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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2014

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December | 2013 News | Archive News
JANUARY
31 January 2014
STRIKER SIGNS ON LOAN

Chester have signed 23-year-old Forest Green Rovers forward Matty Taylor on loan until the end of the season. He has scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for the Gloucestershire side.
FIXTURE DATE CHANGES
The home league game against Southport will now take place on Tuesday 18 match, kick-off 19.45hrs. This has had to be moved to accommodate the home Cheshire Senior Cup match against Macclesfield Town which will now take place on Tuesday 18 February, kick-off 19.45hrs with admission prices for that game of £8.00 for Adults, £5.00 for Concessions, and £3.00 for Under 16s. The home match against Salisbury City on the last day of the season will now kick-off at 17.30hrs. All Conference premier match that day will kick-off at this time and one will be screened live by BT Sports.
29 January 2014
SENIOR BLUES MEETING

The next meeting of the Senior Blues will take place in the Blues Bar on Friday 7 February starting at 11.00hrs. The two guest speakers will be manager Steve Burr and Simon Gerrard who is a senior official at the Cheshire F.A. New members, aged 55 and over, are welcome to join on the morning until the end of the season for a cost of £5.00. Tea/Coffee and biscuits will be availabele and a raffle will also take place – raffle prizes are welcome.
27 January 2014
BLUES RUE MISSED CHANCE

Steve Burr’s winning start came to an end wit a 3-0 defeat at play-off chasing Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. Chester nearly took an early lead through Craig Lindfield but the midfielder saw his point-blank shot saved by Sam Russell and the Blues were made to rue that missed chance.

Conditions were far from ideal at the New Lawn as a swirling wind and driving rain in the opening half but Chester, backed by a fantastic traveling support of over 300, were undone by two goals from experienced striker Lee Hughes and a fine finish from James Norwood.

Burr told the Chester Leader: “I felt first half we defended well in horrendous conditions and we definitely had the best chance of the first half and we didn’t take it and I think that could have changed things. That’s the difference and that's the fine margins.”

“If opportunities come your way, you have got to stick them in and it does change things because it takes the pressure off our back four and us a team and it puts the pressure on them to score. Craig was obviously disappointed but really he should have found the back of the net.”

Table after Forest Green match

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)


JEFFERS TRAINING WITH CHESTER
Former England international Francis Jeffers has been training with Chester. The forward, who played for Everton and Arsenal in his prime, joined the players for training last Thursday and Burr is attempting to bolster the squad before the visit of Welling United on Saturday. Burr told the Chester Leader: “Franny doesn’t want to come into the squad and let himself down. He wants to be right. He hadn’t played much football before the New Year and he just wants to get himself right fitness-wise. I’ve had a chat with Franny and it’s one of those where he wants to make sure that he’s right before he makes any commitment. But Franny is dead keen to play, but obviously fitness-wise we’ve got to make sure that he is right.”
24 January 2014
FIRST SIGNING FOR BURR

Steve Burr has made his first signing by taking former Colchester United midfielder Andy Bond on until the end of the season.
22 January 2014
BLUES MOVE OUT OF BOTTOM FOUR

Chester recorded a second successive victory with a 1-0 win over Woking and Kingfield on Tuesday night. Jamie Meenagh scored the all important goal on 29 minutes when he raced through onto a John Rooney through ball turned inside a defender and curled a shot past Mason Springthorpe in the cards goal and in off the far post. The Blues created numerous chances after the break to finish the hosts off but failed to extend their lead and had to endure a nervy final ten minutes as Woking pushed for an equaliser.

The win moves Chester out of the bottom four at the expense of Southport. The Blues are next in action on Saturday when they travel to play 15th placed Forest Green Rovers, kick-off 15.00hrs.

Table after Woking match

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

20 January 2014
MANAGER DELIGHTED WITH VICTORY

Manager Steve Burr was delighted with the way his new side fought back from a late set-back to beat Barnet 2-1 on Saturday. Burr took his place in the dugout alongside assistant Gary Jones as the Blues won for only the fifth time this season. After a scrappy opening half hour in which Barnet had a goal chalked off for offside, Lewis Turner gave Chester the lead with ten minutes of the first half to play as his cross passed through the entire Bees defence to sneak into the bottom corner.

With George Horan and Ross Killock having great games they restricted the visitors to few chances after the break though, as seen so many times this season, the Blues wilted under late pressure to concede an equaliser six minutes from time as Jake Hyde headed home. BUt Chester weren’t finished and a fine flowing move down the right straight from the kick-off saw Jamie Reed net the winner at the far post to secure three vital points in the fight against relegation.

Burr said: “I couldn’t have asked for anything better after a long day. I thought the effort and commitment of the players was fantastic and I thought we fully deserved to get the win. Hopefully the result will give us a lot of confidence as we move on to Woking. The atmosphere was fantastic and I told the lads the response was great but I don’t want to be put through that every week. The roof came off when we got the second goal.”

