better after they had scored their goal. And their second goal more or less finished us off.

We kept battling on, but unfortunately we never troubled them as much as I would have liked. Conceding ten goals in our last three games is just not good enough. It has been disappointing and frustrating not to be playing better and getting results at this stage of the season.”

City dropped one place to tenth following this defeat and are next in action on Saturday with a visit to Accrington Stanley, kick-off 15:00hrs. They must do without Kevin Ellison who serves a one match ban.

Picture © Evening Leader































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