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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2022

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JANUARY
28 January 2022
GOALKEEPER SIGNS
Chester have signed 20-year-old goalkeeper Wyll Stanway on non-contract terms from Lancaster City. He started the season at Holker Old Boys before joining Northern Premier League side Lancaster City where he made five appearances.
27 January 2022
PENALTY WOES FOR YOUTH TEAM
The youth team were beaten 5-3 on penalties at the end of their Under-19 second round National League Academy Cup match at home to FC Halifax Town last night, in front of a crowd of 208. The game had ended 3-3 after 90 minutes. Chester led on three occasions during the match through two goals from Zack Clarke and a third from Harrison Burke only for the visitors to come back on each occasion, forcing penalties with an 89th minute equaliser.

Chester: Joe Smith (Joe Beswick 90+5), Regan Daly, Sol Forde, Sol Ashworth, Jay Lee, Max Buckley-Benbow, Reece Daly, Sam Hughes (Harry Griffiths 75), Max Giani (Dan Collins 82), Zack Clarke, Harrison Burke. Subs not used: Oliver Bavington, Sam Brady.

23 January 2022
DEFENSIVE ERRORS TO BLAME AGAIN
Chester were beaten 4-3 in the last minute at Curzon Ashton on Saturday, the Blues having fought back from 1-3 to equalise late in the game. Manager Steve Watson gave debuts to new signings Marcus Dackers and Okera Simmonds, and Harrison Burke came off the bench for a league debut following an injury to Danny Livesey early in the second half.

Two goals from Alex Curran, on 24 and 38 minutes gave the home side the advantage at the break. Chester reduced the deficit early in the second period as Darren Stephenson saw an effort saved by Nash ‘keeper Chris Renshaw only for Simmonds to score from the rebound.

Nash restored their two goal lead on 55 minutes with former Blue Tom Peers, on loan from Altrincham, scored from close range. Chester brought George Waring on for Dackers and on 63 minutes he scored the second heading home Apter’s cross from the right. Apter went close with a fine run and shot that crept inches wide before he supplied another superb cross that was met by Kevin Roberts who headed Chester level.

As the game headed into stoppage time a long clearance was met by the out rushing Gray, his first touch was heavy and his attempted clearance up field struck the onrushing Peers and looped into the net for the bizarre winning goal.

A frustrated Watson said after the match: “The only place to start is the type of goals we are conceding. Absolutely nowhere near good enough. Decision making, sense of danger, picking ups second balls, we have worked hard for our goals today, we have carved out good goals.

“And, no disrespect to the opposition, but the goals that we are conceding, some of them, and certainly the last one, are gifts. You are never going to be able to win football games and climb the table with the standard of goals that they are letting in since I have been here.

“That is stuff that is hard to correct on the training ground, that has to come from the players, from within. You have to take a hit sometimes. We were just lacking in that department all day really.

“Four goals again and you are looking at a game again where we probably dominated the ball, carved out numerous chances.”

Chester are back in league action on Saturday when they travel to Boston United, kick-off 15.00hrs. The Pilgrims appointed ex-Kettering Town boss Paul Cox as their new manager this week.


Picture © Rick Matthews

League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]
21 January 2022
BRACKLEY DATE
Chester have rearranged their home game against Brackley Town for Tuesday 1 February, kick-off 19.45hrs.
18 January 2022
NATIONAL LEAGUE ACADEMY CUP
Chester have rearranged their Under-19 second round National League Academy Cup match at home to FC Halifax Town for Wednesday 26 January, kick-off 19.00hrs. Admission is free, but a donation at the gate would be appreciated. All funds raised on the night go straight to the Youth Academy.
15 January 2022
FORWARD SIGNS
Chester have signed 22-year-old winger Okera Simmonds from Worcester Raiders on a deal until the end of the season.
HORSFIELD CONTRACT EXTENSION
Defender James Horsfield has had his ‘short term’ contract extended until the end of the season.
14 January 2022
TWO NEW SIGNINGS
The squad rebuilding under manager Steve Watson continued with two more signings today. Defender Ollie Heywood who captained the Under-19 Academy side last year has been given his first professional contract, after a loan spell at Runcorn Linnets earlier in the season.

Also joining the club on a one month youth loan is 19-year-old forward Marcus Dackers from Salford City. Dackers had a successful loan spell from the Ammies with Stalybridge Celtic earlier this season.

OUT ON LOAN
Midfielder Drew Lowe has joined Northern Premier Division One (West) side Glossop North End on loan for one month.
11 January 2022
MATCH OFF
With the ongoing dispute over whether Chester can allow supporters to attend Deva Stadium continuing, the home match against Brackley Town on Saturday has been postponed with agreement from the National League. The Under 19’s National League Academy Cup match with FC Halifax Town tomorrow night has also been postponed.

The club have today stated... “We have met with Welsh Government, Flintshire Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council, however do not yet feel that this matter has reached a definitive resolution and will be obtaining further legal advice.”

“Whilst enforcement action remains a possibility, we are not prepared to risk the security of the Club or our supporters, as such the Board have made the difficult decision to postpone this week’s home fixtures.”

“Open, constructive discussions are continuing with a shared commitment to identifying a long-term solution that recognises the unique geography and historical context of the Deva Stadium site.”

