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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2012

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JANUARY
29 January 2012
DEFENDER ON THE WAY?
Manager Neil Young is looking to bring in an experienced defender in time for Saturday’s clash at Chorley. Despite the win over Mickleover Sports at the weekend both George Horan and Michael Taylor are carying knocks and Young wants cover in this department as Chester look to continue their promotion push.

Young told the Evening Leader: “One player I was looking at will hopefully become a Chester signing in the middle part of next week, but there are no guarantees in football and things can change very quickly. I’m trying to bring a defender in and I feel we’re fairly close. I think the player will be a big signing for us because he is experienced and has plenty of quality.”

“If I can complete the signing by tomorrow or Wednesday then I feel it will be a big plus for us as we go into the final three or four months of the season.”

“The player will sign on the understanding that he will be allowed to leave Chester if a Football League club come in for him. We have got some lads carrying knocks. Mainly our two centre halves, and Christian Smith didn’t play on Saturday because we think he’s got a broken rib.”

Saturday’s win was achieved with first half goals from Alex Brown and Matty McNeil before the visitors pulled a goal back just before the break through Eric Graves.

Latest table

26 January 2012
WINGER SIGNS ON LOAN
Fleetwood Town winger Stefan Cox has joined Chester on a one month loan in time to make the squad for Saturday’s game against Mickleover Sports. Cox signed for Fleetwood from Lewis in June 2011 and has scored one goal in 3+3 appearances for the Conference side since.
23 January 2012
UNBEATEN RUN COMES TO AN END
Chester’s 13 month unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when promotion rivals Hednesford Town completed the double over the Blues to join level with Chester at the top of the league, though having played a game more. manager Neil Young blamed “sloppiness” in the opening half for the defeat and though his Blues side should have claimed at least a point from the top of the table clash.

Young had to make enforced changes to the line-up with Liam Brownhill ruled out before the match with a hamstring injury and loan player Levi Mackin appearing to dislocate a collar bone in the opening ten minutes.

Following the defeat manager Young said: “Ultimately the sloppiness of some of our play in the first half has cost us the game but I couldn’t fault them second half in what were very difficult conditions.”

“We had a right go and had some great opportunities to pull the game level but we just didn’t manage to do it. If somebody tells me Hednesford deserved to win I’ll show you a liar because we definitely deserved to get something.”

At a windy stadium The Pitmen opened the scoring midway through the first period with a quality strike from 25 yards by Chris Clements that gave John Danby no chance. They doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break when a rare mistake by Michael Taylor who failed to control a long through ball let Gary Hay through to race in on goal and slot the ball past Danby.

Chester pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time as Matty McGinn converted his tenth spot-kick of the season after Matty McNeil had been fouled in the penalty area.

Young made changes in the second period and kicking into the wind the Blues created several chances to draw level but Robbie Booth and Christian Smith both put efforts wide and Dan Crane made great saves to twice deny Michael Wilde.

The Blues could find themselves knocked off top spot tomorrow night as Hednesford travel to play Marine, a point for the Staffordshire side will be enough to take them above Chester.

Latest table | Match report

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
20 January 2012
MANAGEMENT TEAM AGREE CONTRACTS
Great news for Chester fans as manager Neil Young and his assistant Gary Jones have now both put pen to paper with new contracts that extend their stay at the Blues for another 12 months with an opportunity of that being extended by another year should they lead the side to promotion to the Conference North this season.
17 January 2012
CHORLEY TICKETS
Chester have received a 1,000 ticket allocation for the Saturday 4 February league match at Chorley priced at £9.00 each, there are no concession prices. Tickets will go on sale to Season Ticket Holders (Voucher C must be produced, and it will be one ticket sold per voucher) from this Saturday, with any remaining tickets on General Sale after the game against Mickleover Sports on Saturday 28th January.

Season Ticket Holders can purchase their Chorley ticket during the following times:
Saturday 21st: 10.00-12.30hrs and then for 30 minutes after the Hednesford game
Monday 23rd: 10.00-16.00hrs
Tuesday 24th: 10.00-16.00hrs
Wednesday 25th: 10.00-16.00hrs then 18.00-20.00hrs
Thursday 26th: 10.00-16.00hrs
Friday 27th: 10.00-16.00hrs
Saturday 28th: 10.00-12.30hrs

Tickets will not be available on the day of the match.

16 January 2012
GALLANT BLUES EXIT TROPHY
Backed by a great following of 500+ supporters, Chester were finally knocked out of the FA Trophy in a pulsating game at Ebbsfleet. Twice the Blues fought back through goals from Matty McNeil and Jamie Rainford but it just quite wasn't enough to overcome their Conference opponents.

