Chester City 0 Wrexham
LDV Vans Trophy northern quarter-final
Attendance: 5,028 Half Time 0-1
Booked: Vaughan, Hessey.
Chester City: Brown, Vaughan, Bolland, Hessey, McIntyre (Hope 69),
Drummond (Whalley 82), Carden, Davies (Booth 45), Harris, Ellison, Rapley. Subs
not used: MacKenzie, Edmondson.
Wrexham: Baker, Pejic, Morgan, Lawrence,
Spender, Green, Ferguson, Mark Jones (Armstrong 72),
Holt, Ugarte (Sam 67), Llewellyn. Subs not used: Dibble,
Referee: A.Penn (W Midlands).
a spirited second-half performance from City, a single
goal was enough for rivals Wrexham to take the honours
in the derby game to move into the area semi-finals of
the LDV Vans Trophy.
on Saturday, due to injuries and suspensions, Kevin
Rapley was forced to lead the City line by himself.
Wayne Brown and Stephen Vaughan were drafted in at the
expense of Chris MacKenzie and Darren Edmondson and,
despite an excellent debut on Saturday, Robbie Booth
started on the bench.
front of a passionate 5,000+ crowd it was City who
had the better of the opening minutes, Ben Davies testing
‘keeper Matt Baker in the visitors with a free-kick
on five minutes that was comfortably saved in front
of the visiting fans.
Drummond took advantage of some sloppy play by defender
Dennis Lawrence robbing him of the ball on the half-way
line. He raced clear and fed the ball through to Rapley
on the right but the striker took too long over his
control and Andy Holt was able to make a crucial tackle.
carved open the City defence only for Mark Jones
shoot over the bar when well placed before the visitors
took the lead in 18 minutes. Chris Llewellyn, set
up by Scott
Green was allowed far too much room on the City left
by Kevin McIntyre and his cross was turned in by
Juan Ugarte from close range at the near post.
began to take control after their goal. Ferguson was
allowed far too much time and space to run the midfield
and City were reduced to speculative punts up field
and long-range efforts that failed to test Baker for
the rest of the half.
change was needed and that’s certainly what the City
fans got in the second period.
introduced Robbie Booth for the ineffective Davies at
the start of the second half and his cross from the
right, just seconds after the break was headed wide
by Drummond as a transformed City, kicking towards their
own packed support, set about looking for the equaliser.
Booth tormented the Wrexham rearguard once again just
minutes later beating two men before firing a shot across
the face of the goal.
later City looked certain to equalise. Booth again provided
the right wing cross for Kevin Ellison, he met it twelve
yards out with a looping header that Baker tipped on
to the angle, the ball bounced down for Booth just six
yards from goal but his shot was blocked on the line
by the prostrate Baker and scrambled away.
was again in the action minutes later meeting another
Booth cross with a volley that just cleared Baker’s
unguarded post, while Paul Carden, having a very
game in midfield, also saw an effort blocked.
brought on Hector Sam, and City Richard Hope as
game endered the last 20 minutes. The Blues weren’t
having it all their own way by any means. Wayne Brown
was called upon to make excellent saves from
Llewellyn, Sam and Green to keep his side in the
the game headed into the last minute City forced a corner
on the right. The flag-kick was met by Phil Bolland
who had a free header just eight yards out but his powerful
header zipped inches the wrong side of the post, with
his head in his hands Bolland’s agonised look summed
up City’s night. It just wasn’t to be.
27 November 2004
City 1 Oxford United 3
Attendance: 2,791 Half Time 1-1
Booked: Hope, Bolland, McIntyre, Drummond, Davies, Rapley.
Chester City: MacKenzie, Edmondson, Hope, Bolland,
McIntyre, Drummond, Davies, Harris, Booth, Rapley, Ellison.
Subs not used: Brown, Vaughan, Hessey, Lathom, Whalley.
Oxford United: Tardif, Mackay,
Roget, Ashton, Robinson, Basham, Wanless, E’Beyer,
Quinn, Bradbury, Mooney (Davies 75). Subs not used:
Brooks, Clarke, Molyneaux.
Referee: N.Miller (Co.Durham).
At the start of an important three
games in seven days City slumped to a home defeat against
Oxford United side who had scored only three goals on
their travels this season and had been beaten on nine
of their last ten outings.
With manager Ian Rush unable
to bring in the loan striker he sought, it was left
to Kevin Rapley
to lead the line on his own as City adopted a five
man midfield with youngster Robbie Booth progressing
the youth team to make his full debut. Ben Davies
came in for the suspended Paul Carden in midfield.
City almost got off to a dream
start in the opening minutes. The Blues were awarded
a free-kick on the
left, Ben Davies whipped over a quick far post cross
to the unmarked Phil Bolland who only managed to
head over when well placed.
