Wrexham: Anthony Williams, Pejic (Done 66), Steve Evans, Hope, Baynes,
Proctor, Taylor, Llewellyn, Aiston (Spender 83), Eifion Williams, Roberts (Garrett
78). Subs not used: Michael Jones, Gareth Evans. Chester City: Danby, Marples, Butler, Linwood, Wilson, Partridge,
Dinning (Grant 26, (Yeo 67)), Roberts, Ellison, Lowndes (McManus 52), Hughes.
Subs not used: Ward, Holroyd. Referee: Keith Woolmer (Northamptonshire).
points were shared at the Racecourse after a pulsating
90 minutes that had seen City twice take the lead against
their cross-border rivals only to be pegged back on
Almost 2,000 fans made the
trip to Wrexham hoping to see the Blues record
their first league victory at Wrexham since 1978,
but they left having seen their side miss several
half chances at 2-1 and having to be content with
a draw that was probably a fair result overall.
The Blues were dealt a blow before kick-off with striker John Murphy missing
through injury, taking his place in the starting eleven was Mark Hughes available
again following suspension.
The pitch was causing problems
for both sides in the early stages that saw several
players slipping on the wet surface and struggling
to keep their feet when running at pace. The opening
period was cagey with both sides forcing saves,
Danby being well placed to gather one early effort
from Eifion Williams.
On 26 minutes City were forced into a change as Tony Dinning had to hobble
off, the midfielder had received several minutes of treatment in the centre
circle and, despite attempting to continue, was helped from the pitch. Tony
Grant came on as a replacement and within a minute City had taken the lead.
Nathan Lowndes flicked on a left wing throw to youngster Kevin Roberts, he
looked up and volleyed the ball from the edge of the area into the far corner,
the ball dropping at the last minute giving Anthony Williams, who didn’t
even move, no chance in the home goal.
The City fans at the other end went wild as their side drew first blood.
Minutes later City almost
doubled their lead as Paul Butler saw a powerful
header cleared off the line following Richie Partridge’s
right wing corner was cleared off the line by Wes
Baynes, making his debut for the Dragons, to safety.
The clearance proved crucial as the home side leveled
just five minutes later.
City were awarded a free-kick
on the half way line and, instead of sending the
ball into the box, elected to play it short to
the touchline where possession was quickly lost
to Neil Roberts, he sent Michael Proctor through
on the right, he cut inside, beat Paul Linwood,
and shot across Danby into the far corner.
The Blues nearly conceded
a second as Paul Linwood unwittingly deflected
a goalbound shot 90 degrees that flashed a foot
wide of the City post.
The earlier injury
to Dinning meant five minutes of added time were
played, and during the last of these Chester took
a half-time advantage. The Blues forced a corner
on the left, Partridge delivered the cross to the
far post where an unmarked Paul Linwood headed past
Wrexham came out fired up
in the second period and it was soon their turn
to see an effort cleared off the line following
a Steve Evans header. City manager Bobby Williamson
was forced into another change as Lowndes was forced
from the field to be replaced by young winger Paul
McManus. Kevin Ellison operated as the front runner.
McManus had a great
chance following a mistake in the home defence. Another
slip in the wet conditions left the pacy winger with
a run on goal but Williams read the situation well
and raced out to block. The Blues had another glorious
chance following a break down the right, Partridge
cut-in near the byline and will Williams rushing
out shot straight at the keeper with Ellison and
Simon Yeo (on for the injured Grant) unmarked six
yards out to his left.
McManus was sent clear again on the left, his pace taking his past a Wrexham
defender and as he cut inside he shot straight at Williams who caught the ball
above his head.
With fifteen minutes remaining
the home side scored a second equaliser. Matty
Done was set free on the left and his far post
cross was met well by Proctor who volleyed home
inside the right hand post.
In injury time McManus almost
achieved cult status as he rose at the far post to meet
a Laurence Wilson cross, but he was unable to keep his
header down and it sailed over the bar to bring to an
end a hard fought match.
paid the price for missed chances as MK Dons opened up
their lead at the top of League Two with a 2-0 win at
Deva Stadium to register their 10th win in their last
12 league outings.
were boosted by the news that both John Murphy and Richie
Partridge were fit enough to feature in the starting
line-up having recovered from injury. Partridge’s
brother in law Chester-born Michael Owen watched on
from the main stand.
City captain Tony Dinning saw an early
effort go over but it was the visitors who dominated
the opening period with midfielders Keith Andrews and
Alan Navarro, who had a one month loan spell with Chester
in 2004, dominating the midfield exchanges.
Navarro himself saw a shot deflected
by ex-Dons defender Paul Butler just wide after a period
of keep-ball from the visitors.
John Danby was well placed to save
at an acute angle from Aaron Wilbraham and Keith Andrews
almost chipped the City shot stopper as the visitors
The game proved a bit of a stalemate
but after plenty of possession the visitors took the
lead on 37 minutes through Mark Wright.