Chester had much the better of the opening period but were unable to capitalise on the half chances they created and it was the home side that took the lead against the run of play through Calum Willock on 27 minutes. The goal lifted Ebbsfleet side who finished the first period the stronger as John Danby produced a fine save from Nathaniel Pinney to keep the score to 1-0.

The Blues lost both Matty McGinn and Jerome Wright through injury to be replaced by Alex Brown and Iain Howard for the second half and ten minutes after the restart the home side doubled their advantage as Yado Mambo headed home at the back post.

But Chester fought straight back, Levi Mackin saw a header come back off the bar and moments later McNeil stooped to send a superb diving header from Brown’s free-kick into the bottom corner giving Preston Edwards in the Fleet goal no chance. But Chester fell two goals behind again just three minutes later as substitute Ricky Shakes scored from close range after George Horan had cleared a Pinney effort off the line.

Chester showed their battling qualities though and reduced the scoreline again on 72 minutes as Jamie Rainford saw a shot deflected past his own ‘keeper by Paul Lorrainer. The Blues pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages as Brown saw an effort drop on top of the net and substitute Michael Wilde volleyed straight at Edwards when well placed but that elusive equaliser just wouldn’t come.

Blues manager Neil Young was full of praise for his team after the match. he told the Chester Chronicle: “I can’t knock my team at all – I thought they were outstanding from the first minute to the 93rd minute. We were always in the game and for long periods I don’t think you would’ve known who was the Conference side and who was the Northern Premier League side. Yes, we were naive at times but I must stress again at how proud I am of the lads.”

Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish also praised the Chester performance:“The Chester fans really made themselves heard, and I want to wish them all the best going forward. They’ve had a rough ride of late, dropping out of the league, going into admin, but they’re on the march, coming back and I wish them all the best. I hope they go on to win their league and get back to where they should rightfully be.”


Match Highlights
(YouTube)

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
13 January 2012
BLUES PLAN FOR TROPHY SHOCK
Chester travel down to Dartford today as they prepare for tomorrow’s FA Trophy second round tie at Conference side Ebbsfleet United. It’s the furthest the new club will have traveled for a match and they are expected to be back by up to 400 supporters for the game. Manager Neil Young will welcome back both Alex Brown and Liam Brownhill to the squad after the pair were rested last weekend, two players though miss the tie through suspension – Michael Powell and Wes Baynes. Jamie Rainford will be in the squad after turning down a Conference North move to either FC Halifax or Guiseley – both of whom had offers for the striker accepted by Chester.

Rainford told the Chester Chronicle: “When I joined in the summer there was a lot of expectation but for whatever reason – and I won’t make excuses up – I wasn’t playing to the level I know I am capable of. But things have turned around. I went up to Halifax and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”

“I went there, got minutes and most of all got my confidence back. I’ve been scoring goals but my all-round play has improved. I think I am a better player than I was at this time last year and I’m happy.”

Opponents The Fleet currently sit 15th in the Conference with a record of P27 W7 D10 L10 F39 A42. They reached the second round stage of the Trophy following a 5-2 away victory at Truro City. Ebbsfleet have already suffered at the hands of a lower league side this season though when they were beaten 2-0 at Redbridge in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in October.

The Kent side will be without striker Liam Enver-Marum through suspension while manager Liam Daish serves a touchline ban. The club have tasted success in the competition before when they defeated Torquay United 1-0 in the 2008 final at Wembley. The winners of the tie will receive £6,000 and should there be a replay it will take place at Chester next Wednesday night, 19.45hrs. The club last visited Stonebridge Road back in August 2003 when Chester City won 4-0.

Admission prices for this match are: adults £12.00, concessions £7.00, under 13s £3.00, under 5s £Free

10 January 2012
PRACTICE MATCH VICTORY
Goals from Levi Mackin (2), Michael Wilde, Jerome Wright, Matty McNeil, and triallist Jason Lampkin scored as Chester beat Conwy United 6-0 in a behind closed doors practice match last night.
CHESTER HOST PREMIER SIDES
The reserve match between Liverpool and Manchester United will be played next Monday, kick-off 19:00hrs. Admission to the match is Adults: £5.00, Children: £1.00. The match is segregated with Liverpool fans given the main stand and both ends with United supporters housed in the smaller West stand.
8 January 2012
EMPHATIC BLUES WIN AT RUSHALL
Chester extended their lead at the top of the Northern Premier League following a 4-0 victory at eighth placed Rushall Olympic on Saturday. Matty McNeil, who had a great game and was a problem for the home defence all afternoon, gave Chester the lead on 29 minutes with a superb turn and shot from the edge of the box.

