29 January 1999
City are also trying to secure
another loan period for Sam Aiston.
Chester have been fined £3,000
by the FA for their part in the brawl at Halifax last
November. Halifax were fined £2,000. City must
pay half the fine immediately and the other £1,500
is suspended until the end of the 1999/2000 season.
Skipper Andy Crosby is suspended for tomorrow's game
at Field Mill though Alex Smith is available again
following his ban.
26 January 1999
Jon Cross is recovering at
the FA rehabilitation centre at Lilleshall as is expected
to restart training in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile
City face a disciplinary hearing in Manchester on Thursday
regarding the 22-man fracas at Halifax back in November.
19 January 1999
Gary Bennett is recovering in hospital after
having undergone an major emergency operation for a twisted bowel. By all
accounts the striker had a lucky escape. Bennett went into hospital on
Friday and was operated on the following day. City's physio Stuart Walker
said: "He's been in a bad way. It's a good job he went to the Accident
and Emergency when he did because he's had major surgery. It's a life-threatening
operation and doctors have told him he's had a lucky escape, they thought
it was appendicitis at first."
Michael Fair, of the Independent Supporters Association, said: "It
was quite a shock especially when you realise how serious the surgery he
had was. It's happened on one of our greatest footballing nights and one
of our greatest ever players hasn't been there to watch. He's always been
a favourite with the fans and we wish his well and we all hope it doesn't
spell the end of a fantastic career."
City have re-arranged their away game at Plymouth
for Tuesday February 23 (7.45pm kick off). That game is just three days
after an away game at Torquay.
13 January 1999
WELCOME BACK ROD
Rod Thomas returns to the Deva this Friday
for the first time since his departure to Brighton. However a torn
hamstring has kept the ex-England U21 international out of action
since Christmas and it's touch and go whether he'll be fit for Friday's
live SKY game. "I tore my hamstring at Peterborough on December
28; and haven't played since," said Thomas, who returns to Chester
for the first time on Friday. "I jogged today and I'll have
a test tomorrow but it's 50/50 whether I'll be fit to play. But I'll
be back at Chester no matter what on Friday; I haven't been back
since I went to Brighton. It will be good to see the lads again and
they've doing well lately. I'd love to play especially with it being
on TV but it will still be good to come back and see everyone."
Thomas was on his best for for City when he was
transferred back in October and is sure to get a good reception
from the home fans. "Things have gone well," he added. "We
were second from bottom when I came here and we've gone a good
run which has taken us to the play-off zone."
Shaun Reid is suspended for Friday's game
and Ross Davidson is doubtful after a hamstring injury at Orient.
Luke Beckett may be included on the City bench depending on his run
out with the reserves tonight.
12 January 1999
LOAN DEAL EXTENDED
Mike Conroy's loan deal at Chester has
been extended by another month. Half of the fee involved has been
paid for by the ISA. Meanwhile Chester may extend Sam Aiston's loan
period for another month, but his would look unlikely with Aiston
about to serve a three match ban following his red card against Southend.
The Sunderland striker is available for this Friday's game but then
the suspension starts.
KEV NOT AMUSED
Harsh words from Manager Kevin Ratcliffe who
was unimpressed by City's inability to wrap up Saturday's match against
1-man Leyton Orient. "We looked like a bag of nerves after their man
went off. If you are 2-1 up against 10 men you expect to win the game.
You also expect your players to keep the ball but we kept giving it away.
Sometimes when you come to places like this you have to weather the storm
and I'm pleased we did that but we weren't at our best. We had a man off
the pitch when they scored their second but I expect my players to take
the initiative in that kind of situation. I learnt a lot about my players
today who has the ability and who hasn't."
However, Ratcliffe was happy about the performance of youngster Martyn
Lancaster in City's defence. "It wouldn't surprise me if clubs started
sniffing around. He was excellent again on Saturday and he's done well
in all the games he's played. Even when he came on as a sub against Mansfield
he helped change the game. He's still got a lot to learn but when an 18-year-old
keeps his place in the side especially at centre half then
the other clubs are going to take note".
4 January 1999
AWARD FOR KEVIN
Congratulations to City manager Kevin Ratcliffe
who was today named the Nationwide League Third Division Manager of the
Month for December; the club's first managerial award for 10 years. During
the month City picked up 10 from 12 points with victories away from the
Deva at Rotherham and Hull along with a home victory over Darlington and
a draw with Mansfield Town. We all kow what the management team and players
have had to put up wuith over recent months and I'm sure KR will dedicate
this award to all the staff at the club.
"He was very close to winning in October but just
missed out in that case," said League spokesman Chris Hull. "The
work Kevin, under battling circumstances, has done has been commendable.
He's committed to the club and hopefully the award might act as a positive
There was also praise from John Barnwell the League
Managers' Association top man. "Kevin's an exceptional breed to do
what he's done at Chester," said Barnwell, the former Wolves boss. "He's
learning the management game in the hardest possible manner and he's doing
an exceptional job at Chester. He's a young manager who knows exactly what
he wants and I'm sure he destined for bigger things. In the last six months,
working under so many restrictions, he's learning skills that he probably
doesn't realise he's learning. That will help him in the future and he'll
look back on these troubled times to see how much they've made him into
an exceptional young manager. I'm delighted he's got the award; it's fully
1 January 1999
BAN FOR REID
Shaun Reid's fifth booking of the season against
Mansfield Town has earned him a one match ban which will be the televised
game against Brighton on January 15th. Defender Scott Thompson is banned
from tomorrow's game with Southend United for the same reason.