Despite City having the better
of the opening exchanges, United took the lead on
16 minutes. E’Beyer won the ball
on half-way and
Richard Hope and Kevin McIntyre tried to close his
down but were dissected with a pinpoint pass to Bradbury,
he returned the compliment for on-running E’Beyer
to clip the ball over MacKenzie from an acute angle.
The goal seemed to knock City out
of their stride but after a period of stop start
thanks to the continued whistle of referee Miller
City equalised. Booth raced away down the right and
crossed, Roget made a hash of a clearance straight
to Kevin Ellison who picked his spot with a side
footed shot past Tardif in the visitors goal.
Following the break City threatened
to take the lead. Twice young Booth went close, shooting
into the side netting from a narrow angle and across
the face of goal, after being cleverly set up by
Rapley, on the second.
Drummond must have though he was
going to score on 60 minutes. Ellison out paced his
marker and rushed down the left, he cut inside and
the ball fed through to Drummond just six yards
out but his shot produced a superb save from Tardif
when a goal seemed inevitable.
The visitors took the lead somewhat
against the run on play. The Blues only half cleared
a corner to Matthew Robinson outside the box whose
shot deflected off the back of a City player and
looped in to the net leaving MacKenzie with no chance.
City fell further behind seven
minutes from time as Steve Basham drilled the ball
home past MacKenzine after Davies had tormented the
City defence before crossing.
There was just time for Davies
to become the 11th player to enter the referee’s
notebook though the majority of the 2,791 crowd had
drifted away long before.
Northampton Town 1 Chester
Attendance: 5,625 Half Time 1-1
Booked: Drummond, Hessey, McIntyre, Carden, Bolland. Sent-off: Belle.
Northampton Town: Harper, Bojic, Jaszczun (Galbraith 57), Willmott,
Murray, Rowson, Williamson, Smith, Alsop, Sabin (Richards 82 (Youngs 90)),
McGleish. Subs not used: Chambers, Cozic.
Chester City: MacKenzie, Drummond, Ellison, Bolland,
Hessey (Hope 52), Edmondson, McIntyre, Carden, Harris (Davies 76),
Belle, Rapley. Subs not used: Vaughan, Booth, Doyle.
Referee: M.Thorpe (Suffolk).
took another great free-kick from Kevin Ellison to rescue
a point for
City from a very cold Sixfields and maintain their
impressive run under manager Ian Rush.
Rush made several changes
from the side that won in the FA Cup at Stafford
last Saturday. Kevin Rapley replaced Daryl
Harris came in for Richard Hope and Kevin McIntyre
replaced Ben Davies.
City were quick out of the blocks
with Darren Edmondson having the first shot of the
game inside 20 seconds,
shooting wide from 18 yards. It wasn’t long before
the home team rallied forcing a corner in the opening
minute, that was cleared by Harris, and then seeing
Julian Alsop heading wide before The Cobblers opened
City failed to clear a long range
free-kick the ball bobbled around the area before Alsop
teed up Martin Smith to shoot wide of Chris Mackenzie
from 18 yards in front of the 300+ away fans.
Stewart Drummond found himself in
notebook for a foul before seeing a header saved by
‘keeper Lee Harper from Paul Carden’s teasing
corner. Sean Hessey joined Drummond in the notebook
for dissent before City equalised. Rapley was fouled
by Fred Murray just outside the box on the right hand
in Ellison’s range, he curled his free-kick
over the wall and inside the near post leaving Harper
City’s joy was short-lived,
minutes later the Blues (Yellows) were reduced to ten
men as Cortez Belle was given his second straight red
card of the season, for a foul on Pedj
Bojic. Referee Thorpe was in action again seconds later
ordering assistant manager Mark Aizlewood from the
dugout as tempers flared on the half-way line.
Alsop missed a great chance to give
the home side the advantage as he headed over at the
back post. Carden and McIntyre saw yellow before the
half was brought to an end without any further real
scares on MacKenzie’s goal.
Ex-Cobbler Richard Hope replaced
Hessey shortly after the break. Ellison shot high and
wide and minutes later was put through 18 yards out
one-on-one on goal but was just unable to control the
ball in time and two defenders cleared
the danger. Andy Harris saw a free-kick saved by Harper
as City enjoyed a spell of pressure.
At the other end Scott McGleish saw
his snap-shot pushed wide for a corner by MacKenzie.
The keeper saved well again minutes later low down
with Alsop being booked for a challenge on the City
Bojic had the ball in the net
for the Cobblers but the linesman’t flag had
long-since been raised for offside as the home side
Blues defence, with Bolland and Hope at it s centre,
held firm as McGleish, Williamson and Sabin all saw
Ben Davies replaced Andy Harris in
midfield and almost set up Rapley with a quick through
ball. There were loud appeals from the majority of
the Sixfields crowd for a penalty
as Sabin went sprawling in the area but referee Thorpe
booked the player for a dive and awarded City the
The home side finished the stronger
as they looked to break down a resolute City defence.
