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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2012

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MARCH
29 March 2012
KEEPER COVER
Chester have signed former Rhyl goalkeeper John Glenn as cover until the end of the season.
28 March 2012
ELEVEN POINTS CLEAR
A second successive championship for Chester edged closer last night when the Blues extended their lead at the top of the Northern Premier League to eleven points following a 3-0 win at North Ferriby United. Skipper George Horan gave Chester a half-time lead and further goals after the break from strikers Michael Wilde and Chris Simm wrapped up the points and a sixth successive win for the club.

Two or three victories from the remaining seen matches could be enough to bring home the silverware. Whitby Town are the visitors on Saturday when another bumper home gate is expected for the match which kick’s-off at 15:00hrs.

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Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

26 March 2012
VITAL WIN FOR BLUES
A second half goal from substitute Michael Wilde gave Chester three hard fought points at Matlock Town on Saturday. Cheered on by around 700 supporters the Blues were second best in the opening period that saw the hosts hit the crossbar and force goalkeeper Matt Glennon into a superb save to keep the scores level.

After the break the Blues stepped up a gear with the introduction of Wilde (for Marc Williams) and created a couple of chances before the striker’s looping header in the 66th minute won the match. Two yellow cards for the goalscoring hero though will mean a one match ban in a couple of weeks time, manager Neil Young was also sent to the stand for arguing for the officials following Wilde’s dismissal.

Second placed Northwich Victoria suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Whitby Town to leave the Blues eight points clear of the Cheshire rivals with a game in hand which they play at North Ferriby United on Tuesday night.

Manager Neil Young was delighted with the victory saying: “It was a massive win but it doesn’t matter what Northwich, Chorley, Bradford or FC United do, it’s just about Chester. If we go to difficult places like this, where it’s a difficult pitch against a side who are bang in form with a good home record, and grind out a result then that is ultimately what wins you things.

“Other results have gone for us today and we’re eight points clear at the top with a game in hand. But we haven’t won the league yet and it’ll be only when we’ve got enough points on the board so the others can’t catch us that we’ll be crowned. But people shouldn’t underestimate how difficult a game it was. It was a fantastic performance from the lads. They really stood up and were counted.”

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Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
23 March 2012
WILLIAMS AND McNEIL BACK SOON
Manager Neil Young is hoping to have both Ashley Williams (pictured) and Matty McNeil available for selection at next weekend’s home game against Whitby Town. It will be a timely boost for the club as they press for a second automatic promotion, currently lying five points clear, with a game in hand, of nearest rivals Northwich Victoria at the top of the league in what is becoming a two horse race for the Northern Premier League championship.

Williams played his first game since dislocating his shoulder at Hednesford back in August, when he turned out for the youth team, with special permission as an over-aged player, who lost 1-0 to Irish side St Kevin’s Boys Club Under 17s at Chester last Sunday.


The Blues travel to improving side Matlock Town tomorrow, the Derbyshire side have pulled away from the relegation zone with seven points from the last nine available and currently lie tenth though they have injury concerns ahead of the match. The two sides met in November when Chester ran out 4-0 winners at home. Chester are back on the road again on Tuesday night with a trip to face North Ferriby United.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

FA CUP
Chester have officially been accepted into next season’s FA Cup competition. They will enter at the second qualifying round should they win promotion this season, failure to go up would see the club start in the first qualifying round.
19 March 2012
BLUES MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
Chester’s unbeaten run stretched to seven games with a 3-2 home victory over Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday. Michael Taylor (pictured) opened the scoring with his first goal of the season on 32 minutes and that provided the springboard for the Blues to turn on the pressure and race into a three goal half-time lead thanks to two further goals from striker Marc Williams – his first for the club.

Despite dominating the latter stages of the opening half, the Blues were thankful to hear the final whistle after opponents hit back with two goals in the last 20 minutes through James Riley and Rob O’Brien, who netted from the rebound after Matt Glennon had saved his penalty.