Chester now travel to Woking on Tuesday night to play a side that sit seven points ahead of them in the table. The Cards were beaten 3-0 at Welling United on Saturday and have today signed goalkeeper Mason Springthorpe on a one-month loan from Everton.

Table after Barnet match

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
18 January 2014
STEVE BURR NAMED AS NEW MANAGER

Former Kidderminster Harriers manager Steve Burr has been appointed the new manager of Chester FC until the end of the season with Gary Jones remaining as assistant. Burr will be full-time and could potentially extend his contract. Prior to Kidderminster he has previously managed at Hucknall Town, Northwich Victoria and Stalybridge Celtic. He will take change of the team for this afternoon’s match against Barnet.

Vice-Chairman Steve Ashton told the official club website: “Steve’s record speaks for itself, often regarded as the best manager outside the Football League, this is a fantastic appointment for Chester FC. He is a perfect fit for our club values, and is held in very high regard throughout football. We are completely confident Steve is the best man to ensure our survival in the Conference Premiership, and we look forward to working with him in the coming months and hopefully years! I am sure all fans will welcome Steve and wish him well.”
17 January 2014
WILLIAMS RETURNS TO AIRBUS

Ashley Williams has left Chester and signed for Airbus UK Broughton the club the Blues signed him from back in January 2011. Williams made 68+17 appearances for Chester scoring two goals.
16 January 2014
THEN THERE WERE THREE
!
The shortlist for the successor to Neil Young has been narrowed down to three candidates by the selection panel of club chairman Tony Durkin, vice-chairman Steve Ashton and director Jim Keegan. Four candidates were interviewed for the managers position leaving Gary Jones plus two others in the frame following that. The club are aiming to announce their new manager before Saturday’s home match against Barnet.

Ashton told the Chester Chronicle: “We were delighted with the high calibre of applications and had some very good candidates. We went through a shortlisting process based on agreed criteria before the interview stage and we are now down to three very good options including Gary Jones. We will now carefully consider which of the three is the best man to take the club forward and we are optimistic that the manager we appoint will give us the very best chance of staying up this season.”
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUP
Chester have been given a home tie against Macclesfield Town in the second round of the competition. The match is due to be played in the week commencing Monday 10 February.
13 January 2014
ROONEY HAT-TRICK SECURES WIN

John Rooney scored a hat-trick in his full debut as Chester won 4-0 at Runcorn Town in the first round of the Cheshire Senior Cup, Jamie Reed added the fourth goal. Caretaker manager Gary Jones will have been delighted with the way the tem responded since the departure of Neil Young though they would have been expected to come through the tie against their North West Counties League opponents.

Rooney opened the scoring a minute before the interval following a Jamie Menagh pass. He then added a second on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot after Tom Peers had been brought down in the area. Rooney turned provider to set Jamie Reed up for the third goal seven minutes after the break and completed his treble in the last minute with a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

BLUES SIGN ROONEY
John Rooney has signed for Chester until May 2015 after being released from him contract at Bury. Rooney has impressed during his loan spell over recent weeks and looks set to go straight into the side at Runcorn tonight.
OVER 50 APPLICANTS FOR MANAGER POST
Club chairman Tony Durkin has revealed that they have received 53 applications for the position of manager. The list of applicants will now be trimmed down to a long list and then a short list will be drawn from that. One name that is already on the short list is caretaker manager Gary Jones who takes change of the club in their Cheshire Senior Cup match at Runcorn Town tonight. Jones told the Chester leader: “I have enjoyed assisting Neil during my time at Chester and I really enjoy coaching the players, but a progression from that is to manage and oversee a team and that does interest me. I have told Tony Durkin and Steve Ashton that I would try and do the best I could to ensure that Chester are still in the Conference Premier league next season.”

Among the leading contenders for the post are believed to be former Chester City player and Luton Town and Cambridge United manager Gary Brabin who, if appointed, would bring Paul Carden as his assistant. Other people who have admitted their interest in the position include former Barrow manager Dave Bayliss, ex-Hyde manager Gary Lowe as well as Liam Daish who managed Ebbsfleet United when they knocked the Blues out of the FA Trophy in 2012.
11 January 2014
FRIENDLY WIN

Goals from Tom Peers and Jamie Reed gave Chester a 2-0 victory over Rhyl in a behind closed doors home friendly today.
10 January 2014
SOUTHPORT DATE

The home match against Southport postponed at the new year will now take place on Tuesday 18 February, kick-off 19.45hrs.
8 January 2014
NEIL YOUNG LEAVES CHESTER

Manager Neil Young has left Chester by mutual consent after three and a half highly successful years in the position.