Phil Boland became the fifth and last City player to
enter the book for a foul on the edge of the area,
the resulting free-kick was cleared and City held out
for another valuable point.
Shrewd parking, ten minutes
from the ground at the Sixfields pub car-park, ensured
swift getaway for several
into town to the Black Lion for the latest Cheese
Skittles championship that saw SueC claim the title,
13 November 2004
Stafford Rangers 0 Chester
FA Cup Round 1
Attendance: 2,492 Half Time 0-1
Booked: Bolland, Carden.
Stafford Rangers: Dormand, Brown, Talbott, McAughtrie,
Daniel, R.Gibson, Lovatt, Downes, Heath (Grayson 81), Danks (Jackson 73),
Wilding. Subs not used: Beale, Dodd, Lindley.
Chester City: MacKenzie, Edmondson, Hessey (McIntyre
57), Hope, Bolland, Ellison, Davies (Harris 68), Carden, Drummond, Clare
65), Belle. Subs not used: Doyle, Booth.
Referee: L.Mason (Lancashire).
visited Stafford’s Marston Road on a bright,
clear and cold winter’s afternoon and progressed
second round of the FA Cup without too many heart-stopping
moments. They took to the, rather bumpy, field
Daryl Clare in the starting line-up, despite stories
linking him with a move to Carlisle. Stafford had
Justin Jackson and Neil Grayson in their squad –
that in the past have struck terror into Chester
fans but both were on the bench.
Chester kicked off with the sun on their backs. The
ball was in the air a lot of the time and when
it was on the ground it bobbled. Hessey’s wayward
latched on to by Danks who burst clear. His rasping
shot was tipped over by Mackenzie. Clare found
himself clear on goal after Stafford’s keeper
and centre half left the ball for each other. Although
of the penalty area Clare’s finish over the
bar was disappointing. Bolland was booked for leading
challenge with too much elbow.
In a generally scrappy match, City matched the home
side’s industry and Drummond in particular
did well down the right. City looked dangerous
at set pieces
and duly took the lead from a free kick. Davies
floated the ball to the far post, Hope headed it
goal and Belle volleyed in from six yards. They
should have doubled the lead when Clare headed into
hands following a parried header from Belle.
Stafford, aka “The Boro” took the attack
to Chester after the break and caused a couple
of scares when City defenders struggled to clear
But City responded well and began to dominate.
They forced a series of corners and Belle went close
an opportunist shot. Rapley came on for Clare.
Chester supporters’ coaches, held up on a horrendous
now, arrived to swell the crowd. The drums began
to play and City swept forward again. Belle got
cross in from the left hand touch line. Rapley
span and shot and the ball crept in at the far post.
New fences to segregate the two sets of supporters
attracted some unsavoury posturing by a small knot
of home fans who preferred to taunt the City crowd
to watching the match. There’s a sociology thesis
to be written about how segregating crowds actually
up animosity when none existed before.
City were looking quite comfortable now and Ellison
might have had a couple of goals but both times
couldn’t keep his shot down. Jackson and then
Grayson came on
as The Boro launched a late rally. MacKenzie struggled
with a looping header which hit the bar and was
then scrambled to safety but Chester held firm. They
look forward to a trip to The Shay in the second
round to meet Halifax – conquerors of League
Altrincham 3 Chester City 0
Cheshire Senior Cup Round
Attendance: 249 Half Time 1-0
Chester City: Brown, Vaughan, McIntyre, Cooke, Ventre,
Harris, Booth (Salkeld), Walsh, Lynch (Whalley), Rapley (Rutherford), Lathom.
lose 3-0 at Moss Lane and kiss goodbye to the Cheshire Cup for another
season. City fell behind in the fourth minute through a well taken volley,
and, despite plenty of possession could have been further behind at the
break. Kevin Rapley missed a glorious close-range chance to equalise in the
second half and the Blues were punished for that miss as Altrincham went straight
end to double their lead. A third goal minutes from time condemned City
1 Leyton Orient 1
Attendance: 3,125 Half Time 0-1
Chester City: MacKenzie, Edmondson (Vaughan 77), Bolland,
Hope, Hessey, Drummond (Rapley 67), Carden, Davies (Harris 74), Ellison, Belle,
Clare. Subs not used: Booth, Doyle.
Leyton Orient: Harrison, Miller, Zakuani, White,
Lockwood, Carlisle, Hunt, Simpson, Scott, Steele, Ibehre. Subs
not used: Morris, Barnard, Wardley, Newey, Barnard.
