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30 November 2006

The FA have now revealed Shrewsbury and Chester have been charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion after a melee erupted after the final whistle on Saturday. Shrewsbury defender Sagi Burton was sent off for allegedly striking a Chester player. Both clubs have until 13 December to respond. The FA is also investigating reports that chairman Stephen Vaughan was involved in a tunnel incident after the final whistle.
Chester crashed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy 3-1 on penalties to Chesterfield last night after playing their part in a pulsating tie at Saltergate that ended 4-4 after 90 minutes.

City found themselves two down early on but battled back with goals from Paul Linwood and Laurence Wilson to go in level at the break. Gregg Blundell gave City a brief lead just after the interval before two more Chesterfield goals looked to have finally put an end to Chester’s resistance.

With four minutes remaining though Phil Bolland stepped up to head home an equaliser and send the tie into a shoot-out. Unfortunately Sean Hessey, Roberto Martinez and Chris Holroyd all failed from the spot leaving the Spireites to progress to the area semi-final’s.

After the match chairman Steve Vaughan praised the effort from his players: “It was an excellent performance against a quality side from the division above us, and one thing that it does give us is confidence for the upcoming FA Cup tie at Bury.”

Picture © Evening Leader
29 November 2006

City take a break from league action tonight when they travel to play Chesterfield in the northern area Johnstone’s Pain Trophy quarter-final. The Blues will have both Roberto Martinez and Ashley Westwood available again following suspension. Roy McFarland has a fully fit squad to pick from tonight and will be eager to erase the memory of the recent shock home defeat to non-league Basingstoke in the FA Cup.

The two sides haven’t met in a competitive match since 1993/94 when City did the double over the Spireites winning 3-1 at Saltergate thanks to goals from Chris Lightfoot, Stuart Rimmer and David Thompson, before a 2-1 win at the Deva thanks to efforts from Graham Lancashire and Mark Leonard. The sides did meet in Chester however in the summer with Chesterfield winning 2-0 in a pre-season friendly.

28 November 2006

The reserves were beaten 5-0 in a Pontins Holiday Cup match yesterday.
The third round home game against Tottenham Hotspur will take place at Deva Stadium on Wednesday 13 December, kick-off 19:00hrs. Admission is £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for concessions and children.
27 November 2006

The club will be reviewing the video tape of the end of match scenes at Gay Meadow on Saturday before deciding what action to take. If they club find any of their own players at fault they will be dealt with internally.

A controversial last minute winner for the home side sparked angry scenes, mostly pushing and shoving, at the final whistle. Moments later Shrews captain Sagi Burton was given a straight red card and several scuffles, involving both staff and players, broke out in front of the main stand and appeared to continue down the tunnel. The match was a feisty affair that had already seen one second half brawl after which former Chester player Ben Davies was a given a yellow card for diving in the penalty area, five City players also found their names in the referee’s notebook along the way.

Gregg Blundell had given Chester an early lead in an end-to-end half littered with errors on the heavy pitch that had passed a 09.00 inspection; with both sides guilty of missing close range chances. If City had the better of the first half, the second was dominated by the home side who drew level through Davies and saw a goal disallowed before the controversial last minute penalty harshly awarded for a handball by Paul Linwood and converted by Michael Symes.

Manager Mark Wright said: “I might have to be careful about what I say about the incidents at the end. They’ll have reasons and we’ll have reasons, but Graham (Barrow) and I went over to try and pull our players away and get them sorted out and calmed down, and that will show on the video.

But I don’t think anyone can take being whacked from behind. That’s not football. It all kicked off because someone wanted to do this or that, but it was all handbags. There were no fists flying, but it was a melee and I suppose we’ll end up in trouble.

Did anyone see any fists flying? I might have been grabbing hold of a few people and saying calm down, but there was no real trouble and if I’m honest it probably looked worse than what it was. It was disappointing, but it was that sort of a game and it always seems to be that way with Shrewsbury.

We had worked our socks off to get something out of the game, but a penalty decision at the end of the game like that causes mayhem. I’m not saying it was the referee’s fault, but when it’s heated anyway and when it’s a derby game, I don’t think making a decision like that really helps.

There’s friction everywhere when we go to Shrewsbury, but that’s football.”

The referee’s report would make interesting reading!

League Two table

Pictures © Evening Leader

Gregg Blundell picked up his fifth of the season at Gay Meadow and will now miss Saturday’s FA Cup match at Bury as he serves a one match suspension.

FA suspensions

24 November 2006

City have completed the loan signing of Lincoln City midfielder Ryan Semple until 2 January 2007. Semple played under Mark Wright when he was manager at Peterborough United and had been due to sign for City several weeks ago but an injury then put the move on hold.

