Monday 7 May 2001
Kingstonian 0 Chester City 0
Nationwide Variety Club Trophy
After extra time. City win 4-2 on penalties
Attendance: 495 Half-time 0-0
Kingstonian: Blake, Boyce,
Luckett, Allan, Stewart, Harris, Beard, Mead, Winston,
Akuamoah, Green (Jones 59). Sub not used: Thurgood.
Chester City: Brown, Ruscoe, Doughty (Kerr 62), Lancaster, Gaunt,
Woodyatt, Fisher, Porter, Beesley (Wright 62), Whitehall, Blackburn (Haarhoff
108). Subs not used: Priestly, Moss.
fitting that the Away Travel Player of the Season
Wayne Brown should have the final say as his penalty
save brought City's first bit of real silverware
for nearly a quarter of a century (we're not including
the Cambridgeshire Senior Cup!).
Brown's save at half past ten brought
down the curtain on a traumatic season and left a
smile on everyone's faces as City at last had something
This had to be the worst game of
the season as far as a footballing spectacle is concerned.
Both sides looked as if this was one extra game they
simply didn't need, the 8pm kick-off on a Bank Holiday
didn't appeal to the locals either which totalled
a poor 495 of which some 150 were City fans.
Most of the entertainment throughout
the night was provided off the pitch as both sets
of fans congregated behind the goal on the open terrace
and swapped songs. Apparently they're not too keen
on their chairman either, though it was pointed out
several times that "our chairman's worse than
The only action of note in the
first half came in a double attempt on the City goal
in as many minutes. First it looked suspiciously
as if the ball had crossed the line following a goalmouth
scramble and a minute later a backpedalling Wayne
(sporting a yellow Bolton shirt!) just managed to
turn a shot over the bar. Anything that City created
seemed to eminate from Neil Fisher's probing corners
which were causing some problems.
The home side started to take control
following the break, and Luckett managed to head
against the bar from an acute angle. City brought
on Darren Wright and David Kerr for Mark Beesley
and Matt Doughty and although they forced several
corners failed to really trouble the keeper. Steve
Whitehall missed a golden opportunity though as he
shinned the ball over from a couple of yards stretching
at the far post.
minutes from time K's defender Mark Beard was red
carded for an off the ball incident with Steve Whitehall
which left the striker flat out (and yellow carded).
City almost snatched the winner with the last kick
of the game as a sliced clearance was superbly saved
at the near post by Blake from his own defender Allan.
Thirty more minutes of extra-time
stalemate followed. City brought on Jimmy Haarhoff
in a last throw of the dice, indeed he won a free
kick on the edge of the box with just three minutes
remaining but Mark Beesley's effort went straight
into the wall. Darren Wright and Scott Ruscoe also
shot wide for City.
Seconds later we were down to a
penalty shoot-out. The City fans scurried to the
far end of the ground to witness the spectacle and
were half way there when Colin Luckett thumped the
bar with the opening salvo. Andy Porter, Steve Whitehall,
Darren Wright and Neil Fisher despatched with aplomb
before Wayne's right hand kept out a well struck
shot from Billy Mead.
City fans invaded the pitch as
a hastily arranged Trophy presentation (it was getting
near last orders in the bar!) took place on the playing
surface in front of the main stand as the fans and
players joyfully mingled on the pitch. Neil Fisher
lifted the trophy from Nationwide officials and it
soon found its way into the vast social club as fans
were invited to share the champagne from it while
Matt Doughty and Darren Moss hustled on the pool
A word for Kingstonian which has
to be one of the friendliest clubs we've visited
this season. Their fans certainly played their part
on the night and we wish them a speedy return to
the Conference from which ever league they find themselves
in next season.
||Andy Porter scores
|Colin Luckett hits the bar
||Steve Whitehall scores
|Eddie Akuamoah scores
||Darren Wright scores
|Sammy Winston scores
||Neil Fisher scores
|Billy Mead's shot saved
We've won the cup!
5 May 2001
Chester City 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2
Attendance: 4,040 Half-time 0-0
Chester City: Brown, Moss, Doughty,
Lancaster, Guant, Fisher, Kerr (Wright 38, (Whitehall 54)), Porter,
M.Beesley, Ruscoe, Woodyatt. Subs not used: Priestly, Berry,
Rushden & Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood,
Carey, (Mills 77), Peters, Rodwell, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson
(Sigere 77), Darby, Burgess. Subs not used: Gray, Wormull,
ISA-organised funeral march provided a moving display of solidarity
as it crawled along Bumpers Lane. In a dramatic gesture, the
match day stewards announced their resignation en-bloc and
joined in the protest against Terry Smith. The orange jackets
formed a guard of honour as we entered the Deva stadium car
The coffin was duly delivered to the front
door and then we formed a human chain around the ground. The
links were only broken temporarily to applaud Rushden & Diamond
fans as they emerged from their coaches in hordes.