Andrews long ball found Wilbraham
on the right, he turned past Butler on the edge of the
box, and as Danby closed him down his shot deflected
to the feet of Wright who swept the ball home from 12
Chester were forced into a change
at the break with Paul Linwood, who had been suffering
blurred vision, being replaced by Tony Grant with Kevin
Roberts dropping back into the defence.
Having been out of the game for long
periods in the opening 45, Chester hit back after the
break and posed a few questions to their high-flying
Grant was soon in the action sending
over a pinpoint cross to Murphy, but, as the City striker
took his sight on goal Dons ‘keeper Willy Gueret
rushed out to block his effort.
The Dons doubled their lead on 64
minutes. Dyer went on a quick run down the left, he
turned the back-peddling partridge, and sent in a near
post cross that was met by Jemal Johnson who got ahead
of his marker to steer the ball past Danby from close
City were gifted an opportunity back
into the game on 73 minutes as Wright was penalised
for handling in the area following a Kevin Ellison header.
Simon Yeo, who’d only been on
the pitch for a couple of minutes, stepped up to the
spot but saw his effort saved by Gueret who dived to
his right to push the ball away to safety.
City had further chances to get back
in the game, Guret pulled off another fine save to deny
Ellison and closed down to block Yeo after the striker
had been put through.
So a third successive defeat
for City that sees them drop two places in the table
to sixth, seven points behind their victors.
suffered their second defeat in five days at Valley Parade to exit the
FA Cup at the first hurdle. The Blues, without both John Murphy and Richie
Partridge struggled to break down a home side that defended in numbers
after striker Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu was red carded for a second bookable
offence just before the break.
Over 600 Chester fans made the trip across the Pennines in a crowd that was an
astonishing 9,000 down on that reported to have been there for the League Two
match on Tuesday night.
With Tuesday’s injured duo missing manager Bobby Williamson brought in
Tony Grant and Nathan Lowndes while Simon Yeo started ahead of Chris Holroyd.
Chester started the game well, playing with plenty of possession as they had
done for the second period in midweek, they had an early sniff on goal when Kevin
Ellison burst through and elected to shoot but sent his effort high and wide
without troubling Ricketts in the home goal.
Mark Hughes sent a shot wide after Linwood’s knock-down from a free kick
had caused panic in the home defence. The midfielder saw another effort pushed
wide for a corner by Ricketts as City pressed for a first half advantage.
Minutes later at the other
end though Eddie Johnson screwed a shot wide
from inside the six yard box after meeting
a Paul Evans free kick.
However it was the
home side who, against the general run of
play found the net on 28 minutes. Paul Evans
broke clear down the right and crossed to
the far post where Peter Thorne, totally
unmarked, headed across goal over John Danby’s
despairing dive into the far corner of the
net for his first goal since January 2006.
Home ‘keeper Ricketts was in the action soon later saving well from a
Grant header before the home side were reduced to ten men, Ndumbu-Nsungu’s
late tackle on Laurence Wilson brought his second yellow card a couple of minutes
before the break, which left Bantams manager Stuart McCall furious with referee
With a man advantage Chester
began the second period on the attack with
Wilson firing across goal when well positioned
following good work from Yeo. Lowndes fed a
through ball to Hughes but once again Ricketts
read the situation well to block at the feet
of the midfielder.
Paul McManus replaced Lowndes and Paul Rutherford came on for Grant as manager
Bobby Williamson looked to change things. But try as City might they couldn’t
penetrate a packed home defence who held firm to register their second win
over Chester in a week and line-up a second round home tie with Tranmere Rovers.
6 November Bradford
City 2 Chester City 1
Attendance: 13,211 (272 Chester) Half Time 1-0
Booked: Hughes, Holroyd, Butler, Marples.
Bradford City: Ricketts, Williams, Wetherall,
Clarke, Heckingbottom, Daley, Paul Evans (Rhodes 69),
Law, Nix (Bower 90), Johnson, Thorne (Ndumbu-Nsungu 76).
Subs not used: Saynor, Conlon. Chester City: Danby, Marples, Dinning,
Butler, Wilson, Partridge (Rutherford 18), Hughes, Linwood,
Ellison, Murphy (Roberts 46), Holroyd (Yeo 78). Subs not
used: Palethorpe, Lowndes. Referee: Andy Hall (West Midlands).
lost their League away record at Valley Parade after a
struggling Bradford City side finally ended their run
of eight winless games.
it was another reasonable performance from Bobby Williamson’s
men, and they were unlucky not to leave Yorkshire without
a point for their efforts.
Chester started the game with the
appropriate confidence from a side sitting second in
League Two, and won a corner in the opening spell, which
resulted in three City shots before the ball was cleared
by Bradford ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts.
The Blues carried on pressing and
it was great for the 272 travelling fans to see Chester
playing football at the same level as a team with such
an impressive ground, certainly the best I’ve
seen in League Two, and in front of more than 13,000
But it wasn’t long before the
Bantams started coming into the game and not long after
they won their second corner, Eddie Johnson fell flat
in the box following a challenge by Mark Hughes.