Picture © Evening Leader

City make the short journey to Shrewsbury Town tomorrow and will find themselves up against a few familiar faces. Ben Davies, Stewart Drummond, Chris MacKenzie and Joe Hinnigan have all departed Deva Stadium for the Shropshire side since last season where they join two other ex-Blues Richard Hope and Derek Asamoah. Meanwhile City striker Lee Steele (left) will be returning to a club where he had a successful three year spell between 1997-2000. During that time he registered 41 goals in 118+10 appearances.

Having won only one of their last six league games City currrently lie 15th in league Two one point and one place behind the Shrews and will be keen to register only their second win at Gay Meadow in 20 attempts before the ground closes at the end of the season. City must do without the services tomorrow of midfielder Roberto Martinez who serves a one match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last Friday night.

Tomorrow’s match is all-ticket for Chester supporters and will kick-off at 12:00hrs.

Walking to the match from Chester will be members of the Chester City Supporters Trust. They set off from Deva Stadium yesterday and are walking to raise money for the Trust, which in turn will be used to support the Chester City Centre of Excellence and Football in the Community Schemes at Chester City Football Club. Funds are also being raised for the Trusts nominated charities Macmillan Cancer Support, B-Positive at the Countess and the Club's Centre of Excellence. If you would like to make a donation you can do so online here.

Picture © Evening Leader
22 November 2006

The youth team won 1-0 at York City tonight in a second round match in the FA Youth Cup and now face a third round home tie with Tottenham Hotspur. The goal came from Kevin Roberts in front of a 230 attendance. The score has been incorrectly reported on the BBC and Sky (and here!).
21 November 2006

Chester will travel to Gigg Lane to play Bury in the second round of the FA Cup after the Lancashire side defeated Conference outfit Weymouth 4-3 tonight in their first round replay. The game will take place at Gigg Lane on Saturday 2 December at 15:00hrs.
19 November 2006

City and Stockport had to be content with a point each from a cold and wet Deva Stadium encounter on Friday night. The Blues had a poor first half and went behind after Kevin Sandwith failed to clear a cross floated in from the left leaving Davd Poole a chance to open the scoring for the visitors on 27 minutes. It was over half an hour before City had their first threat on goal with Lee Steele heading straight at John Ruddy.

However City turned things round after the break and equalised just before the hour mark as Jon Walters turned home Stephen Vaughan’s right wing cross from six yards. Walters and Steele both missed chances late on to grab all three points.

The draw lifts Chester to 15th place in League Two; they are next in action on Saturday when they travel to play Shrewsbury Town (kick-off 12:00) who sit one place above the Blues following their 2-0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons today.

Chairman Steve Vaughan was far from happy following City’s latest league performance. He told the Daily Post:

“The first half against Stockport was totally unacceptable, our players looked like strangers and it made you wonder if they knew what system they were being asked to play.

I honestly thought that my coaching staff utilised the first half of the game as a form of scouting session, trying to work out the formation that Stockport would be playing. We have only won three of our last 16 league matches and that is causing me concern, it just isn’t good enough.

My fellow directors, myself and the supporters deserve a lot better than we have witnessed in recent league games, and particularly in the first half on Friday evening.

We had the second highest attendance of the season in the ground on Friday, and I want those people who turned up to know that there will be an improvement, I can guarantee that.

The league game at Shrewsbury Town next Saturday and the FA Cup tie at either Bury or Weymouth the week after could define our season, and I will be demanding a marked improvement from everybody concerned to what I witnessed in the first 45 minutes on Friday evening.”

Picture © Evening Leader

Midfielder Roberto Martinez picked up his fifth yellow card on Friday night and has received a one match suspension ruling him out of Saturday’s noon clash at Shrewsbury Town.
The youth team drew their Youth Alliance North West Conference league game at Tranmere Rovers this morning 0-0. On Wednesday the team travel to York City for a second round tie in the FA Youth Cup, the incentive for the winners is a home tie against Tottenham Hotspur in the third round.

FA Youth Cup fixtures
17 November 2006

Stockport County return to Deva Stadium tonight for a league Two match (19:45hrs). The Hatters were last in town just over two weeks ago for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match that City won 3-0. County lie in 11th place, four points above City and expect to have John Ruddy, Tony Kane and David Poole back in the squad after they were cup-tied for the 2-1 FA Cup win at Exeter City last week. The Blues will be without suspended defender Ashley Westwood while Paul Linwood is also a doubt with a knee injury.
16 November 2006

Yet another change to the fixture list! The kick-off for home match with Hereford United on 10 February has now been brought forward to 12:00 at the request of the Cheshire police.
13 November 2006

Goals from Paul McManus, Paul Linwood and Chris Holroyd gave Chester City a 3-2 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the County FA Senior Cup at Deva Stadium tonight. City will now play at Cammel Laird in a mid-January semi-final. The Blues last won the Cup in 1931/32 and were last runners-up in 1928/29.

