Chester City 3 Peterborough
Attendance: 2,701 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Artell, El Kholti, MacKenzie.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Artell,
Dimech, Regan, Lowe, Drummond, Walker, Davies, Branch
(Rutherford 73), Richardson (El Kholti 58). Subs
not used: Vaughan, Curle, Dove.
Peterborough United: Tyler, Plummer, St.
Ledger, Arber, Newton, Carden, Gain, Hand (Semple
56), Holden, Benjamin, Crow (Willock 56). Subs not
used: Huke, Quinn, Day.
Referee: R.Booth (Nottinghamshire).
City completed their first double of the season
with this well deserved victory over Peterborough
United at Deva Stadium. This was City’s first
league win in five matches and proved a perfect
tonic ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with
Both Phil Bolland and Tom Curtis suspended manager
Keith Curle brought in Luke Dimech and Justin
Walker and gave a place on the bench to youngster
Paul Rutherford whose only previous appearance
was at Cambridge United in the LDV Vans Trophy.
The first real chance of the
game fell to Trevor Benjamin on 15 minutes. A
knock-back by Adam Newton gave the striker a great
chance to score but he shot straight at Chris
MacKenzie from close range, the ball rebounded
past Benjamin but he was allowed to turn on the
six yard line and unleash another shot which,
fortunately for City, flew high over the bar in
front of the travelling fans.
Ryan Lowe cut through on the
right and shot across goal and a foot wide of
the far post, perhaps a ball square to the unmarked
Branch would have been more rewarding though it
would have been difficult to keep the cross down.
The Blues, with Stewart Drummond
instrumental in midfield, pushed forward and Ben
Davies had the ball in the net after a smart move
down the right involving Lowe, only to see his
effort ruled out for offside.
Despite dominating proceedings
it took a superb save by MacKenzie, who had been
struck down with illness during the week, to keep
out a powerful free-kick to prevent City going
City kept up the tempo and ten
minutes from the break took a deserved lead. Marcus
Richardson and former City player Paul Carden
clashed in midfield, the ball broke for Michael
Branch to run through on goal, he pushed the ball
past the onrushing Mark Tyler only to be upended
by the ‘keeper’s sliding tackle. Tyler
picked up a yellow card, and the ball out of the
net, as Branch converted the spot-kick inside
the left-hand post.
The Blues came out for the second
half strong and Ben Davies almost added a second
shooting wide from just inside the box in the
opening seconds. Seven later though City doubled
their lead. The ball was played forward to Branch
down the right, shadowed to two markers he beat
the both and sent in a teasing cross, Richardson
knocked the ball back for Stewart Drummond to
score from close range.
MacKenzie preserved the two
goal lead minutes later when he made another outstanding
save to keep out a shot from Peter Gain when a
goal looked certain.
On 66 minutes City put the contest
beyond doubt with a spectacular third goal. With
the Posh defence caught square Lowe found himself
all alone on the right edge of the box, he allowed
the ball to bounce, turned, and fired an unstoppable
25-yard volley past Tyler into the far of the
Manager Keith Curle replaced
Branch who appeared to injure himself going for
a tackle, with Rutherford. The youngster showed
some good touches on his full league debut.
Fifteen minutes from time Ryan
Semple pulled a goal back for Posh as he calmly
chipped over Mackenzie from the right side of
the box. The goal proved only a consolation though
and City will be well satisfied with their afternoon’s
work as they played the game out for three well
Rochdale 2 Chester
Attendance: 3,618 Half Time 0-1
Booked: Curtis, Bolland.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Bolland, Artell, Regan, Davies,
Curtis, Drummond, Richardson, Branch (Vaughan 65), Lowe. Subs not used: Walker,
Rochdale: Gilks, Brown, McArdle, Gallimore, Jaszczun, Cartwright (Lambert
Clarke, Goodall, Sturroc,
Holt. Subs not used: Tait, Brisco, Warner, Boardman
Referee: N.Miller (County Durham).