Referee: E.Ilderton (Tyne and
tremendous fightback by City culminated in Cortez Belle scoring
his first goal for the club. Belle met Harris’s perfect corner
to head the ball home in a powerful style reminiscent of Cyrille
Regis or Steve “Mean Machine” Johnson. A few minutes
after his 83rd minute equaliser Belle’s name was announced
as City’s man of the match. Even before the goal he would still
nominated, having led the line superbly and acting as a focal
point for City’s sustained attack on the visitors’ goal.
It was no more than City deserved. Indeed they had the chances
to have won the game comfortably but found Orient keeper
Harrison in magnificent form. In the first half he tipped
shot on to the bar. In the second he plucked Belle’s
shot from under the bar and his full stretch save from Rapley
a late winner.
The first half had been cagey with City unable to get the
ball down much a and Orient adopting a cautious but break
approach. The flow of play was interrupted frequently by
flag as Chester forwards were repeatedly caught offside. It was
his counterpart, Mr Dunn, who played what proved to be a decisive
part in City going behind. He gave a close call for a throw-in
Orient’s way and then clever wing play gave the excellent
Steele the opportunity to glance in a header at the near
It looked as though Orient were going to capitalise on their
lead after the break as they came forward with confidence
but soon Belle
began to lead the City revival. He beat White on the right
and sent over an inviting low cross. As Ellison bore down
it seemed a mere formality for him to tap it in and score
Inexplicably he missed it altogether. Undaunted City forced
a flurry of corners. Hope headed just over a couple of times
had another amazing escape when Ellison hit the crossbar
and Harrison saved from Belle’s shot on the rebound. On another break
Clare cut in from the left only to see Harrison smother his shot.
seemed as though it was not going to be City’s day.
Chester’s big break came when the visitor’s right back,
under pressure form Clare but a long way from the goal line,
conceded a corner.
Andy Harris, who received rapturous acclaim from the Orient supporters
when he came on as sub, then repaid them unkindly as he whipped
in the left wing corner. The rest, as they say is history. Belle’s
goal could not have been more popular, his unstinting efforts
were justly rewarded. City might have snatched it when Belle
clear and Harrison saved but Orient too came close when Simpson's
thunderous shot was tipped round the post by McKenzie.
It was difficult to get Cortez to leave the pitch at the
end, so long did he applaud the home supporters. They in
appreciation and also applauded Lee Harrison in the Orient
goal. Mr Ilderton, the referee, deserves much praise for
to a thoroughly entertaining match – no fuss, no bookings
and a good game of football was allowed to happen.
• Latest League
Chester City 1 Rochdale
LDV Vans Trophy Round
Attendance: 1,419 Half Time 0-0
Booked: Bolland, Rapley.
Chester City: Doyle, Vaughan, Hessey,
Bolland (Hope 46), McIntyre, Booth, Harris, Carden (Drummond 78),
Watson (Branch 46), Rapley, Clare. Subs not used: MacKenzie,
Rochdale: Gilks, Bertos, Goodhall (Probetts 78),
Griffiths, Gallimore, Burgess, Cooksey (Brisco 78), Clarke, Warner
Tait. Subs not used: Edwards, Gibbins.
Referee: P.Danson (Leicester).
Hessey’s first goal for City was enough
to take them though to the northern quarter-final
of the LDV Vans Trophy.
Ian Rush rang the changes from the side that lost
at Yeovil Town on Saturday.
Only Sean Hessey, Phil Bolland and Paul Carden remained
from the Huish Park starting line-up as Rush gave
debuts to Andy Watson and on-loan goalkeeper Colin
Doyle, while Robbie Booth made only his second appearance
for the Blues.
The game got off to a slow start,
Kevin Rapley clearing an early Dale corner and Stephen
Vaughan found himself in the right place to clear a
Jamie Clarke free-kick. City’s first effort came
on 15 minutes from a Rapley shot that fired wide from
Dale had a great chance to take the
lead as on-loan Taiwo Atieno skipped past Kevin McIntyre
and crossed for Cooksey who wasted his chance, shooting
City made two substitutions at half-time
with the introduction of Michael Branch and Richard
Hope for Andy Watson and Phil Bolland. It was the introduction
of Branch, in particular, that proved a turning point.
City looked a different force going forward with Branch
and Clare linking well. Shortly after the break, Clare
played Rapley through only for the striker to
wide before City took the lead.
Booth swung in a near post left-wing
corner, Branch headed on and Hessey applied the finishing
touch from six yards to open his City account.
City almost doubled their lead minutes
later as Daryl Clare was denied as his shot was well
saved by Matthew Gilks, pushing the ball round the
post for a corner. Branch and Rapley also forced good
saves out of the visiting ‘keeper as City pushed
for a second to kill off the tie.
Booth was having a great game in
midfield and he set Clare up with a delightful through
ball only for the striker to once again be thwarted
It wasn’t all Chester pressure
though and debutant Doyle saved well from Cooksey’s
header, and repeated the feat minutes later to keep
out Griffiths and maintain City’s
slender advantage to the end.