Picture © Evening Leader

12 November 2006

Chester have been drawn away at either Weymouth or Bury in the second round of the FA Cup. The two sides drew 2-2 this afternoon and will replay at Gigg Lane on Tuesday 21 November. The tie will take place on the weekend of 2/3 December. The prize money for round two is £24,000
11 November 2006
Chester did a professional job on Clevedon to ensure there was to be no cup shock at Hand Stadium. The Blues took the lead on just seven minutes as Laurence Wilson finished a fine passing move to side foot home the opening goal and ease any early match nerves (left).

The swirling wind made life difficult on the pitch and City could have extended their lead had they not seen a goal disallowed and the crossbar struck and they tried to press home the advantage. Two fine saves from Danny Greaves in the home goal also kept the score to one at the interval. Any thoughts that the home side may have had of getting back into the game soon evaporated as Jamie Hand blasted home a second following a controversial free-kick and took control of the game.

Further goals from Jon Walters and substitute Gregg Blundell extended City’s lead before Jack Pitcher pulled back a consolation goal in the last minute for the Seasiders after some late pressure from the Southern League Premier Division side who fought to the end.

All credit to Clevedon, their staff and army of volunteers, who staged the biggest game at their ground without a hitch and made the City fans very welcome throughout the day.

Manager Mark Wright was pleased about the way the team set about their task, he said: “I thought we played some good stuff at times, but I’m a hard man to please as far as our players are concerned. I was certainly not pleased with the way we played in the last 20 minutes – that’s not what I’m all about. When we were 4-0 up we should have gone on to score a fifth and then a sixth and shut the back door. You don’t let them come on and invite them to score a goal. So I wasn’t pleased about that. But having said all that I think the most important thing was getting through to the second round, so it was a good job done by the boys.”

Pictures © Evening Leader

At the match on Saturday was Sebastian Blair who is raising money for MENCAP SPORT. He is following the progress of the FA Cup from the first qualifying round (Wembley v Thame United) through to the final.

Clevedon v Chester was the ninth match so far in the sequence having followed Wembley › Redbridge › AFC Hornchurch › Welling United › Clevedon Town and now the trail continues with Chester City. Sebastian will be collecting donations at our second round match whether it is at Bury or Weymouth.

If you would like to donate to the cause, or read more about the venture, please visit his website here.

10 November 2006

The Blues take a break from League Two action tomorrow as they head down to Somerset to play Southern League Premier Division side Clevedon Town in the first round of the FA Cup. The Seasiders have never reached this stage of the competition before and tomorrow’s game is one of the biggest in the club’s 126 year history.

Clevedon have reached the first round proper thanks to wins over Truro City, Willand Rovers, Hitchin Town and Welling United and a crowd of 2,500-3,000 is hoped for at the Hand Stadium for their first-ever competitive match against Football League opposition. The match is NOT all-ticket and the prize for the winners is £16,000 and a place of course in round two.
City manager Mark Wright, who lifted the Cup in 1992 is looking to his side to complete the job at the first attempt tomorrow. Ahead of the potentially tricky tie he told the Evening Leader: “Saturday is a special day for both clubs because we both want to do well. Clevedon and Chester are aware that a big pay-day can await the winning team if they can go on a good run. I don’t know much about Clevedon, but I do know someone down there who can tell us the bits and pieces about them.

It’s important that we find out as much as we can about them because we don’t want to go down there and get beaten. There’s one thing for certain, it’s not going to be like playing at Darlington because I believe Clevedon only have one stand, but that’s not being disrespectful because it’s going to be a very difficult game. FA Cup games are always difficult, but if we start doing the right things and manage to score an early goal it could be all over. I think that is the most important thing for us to work on.

We’ll approach the game in the right way, work hard, do the best we can and get the right result. It will be great for Clevedon to stage a cup tie and I hope they enjoy the day, but there is only one thing in my mind, and that is to go there and win the game. I don’t want to lose or draw the game – I don’t want any extra games. I just want to go down there, finish it on the day and come home with a win.”

Defender Ashley Westwood will miss the game through suspension and there is doubt over Simon Marples who has been suffereing from flu.