Following the latest win manager Neil Young told the Evening Leader: “We were living a little bit dangerously at the end of the game, but we were 3-0 up at half-time after Bradford enjoyed a lot of the ball, but I told the lads to expect that and apart from when one of their lads went through they didn’t cause us a lot of problems.”

“I told the lads that Bradford had nothing to lose and everything to gain after going 3-0 down. They could afford to play with a gung-ho attitude, whereas we had to be a little bit more cautious.

“We didn’t keep the ball as well as I would have liked. We put balls into the box when we should have kept hold of it, but all in all I’ll take a 3-2 victory at this stage of the season against a side that have been doing well. Last season we would have drawn or lost Saturday’s match, but we’ve now got to put the victory to bed and move on and look forward to an away match against Matlock this weekend.”

“Marc (Williams) provided two good finishes. His first goal was a great finish and we had worked on his second one in terms of Wes (Baynes) putting balls into the box. Marc was excellent and as we carry on now the players coming in will get match fit and hopefully between now and the end of the season we’ll get enough points on the board to win the title.”

“I think the combination of Chris Simm and Marc up front worked fine. My only criticism about the way we played, particularly in the first 15 minutes, is that we were still playing as if Matty McNeil was up front.”

“We hit far too many long balls when we should have been looking to get on the ball from the back and, if that didn’t happen then it was a case of Christian (Smith) having to push on and Marc (Williams) dropping in so that Christian could try and win the headers for us.”

“We were definitely losing the ball in the air during the first 15 minutes and we were a little bit slow getting to the second ball and looked a little bit disjointed because to be honest the front two had never played together before.”

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Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
12 March 2012
RIVALS GAIN GROUND
Without a match on Saturday, the Blues saw their lead at the top of the table cut to eight points as Cheshire rivals Northwich Victoria recorded an impressive 2-0 victory at fellow promotion candidates Hednesford Town in their game in hand. Meanwhile next weeks fifth placed opponents Bradford Park Avenue were beaten 3-1 at Stafford Rangers though they bounced back with a home win over Buxton tonight by the same scoreline to move third.
8 March 2012
CHESTER EXTEND LEAD
A 4-0 win over relegation threatened Burscough last night has sent Chester eleven points clear at the top of the league. Goals in the opening period from Antoni Sarcevic and Christian Smith gave the Blues a half-time advantage which was doubled in the second period through Chris Simm and Iain Howard. Striker Matty McNeil limped off after nine minutes with a knee ligament injury which wasn’t as serious as first thought but it could rule him out for two weeks.

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4 March 2012
BLUES REMAIN EIGHT POINTS CLEAR
Second half goals from Christian Smith (pictured), Iain Howard and George Horan gave Chester a vital 3-1 victory at Frickley Athletic on Saturday. With promotion rivals Northwich, Hednesford and Chorley all winning at the weekend the Blues maintained their eight point lead over The Vics who still have a game in hand.

Frickley had been on a good recent run including a home draw with Hednesford last week and manager Neil Young was delighted with the way the side set about their task of claiming all three points. He said: “You’ve got to come to these kind of places and win. We knew the other teams around us would probably win their games while at the same time thinking we may slip up here given what Frickley have done lately. But credit to our lads, we’ve come here and put in a very professional performance.”

Chester also had three goals disallowed during the match but were rewarded for the patience with a goal just after the hour mark as Smith scored from close range following good build up play from Chris Simm and Anton Sarcevic. However the home side drew level almost immediately with a well taken volley from Peter Knox after Wes Baynes had been caught in possession. Substitute Howard restored Chester’s advantage on 71 minutes rounding Dickinson after picking up Simm’s through ball. Captain Horan wrapped up the points ten minutes from time heading home Sarcevic’s cross.

The Blues are next in action on Wednesday night when they entertain bottom of the table Burscough, kick-off 19.45hrs.

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