Nicky Law took the penalty in front
of the Chester fans, who were relieved to see John Danby
dive the right way to clear the ball. Paul Butler played
safe by hitting the loose ball out for a corner, which
came to nothing when the ball went straight out of play.
Soon after, Richie Partridge came
off with an injury and was replaced by Paul Rutherford.
Then Johnson was again fouled by Hughes, and this time
his name was put in the notebook of referee Andy Hall.
City didn’t seem quite as threatening
with the loss of Partridge, and Chris Holroyd had a
disappointing game, often guilty of poor distribution.
He was also the second Chester name in the book when
he was booked for dissent on 25 minutes.
Bradford continued to push forward
and the ball came to Omar Daley not long after he fouled
Laurence Wilson. Daley took the shot well, and it hit
the inside edge of the post and left Danby with no chance
of making a save.
There were no more clear-cut chances
in the rest of the half, but there was another City
yellow card when Butler was booked for a foul on Kyle
Nix just before half-time.
When City ran out for the second half,
John Murphy had been replaced by Kevin Roberts and the
formation was shuffled with Kevin Ellison, largely ineffectual
in the first half, going up front.
Ellison made an immediate impact when
he was fouled by a Bradford player right on the edge
of the box. The referee awarded a penalty and Tony Dinning,
who scored a penalty in City’s last game, stepped
up to take it. But it was a poor effort and Ricketts
easily palmed it up onto the crossbar.
Chester kept their heads up though,
with Butler – perhaps as an ex-Leeds player wanting
to make an impression against their West Yorkshire rivals
– having a good game, with some telling tackles.
Roberts also put in a quality performance, and had a
couple of decent efforts on goal.
Both sides continued to play watchable
football, and City’s final throw of the dice came
when Holroyd was replaced by Simon Yeo on the 77th minute.
However many City fans were wondering
if it was too late for him to make any difference, and
it took a Bradford sub, Alex Rhodes, to put the result
He ran down the wing, with the ball
very close to going out of play, and had no trouble
keeping ahead of Simon Marples as he protested to the
referee that Chester should’ve been given a throw-in.
Once he got into the box without being challenged, he
had an excellent shot to make it 2-0 to the Bantams.
Chester had an injury-time consolation
goal when one header after another fell nicely for Ellison
to have a diving header into the back of the net.
When City travel again to Yorkshire
for the first round of the FA Cup, they’ll be
backed by at least twice as many fans and now know they’ve
got nothing to fear from the former Premiership club.
On the strength of Tuesday night, it’s a game
that could go either way.
Traffic congestion forced a late kick-off at Sincil Bank as the Blues team arrived
half an hour after the scheduled kick-off time. A quick five minute warm-up preceded
the 20:40 kick-off time, not the best preparation for a side looking to extend
its unbeaten away run and maintain the pressure on top side MK Dons.
Not surprisingly Chester took time to get started with the home side having
the better of the opening stages. Scott Kerr tested the City rearguard with
in the opening minutes. Former Chester player Jamie Hand wasted another free-kick
shooting straight into the wall before striker Steve Torpey came close to opening
the scoring as he saw a header from a Gary Croft cross bounce clear off the
crossbar with John Danby beaten.
the other end Chris Holroyd was denied a strike on goal following a well
block from Bencharif. Tony Dinning and Paul Butler
found themselves in referee Kettle’s notebook
in the opening stages as the home side, playing
under new manager Peter Jackson, continued to press
for an opening.
Croft sent a shot just wide before Chester forced
a couple of corners. Ex-Imp Kevin Ellison saw an effort blocked by Lee
Beevers who injured himself in the process leaving the field with a suspected
dislocated shoulder. Tony Dinning then tried his luck from long range but
Alan Marriott in the home goal was on hand to parry the ball wide with
the onrushing John Murphy unable to convert.
Lee Frecklington sent a shot wide and Dany N’Guessan
forced Danby into a comfortable save and Torpey glanced the ball just wide
on the stroke of half time.
Twelve minutes after the break City scored the only
goal of the game in controversial circumstances. A right wing cross was
met by Chris Holroyd who out jumped both Paul Green and Bencherief but
directed his header wide. City seemed to appeal for a corner but referee
Kettle pointed to the spot amidst protests from the home players. Dinning
stepped up and chipped the spot kick down the middle over a diving Marriott.
Lincoln looked the more dangerous side and thought
they seen an equaliser as a long punt upfield was headed down for Ben Wright
past Danby but
referee Kettle annoyed the home fans again awarding a free kick for a foul
in the build-up. N’Guessan tested Dandy with a long-range effort
Ellison and Holroyd also found themselves in the
notebook for fouls and the latter was replaced by former
Lincoln hero Simon Yeo. Richie Partridge saw a shot
go over the bar when well placed. The home side replaced
Frecklington with Warlow and continued to probe but
City's defence held firm with Yeo helping out to clear
a corner in the dying minutes and preserve Chester’s
impressive away run.