Clevedon Town official website
City’s match at Mansfield Town has been brought forward from Saturday 23 December to Friday 22nd with a 10:45hrs kick-off.
7 November 2006

The youth team beat Farsley Celtic 3-1 at home tonight in the first round of the FA Youth Cup. Paul McManus and Steven Thorp (2) scored for City before a crowd of 245. The side have been drawn to play York City away in round two, the match will take place on Wednesday 22 November, kick-off 19:00hrs.
6 November 2006

Chester have been charged by the Football Association of “failing to ensure that its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” (FA Rule E20(a)) following the recent game at Barnet. The club have until 15 November 2006 to respond.
4 November 2006

Chester must travel to League One side Chesterfield in the northern area quarter-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy following this morning’s draw. The game will take place at Saltergate on Wednesday 29 November, kick-off 19:30hrs. The two sides met of course in a pre-season friendly at Deva Stadium which the Spireites won 2-0.

Admission prices on the night are as follows. Adults £10.00, Under 18’s and Over 65’s £5.00. Those aged 16 or under enter free of charge when with a paying adult. Those 14 or under who are not with a paying adult can enter for just £1.00.

The full draw is:

Northern section
Chesterfield v Chester City
Port Vale v Crewe Alexandra
Doncaster Rovers v Accrington Stanley
Darlington v Mansfield Town

Southern section
Bristol Rovers v Peterborough United
Cheltenham Town v Shrewsbury Town
Millwall v Brighton & Hove Albion
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City

3 November 2006

Indeed it was same again for City who lost their second League game in a week by a single goal margin. It was a disappointing first half showing from City who fell behind to a Cummins goal on 16 minutes as the defence backed off. Laurence Wilson’s 25-yarder late on was City’s only effort of the opening period.

Darlo hit the crossbar on three occasions after the break and Wilson blazed the ball over from six yards in the dying minutes. Ashley Westwood became the second player in a week to be dismissed when he received a straight red card in the final minute and is suspended for the next three matches.

League Two table

Picture © Evening Leader

City are in action for the third time in six days tonight when they travel to the north east to play Darlington. Should manager Mark Wright want to change his winning team Roberto Martinez is available after serving a one match ban on Tuesday night but both Stephen Vaughan and Paul Linwood are still doubtful through injury. Up front Lee Steele is will make his league debut for the Blues. The Quakers have recently appointed Dave Penney as their new manager and lie 10th in League Two. They have defender Craig James back from a four-match suspension, but striker Julian Joachim is ruled out with a hamstring problem.
2 November 2006

The FA Cup first round match at Clevedon Town on Saturday 11 November is not all-ticket. However Chester have available 500 tickets for sale that can be pre-bought to save having to queue on the day of the match.

Blues fans will have their own segregated terrace area in a 3,000 capacity, note however that there is no seating available for City fans.

The ticket prices are adult £10.00, concession �5.00 and tickets will go on sale at Deva Stadium from Tuesday. Postal applications are also being taken and the full amount (payable Chester City Football Club Limited) must be included with a stamped self addressed envelope.

Deva Stadium ticket office times.

Monday 6 November 10.00-16.00 to season ticket holders and TRUEBLUE card holders only
Tuesday 7 November 10.00-18.00 and after FA Youth Cup game
Wednesday 8 November 10.00-16.00
Thursday 9 November 10.00-16.00
Friday 10 November 110.00-16.00

Clevedon Town official website

The League Two game at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday 25 November (kick-off 12:00hrs) is all-ticket for Chester supporters, the Blues will have 2,000 tickets available.

Prices are:
Terrace: adults £13.00, concessions £8.00
Seats: adults £15.00, concessions £10.00

Tickets can be purchased from the Deva Stadium at the times stated as for the FA Cup tickets above. Tickets may also be purchased online here. [registration required]
1 November 2006

City put Saturday’s defeat at Barnet firmly behind them as they progressed through to the Northern quarter-final’s of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy following a 3-0 victory over Cheshire neighbours Stockport County at Deva Stadium last night. New signing Lee Steele made his debut up front for the Blues who took the lead just before the break through Jamie Hand. City confirmed victory with two late goals through Gregg Blundell, his first since the opening day of the season, and Laurence Wilson who notched his first for the club to seal the victory.

After the match assistant manager Graham Barrow told the Evening Leader; “It�s always nice to bounce back after a disappointing performance because that�s what we didn�t do last time. After our first two games we had a bit of a dodgy run, but this time we�ve come back in style and I think that�s what a new player (Lee Steele) does to the situation. Lee�s arrival has given everybody at the club a lift � we know he is a good player. I thought Stockport played quite well, but for once we have been clinical and taken our chances.”

The draw for the area quarter-finals will take place on the SKY Soccer AM programme on Saturday morning with the match due to take place in the week commencing 27 November. Joining City in the area draw will be: Accrington Stanley, Crewe Alexandra, Darlington, Doncaster Rovers, Mansfield Town, Port Vale, and either Oldham Athletic or Chesterfield who play tonight.
The reserves lost 2-1 at home to Preston North End this afternoon in a Pontins Holiday League fixture. Chris Holroyd was once again on the score sheet for City.
































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