Young was appointed the first manager of the reformed club on 21 May 2010 – the day after the historic launch meeting in the Guildhall, and arrived with his assistant Gary Jones from Colwyn Bay where they had guided the Unibond Division One North side to promotion via the play-off’s. Within a week he had made the clubs first five signings and a month later introduced himself and his new players to the fans as the club celebrated its 125th anniversary at the Chester racecourse. Led by Cestrian captain George Horan and with the help of Michael Wilde’s 36 goals, the following March Chester were crowned Evo-Stik Division One North champions following a nervy last match defeat at Garforth as the Blues just fought off second placed Skelmersdale on goal difference.

During the summer of 2011 Young dismantled much of his side to build a new X1 capable of winning the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. And win it they did smashing records along the way before finishing 17 points clear of second placed Northwich Victoria – reaching 100 points and 102 goals during the 4-0 victory over Marine in the last game of the season. Chris Simm top scored with 15 goals with full back Matty McGinn chipping in with 14 including a stunning equaliser against the Vics which sealed the title.

The end of season saw another transformation in the team ready to take on the challenge of the Conference North. Once again the record books were rewritten with the Blues embarking on a 30 matches unbeaten run during the season. Chester finished the season 16 points clear of their nearest rivals Guiseley, scoring a massive 103 goals and claiming 107 points along the way. During the season Young became full-time in his role after taking a one year sabbatical from his employers at Merseyrail. By returning to the Conference Premier Chester had achieved in three years what they set out to do in five! The Blues capped the season of by lifting the Cheshire Senior Cup for the first time since 1931/32 and saw midfield star Antoni Sarcevic pick up an England C cap before being sold to Fleetwood Town.

This season has proved the biggest challenge for all as the club attempts to compete in a league where many of our opponents are full time. The Blues lost the opening five matches of the campaign before a morale boosting 2-0 victory at neighbours Wrexham. However Chester have won only three more times since that August victory at the Racecourse and currently sit third from bottom, and two points from safety.

Assistant manager Gary Jones will take over in a caretaker capacity while the club advertise for a new manager.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
7 January 2014
MENAGH AND KILLOCK EXTEND DEAL
S
Jamie Menagh has signed until the end of the season. The midfielder initially signed for Chester from Prescot Cables on a non contract basis but a couple of goals on his debut against Lincoln City and some steady performances since has earned him the chance to see out the remainder of the season with the Blues.

Also remaining at Chester for the rest of the season is Leeds United defender Ross Killock. Killock’s initial loan deal expired at the start of the month but a series of fine performances which culminated in a goal against Gateshead over Christmas has seen his loan deal extended.

6 January 2014
F
RIENDLY OFF
The friendly match against Leeds United tomorrow has been cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.

3 January 2014
LEEDS UNITED FRIENDLY

With no league fixture scheduled until the the home game with Barnet on 18th January, Chester have arranged a friendly against a Leeds United X1. The match will take place on Tuesday and kick’s-off at 19.00hrs. Admission prices are: £5.00 for adults, £3.00 for concessions, and £1.00 for under 16s, only the main East Stand will be open for this match.

1 January 2014
HIGGINBOTHAM DEPARTS

Experienced defender Danny Higginbotham has left Chester. He had signed for the Blues from Sheffield United last August until the end of the season but has left due to the increasing demands of his developing media career.

Higginbotham made his debut in the 2-0 victory at Wrexham and went on to make 17+2 appearances for the club scoring one goal in the 3-2 defeat at Gateshead. He also captained the side on a number of occasions in the absence of George Horan.

Higginbotham told the Chester Chronicle: “Since coming to Chester I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club. Making my debut at Wrexham was fantastic and a proud moment and something I’ll never forget.”

“Captaining the team on occasions in the absence of George was a great honour for me. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the fans and how they’ve stuck behind the team. The management have been a pleasure to work with and the team spirit amongst the lads is something that should go a long way to keeping the club up this season.”

“Whenever I get the chance I’m hoping to come down and watch a game, and I’ve also made myself available to help the club off the field too, to help benefit the football club, so I’m leaving on great terms having made a lot of friends here.”

Since leaving Chester Higginbotham has signed for Conference North side Altrincham, his home-town club.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
MATCH POSTPONED
Today’s home match against Southport was one of a number called off in the Conference due to a waterlogged pitch. This would have been the last game for loan players Ross Killock, John Rooney and George Miller who are all now due to return to their parent clubs.

PAUL COMSTIVE
Former Chester City star Paul Comstive has died at the age of 52 after suffering from a heart attack. The Southport-born player signed from Bolton Wanderers for £10,000 in November 1991 and featured in 56 league games for the Blues scoring six times. Perhaps the best-remembered of these goals came in the first ever league game at the Deva Stadium when he rounded off the scoring as the Blues beat his former club Burnley 3-0 in September 1992.

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