“The Board will be seeking advice in respect of the potential breaches of the Welsh Coronavirus Regulations, which legislation will be applicable to the Club in the future and to establish any implications the Welsh Government’s proposed offer of financial support may have as an English football club.”

“We are a supporter-owned, community football club and the events of recent days have been especially challenging, therefore we are extremely grateful to our fans for their unwavering support.”

“The Board also wishes to place on record our thanks to the National League, Brackley Town and FC Halifax Town for their understanding and cooperation.”

“We will provide further updates as work to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all parties progresses.”

As it stands the next fixture will be a trip to Curzon Ashton on Saturday 22 January, kick-off 15.00hrs.

9 January 2022
DEFEAT AT BRADFORD
Despite dominating possession for large periods and creating a host of chances Chester were beaten 1-0 by Bradford (Park Avenue) on the 4G pitch at Horsfall Stadium yesterday. The only goal of the game came on nine minutes as Brad Dockerty turned home a right wing cross at the far post. The Blues gave debuts to both Rob Apter and David Fitzpatrick, Apter looking lively throughout.

Although they created countless chances Chester were unable to find a way past George Sykes-Kenworthy in the Avenue goal. The defeat leaves Chester in 15th position in he league. The Blues are next in action on Saturday with a home game against league leaders Brackley Town, kick-off 15.00hrs. Whether supporters will be admitted to the match remains to be seen.


Picture © Rick Matthews

League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]
8 January 2022
BORDERINE PROBLEMS FOR BLUES
The football club are facing legal action after they were accused of breaking Welsh Covid restrictions by allowing supporters to attend the recent home matches against AFC Fylde and AFC Telford United over the Christmas period.

As everyone knows, Deva Stadium straddles the England/Wales border. The pitch is in Wales, the entrance to the stadium and part of the club offices are in England.

In Wales, Level Two Coronavirus restrictions, which came into force on 26 December, have meant that most matches have to be played behind closed doors (the limit on the number of supporters allowed to attend is 50). The Welsh government have said the club was in Wales and must adhere to Welsh rules.

The football club have been in dialogue with local councils and the police in an effort to sort out a complicated situation. They issued the following statement today...


CLUB STATEMENT
This morning Chester Football Club was invited to a meeting with representatives of North Wales Police, Flintshire County Council, Cheshire Police and Cheshire West & Chester Council.

During this meeting, the Club was given a joint letter on behalf of North Wales Police and Flintshire County Council which outlines potential breaches of Welsh Coronavirus Regulations at our fixtures on 28th December 2021 and 2nd January 2022.

It also states the Club may commit further potential breaches if it continues to play home fixtures with crowds while the current restrictions in Wales remain in place.

We were informed this was based upon direction from the Welsh Government that the premises of Chester Football Club are governed by the Welsh Regulations. The Welsh Government was not represented at the meeting.

It was agreed that all parties would seek further legal advice given the complex issues and future implications of any outcome.

We will provide a further update to our supporters as soon as we are able to.
END

6 January 2022
DEFENDER SIGNS
Chester have signed ex-Port Vale, Macclesfield and Altrincham defender David Fitzpatrick on a contract to the end of the season. Fitzpatrick is a left back and is known to manager Steve Watson from his time at Macclesfield Town.
4 January 2022
COWAN JOINS BUXTON
Defender Dan Cowan has had his contract cancelled at Chester by mutual consent. Cowan, 25, was signed in June 2021 having finished last season at Curzon Ashton. He made 17+2 appearances, scoring two goals for the Blues this season. Cowan has signed a contract with Buxton until the end of the season.
3 January 2022
WINGER SIGNS ON LOAN
Chester have signed 18-year-old Blackpool winger Rob Apter on a one month youth loan. Apter has spent the early part of the season on loan at Bamber Bridge where he netted 10 goals in 22 appearances.
JAMIE MORGAN LEAVES CHESTER
Defender Jamie Morgan has left Chester to step up a division and join National League side Altrincham. Morgan made 30+6 appearances for the Blues, scoring four goals in the process. Meanwhile striker Jack Redshaw has returned to Ashton United following his loan spell at Chester.

Morgan said: “Thank you for everything Chester FC. I was proud to represent the club at every opportunity I got. A wonderful club with great fans and hopefully on its way to good things. There was the good and the bad but that’s what makes football exciting.”

BLUES HELD AT HOME BY TELFORD
Chester had to settle for a point as their opening game of 2022 against AFC Telford United ended 1-1 at Deva Stadium yesterday. The Blues had taken the lead through a fine Paddy Lacey header on 36 minutes and took that lead into the half-time break. The game took a twist three minutes into the second half as Simon Grand was sent off for a second yellow card following a foul on Jason Oswell. The resulting free-kick was converted by Brendon Daniels to draw Telford level.

Despite being a man down Chester continued to create chances and introduced Zack Clarke from the bench for a league debut. The visitors had a golden chance to claim all three points in the last minute after being awarded a penalty following a hand ball from a corner. Up stepped Bucks substitute Carl Baker who smashed the spot-kick against the bar and over.

Chester are back in action with a trip to Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday, kick-off 15.00hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews


League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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