Pre-match presentations were made to all and
sundry just as they were a year ago in a prelude to that
fateful match against Peterborough. Graham Barrow collected the
ISA award and received a huge ovation. Once the press ban is
lifted we look forward to Graham spilling the beans on just what
he has had to put up with from Terry Smith in the last year.
Another tumultuous round of applause greeted the award for Player
of the Season "The one he banned" announced Cleggy none
other than assistant manager Paul Beesley.
Travelling fans joined us in chants for Smith
to leave now. What a pity that the programme for such a historic
match should be rendered worthless by being stuffed full of Terry's
paranoid propaganda. It is all so pathetic that it barely deserves
comment except to say that while he accuses the media of lying
and twisting the truth, there were two statements in the programme
purporting to be from Jonathan Parker and Phil Davies which both
were at pains to deny via the tannoy announcer both statements
had clearly been written by Terry himself.
The stewards having been persuaded to resume
their duties by the police, the match commenced. The City players
formed a guard of honour for the champions elect when they came
out a nice touch. There was little tension as the two
sides played out a first half stalemate. Darby and Jackson received
some stick when they forayed forward. No doubt a remembrance
of their unfortunate goal celebration in the first match of the
season. Lancaster and Gaunt (My man of the match for what
it's worth) did a good marshalling job on the most potent strike
force in the Conference. Wright came on to replace the clearly
unfit Kerr. Premature goal celebrations by the visiting fans
were curtailed by the linesman's flag.
After the break City applied more pressure.
Fisher and Porter began to win the midfield. Wright got free
down the wing but his wretched cross led to his immediate replaecement
by Whithehall. The experienced campaigner soon made his presence
felt and won a corner. Fisher and Doughty worked a great one-two
to set up Gaunt for a classic headed goal.
The lead was short-lived. From a left wing
free kick, Peters glanced a header in off the far post. Still
City responded and looked the better team. In one incredible
scramble following a corner the ball appeared to cross the line
but the linesman remained unconvinced. Goalkeeper Turley was
fortunate not to concede a penalty when he clattered into Whitehall
and bit his own tongue in the process.
The final meaningful action, however, was at
the other end when Brady tried a speculative shot at goal from
twenty yards. Brown, for no apparent reason, saw it late and
his dive could not prevent it sneaking inside his left hand post.
It was a nice way for Rushden to finish their campaign and though
it would have been nice to have beaten them, few begrudged their
presentation followed after both sets of supporters had retired
back off the pitch. A podium was gradually erected in the centre
circle and the players then came out two-by-two. While the jubilant
Diamonds then enjoyed a lap of honour, the Chester stewards commandeered
a couple of the SMITH OUT banners and defiantly displayed them
to rapturous applause. Next they ceremoniously divested themselves
of their orange jackets in a heap on the pitch. Soon there was
a hilarious scramble to reclaim them as the crowds once again
streamed on to the playing surface. It was all pretty good humoured
The City players, changed and clutching pints,
emerged to cheers from the director's box. They joined in lustily
with the "Terry Out" chants and then Graham Barrow made a short
speech about a Chubby Brown record.
Later as we emerged from the club two youthful
Cestrians stood across by the relief road with their bedsheet
banner proudly unfurled. It said "MADMAN SMITH IS KILLING OUR
CLUB". A succinct and poignant summary of the day, and indeed
Match programme is slammed in report.
3 May 2001
Chester City 2 Nuneaton Borough 1
Nationwide Variety Club Trophy Northern
Attendance: 602 Half-time 1-1
Chester City: Brown, Kerr, Doughty,
Lancaster, Gaunt, Woodyatt, Fisher, Blackburn (Wright 91), M.Beesley
(Moss 80), Whitehall, Ruscoe (Porter 91). Subs not used: Priestley,
Nuneaton Borough: Mackenzie, Thackeray, Angus, W.Simpson,
Crowley, Weaver, Wray (King 115), Francis (Charles 105),
Barnes, Peake (J Williams 92), Love. Subs not used: Bacon,
Referee: S Brand (Wirral).
goal by Darren Wright deep into extra-time gave City a 2-1 victory
over Nuneaton Borough and booked a Bank Holiday journey to Kingstonian
for the final on Monday night.
City got off to a flyer with Steve Whitehall
heading over before the Blues took the lead in four minutes as
Chris Blackburn swept home Mark Beesley's cross.