For the second time in a month Rochdale fought
back to deny City three points as the Blues had
their two-goal advantage wiped out during the
last quarter at Spotland. Last month City led
the Deva only to be pipped by two late goals,
and here at Spotland there was a repeat performance.
Keith Curle opted to reintroduce Phil Bolland
heart of the defence at the expense of Luke
Dimech who took his place on the bench.
It was Bolland who gave City the lead on
19 minutes, taking advantage of a fumble
by Dale ‘keeper Gilks, who let slip
Ben Davies’ right-wing cross, to slot
the ball home from six yards out.
The pitch has passed an earlier inspection
but there still seemed to be icy patches on
the playing surface though both sides seemed
to adapt to the conditions to produce what
turned out to be, like the encounter at the
Deva, an entertaining game.
to the opener, City, backed by nearly 800
fans, made a good
start. Marcus Richardson had a shot blocked
and Stewart Drummond, put through by Richardson,
saw a goal-bound effort cleared for a corner
as City pressed. The Blues
it all their own way. Minutes later MacKenzie
saved well at the far post from Goodall and
later made a save from Sturrock who had been
played through on goal as the home side came
more into the game.
On 64 minutes City
doubled their advantage. The ball played
in from the left was gives some head tennis
by Richardson and Ryan Lowe to set up Davies at
the far post to volley home. The Blues
then made a tactical change with Michael
Branch being replaced by Stephen Vaughan.
No sooner had City reshuffled,
then Dale were back in the game. Lee Cartwright
skipped down the right wing and delivered
a perfect cross for Blair Sturrock to chest
home unmarked and in acres of space in front
With eight minutes remaining
the home side scored the equaliser their
pressure had warranted. Substitute Ricky
Lambert who had only been on for a minute
or two, lined-up a free-kick on the edge
of the City box and drilled the ball under
wall into the bottom corner to give MacKenzie
In the dying seconds Dale
almost grabbed the winner but MacKenzie was
on hand to save from the lively Goodall to
preserve a point that keeps City in the promotion
pack in sixth place.
City 0 Northampton Town 0
Attendance: 3,295 Half Time 0-0
Chester City: MacKenzie, Regan, Dimech,
Artell, McNiven, Lowe, Drummond, Curtis, Davies,
Richardson (El Kholti 78), Branch. Subs not used:
Walker, Vaughan, Dove, Bolland.
Northampton Town: Harper, Bojic, Chambers,
Doig, Crowe, Low, Taylor, Jess (Hunt 59), Smith,
McGleish, Mendes (Kirk 60). Subs not used: Rowson,
Referee: P.Joslin (Nottinghamshire).
In the end it was the defences who ruled the day
as City and Northampton fought out a goalless
at Deva Stadium. The point each keeps both sides
in touch with the play-off positions at the top
of League Two.
took four minutes for Ryan Lowe to get in the
action shooting wide of the left hand post from
18 yards as City looked for an early goal to take
the initiative. Ten minutes later Lowe tried his
luck again, this time shooting wide of the right
hand post after being set up by Marcus Richardson’s
strong run at the Cobblers defence.
At the other Chris MacKenzie
was called on to make his first contribution of
the day when he parried away Martin Smith’s
low shot from just inside the box at the second
Richardson tested Harper in
the visitors goal as he broke down the left wing
and drilled in a powerful near-post shot that
the ‘keeper held.
Dangerman Lowe saw a shot blocked
by Luke Chambers though the resulting Ben Davies
corner was cleared by Smith. On the stroke of
half-time City almost got the goal their first-half
pressure had deserved.
Davies was fouled by Chris Doig
and the midfielder picked himself up to deliver
a perfect free-kick to David Artell but the Blues
defender headed over from just six yards out.
The visitors started the second
half well and MacKenzie did well to hold a dangerous
cross from Scott McGleish.