The home side came close to an equaliser just before the break as Matt Lewis rattled the crossbar but the Blues defence ensured that John Danby wasn’t troubled too much after that scare. Michael Powell doubled the lead four minutes into the second period before Matty McGinn put the game beyond the Pics with a penalty ten minutes later after McNeil had been fouled in the area. Levi Mackin came off the bench for his debut and marked it with the final goal of the afternoon with a well taken effort in stoppage time.

Manager Neil Young praised scout Alex Hay for setting the foundations of the victory, he told the Chester Chronicle: “Thanks to Alex Hay, who goes all over the country watching games for us, we knew what they had. They’ve got a lad up front in Ahmed Obeng who causes a lot of problems but we made sure we got tight to him and stopped him from getting in behind us. He is a danger and that is why Football League clubs are looking at him.”

“We knew they would go from back to front quite quickly and try and get us turned but we squeezed them high up the pitch and when we got the ball, we tried to look after it as best we could. I thought we played with a lot more pace in wide areas and also our set-pieces were much better.”

“There are lots of lads in our squad who on their first two, three, four performances were deemed not good enough for Chester. But now the likes of Michael Powell, Robbie Booth, Michael Taylor and Chris Simm are players the fans want to be the first names on the team sheet.”

Promotion rivals Northwich Victoria and Hednesford Town were both held at home on Saturday so Chester’s win moves three points clear at the top.

The Blues now turn their attentions to Saturday when they travel to play Conference side Ebbsfleet United in the second round of the FA Trophy. Manager Young will be without both Powell and Wes Baynes through suspension though both Alex Brown and Liam Brownhill, rested at the weekend, will be available. This will be the furthest trip the new club have made and they will start as underdogs against a side that effectively sit 32 places above them in the league ladder.

Latest table

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
7 January 2012
EARLY KICK-OFF AT CHORLEY
The away league match at Chorley on Saturday 4 February will be all-ticket and have an early kick-off at 13.00hrs. Ticket details will be announced shortly.
4 January 2012
MIDFIELDER JOINS CHESTER
The club have signed Chester born 24-year-old midfielder Levi Mackin until the end of the season from Alfreton Town. Mackin has had his contract at Alfreton terminated by mutual agreement and played 13+1 matches (in various competitions) for the side, scoring twice since he signed for them in July.

With both Michael Powell and Wes Baynes about to start three match suspensions, manager Neil Young has boosted his squad with a player that has both Conference and Football League experience. Mackin has also previously played in the FA Trophy Final for York City and also a Conference Play-Off Final. Mackin will be eligible for the FA Trophy match at Ebbsfleet United later this month.

3 January 2012
BLUES LEFT FRUSTRATED
A new club record crowd of 3,560 turned out to see Chester’s match with Nantwich Town yesterday and will have left frustrated that the Blues couldn’t convert numerous chances into three points. Twice the woodwork came to the rescue of Nantwich Town while Dabbers goalkeeper Jon Brain pulled off a series of good saves as the Blues had the better of the opening half without converting that into goals.

The visitors took the lead soon after the restart through Mike Lennon but Antoni Sarcevic (left) equalised for Chester within a minute. Both sides had chances to win the game from then on and Chester can be thankful for a great double save by John Danby late on that keeps the Blues a slender one point ahead of second placed Northwich Victoria.

Chester manager Neil Young said: “I thought we should have been a couple of goals up by half-time but their keeper has made some good saves and we’ve hit the underside of the crossbar. We limited them to very little and passed the ball well but we didn’t take care in the final third when we could have done better.”


The Blues are back in action again on Saturday with a trip to the Midlands to play Rushall Olympic. For the trip Young may have additions to the squad to choose from after confirming the club had received three enquiries for striker Jamie Rainford who has just returned from a successful loan spell at FA Halifax Town.

Latest table

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

1 January 2012
YOUNG RECEIVES AWARD

Congratulations to manager Neil Young who has been named Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Manager of the Month for December. The Blues have won three and drawn one of their four games during the month.

Northwich manager Andy Preece steered his side to the same record but all their games had been played at home. Three of Chester’s victories have come away from home which was enough to swing the decision. Young will receive his award prior to the Hednesford Town league fixture on the 21 January.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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