Fisher went close and Lancaster blazed over
before the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Paul Barnes was
red carded for an off the ball challenge on Gaunt.
The visitors were playing some nice neat football
as they have everytmie ew've played them this season and they
drew level on the stroke of half time. Jason Peake crossed deep
for Terry Angus to level at the far post.
Terry Smith assumed his customary position
in the stand after the break which brought more SMITH OUT chanting
from the crowd he scurried off soon afterwards!
Nuneaton pressed forward and should have taken
the lead as Wray and Thackeray missed great chances. The ever
impressive Lee Woodyatt also came to City's rescue with a timely
challenge on Delton Francis as the sriker bore down on goal.
Ruscoe set up striker Whitehall who wasted
a chance to win the game in 90 minutes.
Wayne Brown and Lee Woodyatt both made crucial
saves to keep City in the game and at the other end Andy Porter
came close to scoring for City, hitting the post before Darren
Wright wrapped up the tie with six minutes remaining on the clock.
1 May 2001
Chester City 3 Scarborough 2
Attendance: 805 Half-time 1-1
Chester City: Priestly, Woodyatt,
Woods (Doughty 46), Ruscoe, Lancaster, Blackburn, Fisher,
Wright (Porter 46), Moss (Kerr 83), M.Beesley, Whitehall.
Subs not used: Maken, Berry.
Scarborough: Woods, Atkinson (Dawson 54), Brunton,
Rennison, Keegan, Piercewright, Jordan, Blunt, Pounder,
Brodie (Diallo 79), Williams (Burt 38). Subs not used:
Referee: M Atkinson (Leeds).
who stayed away from the Deva, whether through protest or
apathy, on Tuesday missed quite an entertaining game. On
a balmy evening the returning swallows performed their aerobatic
feats above while the players wove patterns with the ball
Scarboro's style of play was open and attractive
but also gave space for City to play the ball around too.
It was the visitors who had the more clear-cut chances in
the first half. One of the best opportunities came the way
of Brunton who broke from midfield but by the time he had
manoeuvered the ball on to his left foot he had to hurry
his shot which curled well wide of Priestley's right hand
post. Pounder also caught the eye with his good control and
visionary passing. Some good work down the right led to him
crossing dangerously for Brodie who, fortunately for City,
completely missed his kick.
Nothing could compare with the let-off
City had just on the half hour when Pounder scooped a penalty
kick well over the cross bar. The kick had been rather harshly
awarded when Woods leaned over-heavily on Williams when there
was very little threat to goal. Another free kick given away
by Woods, this time over on the right hand touchline did
lead to Chester falling behind. Scott Jordan's free kick
started off as a cross but ended up in the back of the net,
having taken a miniscule deflection from Darren Wright's
studs on the way. Priestley was completely deceived by the
flight of the ball.
A moan went up nearby me when three minutes
of added time were announced but there were soon cheers when
City pulled back level. Mark Beesley, who worked tirelessly
all evening, got free on the right and sent a hard low cross
into the box. Whitehall, tangling with a defender, couldn't
make contact but the ball broke to Fisher on the edge of
the area in acres of space and he passed it into the corner
of the goal.
The second half began at a furious pace
and soon exploded with a couple of goals in the space of
a minute. Porter and Doughty came on at half time for Woods
and Wright. Fisher dropped into the back line to form a diminutive
but effective partnership with the, once again, excellent
Woodyatt. Scarboro's keeper came under pressure from Beesley
and miskicked horribly but recovered to spring a counter
attack. Substitute Burt cut in purposefully from the right
and turned inside to hammer a fierce shot through Priestley
to restore the Seadogs' lead. Chester came straight back.
Doughty ran like a train down the left and crossed beautifully
for Blackburn to head down. Ruscoe's shot was blocked but
then the ball broke to Beesley who hammered it into the roof
of the net.
It really was entertaining now as Chester
came forward and Scarborough broke back with pace. It was
Doughty who had the telling say in what proved to be the
winning goal. Whithall was tripped as he turned on the edge
of the box and Doughty whipped the subsequent free kick in.
A defender, Piercewright I think, under pressure from Blackburn
defelected it past his helpless keeper.
Scarborough played their part in a good,
if meaningless, match. The visiting fans too displayed a
Smith Out! banner and were positively keen in their chanting
for our absent chairman/chief executive to go.
The news filtered through from Somerset
that Yeovil had gone down to a last minute goal. A big
disappointment this as it means the match with Rushden
on Saturday is now completely academic. Brian Talbot, though,
a visitor to the Deva for this match, will have had a happy