On the hour mark Tom Curtis
shot wide from outside the box after good work
from Davies but both sides were now finding chances
at a premium as both defences got on top.
MacKenzie saved again from McGleish,
and Stewart Drummond cleared an inswinging Smith
corner during a spell of Northampton pressure.
Manager Curle brought on Abdel
El Kholti for Richardson and minutes later Michael
Branch was almost set clear before being pulled
back by Luke Chambers that earned a yellow card
for unsporting behaviour.
With two minutes remaining
Doig had a chance to take all three points back
to Northampton but he shot over from 12 yards to
the relief of the City fans.
Chester City Under
18 2 Macclesfield Town Under
Youth Alliance North and Midlands West Conference
Half Time 1-1
Chester City: Lake, Hitchin, Marsh-Evans, Roberts, Cadwallader, Scales
(Linford 54) Potter (Carroll 70) Morgan (Wilson) Wade, Holroyd, Rutherford.
Subs not used: Armstrong, Kelly.
Macclesfield Town: Cooper, Walker (Aldridge 61) Jennings, Johnson
(Edwards 72) Byrne, Flynn, Reid, Hadfield, Bunting (Hanchcliffe 72) Whyte,
Subs not used: Jeffries.
certainly started the brighter and more confident
of the two,
having a couple of half
chances within the first three minutes. The early
paying dividends in the fifth minute when Macclesfield
failed to clear their lines, with Holroyd’s
shot blocked the ball fell to Wade who smashed
the ball into the net from 15 yards out.
A minute later, and Macclesfield
had their keeper to thank, Rutherford took
a quick throw-in on
the right flank, which put Potter clean through
on goal. Unfortunately the angle wasn’t
the best and Cooper thwarted the danger at his
On the 13-minute mark,
Macclesfield got themselves back into the game,
when Cadwallader was harshly
adjudged to have fouled his opponent when jumping
for the ball. The resulting free kick was floated
into the six yard box, and looked destined for
the hands of Lake. However, with Flynn jumping
him, Lake spilled the ball and it fell to Whyte
who didn’t need asking twice from four
Nevertheless, Chester remained firmly in the
driving seat with Paul Rutherford playing an
influential role in reeking havoc amongst the
Macclesfield defence. On the half hour mark his
turn to outwit the defender was sublime and he
raced onto the Marsh-Evans through-ball. Cooper
in the Macclesfield goal was quick off his line
and was able to send Rutherford wide, giving
his team enough time to get players back in time
to clear the cross. With Chester well on top
Macclesfield rode their luck ten minutes from
the interval when Holroyd made a run into a crowded
penalty area and hit the deck. The resulting
penalty appeals where turned down by referee
Power, who in all fairness was well placed to
have judged that the defender had got a foot
on the ball.
Chester started the second
half in similar fashion to the first half, taking
the game to Macclesfield.
Despite some good half chances they found themselves
2-1 down in the 55th minute, when Lake was unfortunate
to have been done by a divot. Reid cut inside
and went down as if shot by a sniper, and when
the ball ran onto Hadfield he took full advantage
of not being closed down. His 25 yard effort
cruelly hitting a divot just in front of the
Lake, resulting in the ball skipping up and over
From this moment on Macclesfield
became content to spoil a game of football
and played with nine
defenders, in the hope that they would undeservedly
take all three points. But they failed to take
into account the tenacity of this Chester team,
and in particular, the tenacity of Rutherford
who continually drove his team on. Although they
dominated for much of the half and created a
few half chances, Chester’s first real
chance came in the 80th minute when Carroll went
for placement instead of power resulting in an
easy save for Cooper. A minute later and with
Rutherford clean through, Holroyd squandered
the opportunity when he chose instead to shoot
into a crowd of players.
A couple of minutes later
and Rutherford just failed to make contact
with a cross that bounced
awkwardly at the penultimate second. Having thrown
everything at Macclesfield, Chester looked destined
to be on the receiving end of a harsh defeat,
when in the 85th minute they got a free kick
for offside. With everyone pushed into the opposite
half Lake made amends for his earlier error by
delivering the ball with pinpoint accuracy into
the path of Rutherford who had ghosted in behind
the left back. In then complimenting Lake’s
delivery Rutherford then lashed the ball left
footed into the roof of the Macclesfield net
from eight yards out, earning Chester a thoroughly
The team are next in action on Friday
night when they entertain Burnley in the third
round of the Alliance Cup. Burnley currently top
and are unbeaten this season, so the team would certainly
appreciate some City support on the night. The match
takes place at the Airbus UK ground with a 19:00hrs
City 2 Folkestone Invicta 1
FA Cup Round 1
Attendance: 2,503 Half Time 0-1
Booked: Curtis, Branch.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Artell,
Dimech, Regan, Branch, Drummond, Curtis, Davies
(Vaughan 87), Lowe, Richardson (El Kholti 66). Subs
not used: Brookfield, Hessey, Bolland.
Folkestone Invicta: Kessell, J.Everitt
(Sly 89), Flanagan, Guest, Norman, Lamb (Neilson
76), M.Everitt, Chandler (Lindsey 80), Myall, Jones,
Dryden. Subs not used: Bower, Mann.
Referee: S.Dorr (Worcester).
moved into the second round of the FA Cup after
overcoming a spirited showing from Ryman Premier
League side Folkestone Invicta. As expected there
was a return from suspension for Stewart Drummond,
and from injury for Carl Regan, though striker Gregg
Blundell once again missed out.
on by around 250 supporters, and local MP and
Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, the
Kent side started well and had the first effort
on goal after four minutes with Martin Chandler
shooting straight at Chris MacKenzie from outside
the box. The Blues began kicking in to a swirling
wind that made life difficult at times with too
many passes going astray as the visitors adapted
to the conditions better.
On ten minutes a potential Cup
shock looked on the cards as Invicta took the
lead. Tom Curis gave away a free kick with a foul
on Adam Flanagan. Paul Lamb took the kick out
on the right, the ball headed straight for MacKenzie
who, crouching down, appeared to spill a simple
catch, the ball slipping out and appearing to
go into the net off striker Adam Flanagan with
David Artell in close proximity.
As the half wore on, the Blues
were reduced to long range efforts, one from Ryan
Lowe was in more danger of hitting the corner
flag than the goal. ‘Keeper Tony Kessell
did well to parry one long-range effort from Lowe
as City attempted to get on level terms. It was
Invicta though who had the better of the chances,
with both Paul Jones and Martin Chandler shooting
wide when well placed to extend their lead.
Kessell was called into action
to make one good save as he pushed a back header
from Richardson over the bar and was again on
hand to save easily from a Ben Davies free-kick
on the stroke of half-time.
No doubt with a talking to from
Keith Curle still ringing in their ears City came
out for the second period looking to take advantage
of the wind at their backs. Ten minutes after
the break Ben Davies was brought down by a clumsy
challenge from James Everitt after he’d
jinked into the box following a short corner from
Michael Branch. Referee Dorr had no hesitation
in pointing to the spot and Branch duly sent Kessell
the wrong way with the spot-kick to the delight
of the City fans behind the goal.
On 77 minutes the Blues took
the lead. Kessell’s clearance was headed
straight back up field unchallenged by Artell,
Lowe burst through to his an unstoppable half-volley
past the keeper from the edge of the box.
As Folkestone began to tire,
Branch had a great chance to put the game beyond
doubt nine minutes from time, but his shot from
twelve yards was well saved by Kessell. A minute
later Davies also missed a glorious chance shooting
wide when well placed, but with the lead secure
the Blues finished the stronger to hold out for
a second round visit from either Nottingham Forest
Pictures: Sue Choularton