29 November 1997
Chester City 1 Exeter City
Chester City: Brown,
Jenkins, Fisher, Richardson, Whelan, Alsford, Bennett,
Priest, Rimmer, Flitcroft, Thomas. Subs not used:
Davidson, Jones, McDonald.
Exeter City: Bayes, Gayle, Cyrus, Blake, Clarke, Richardson,
Rowbottom, Badderley, Flack, Devlin, Gardner. Subs Williams, Ghazghazi,
Referee: David Laws
City will be disappointed not to
have taken all three points against a rather negative
Exeter City who were reduced to 10 men following the
sending off of Lee Baddeley. Baddeley was dismissed
for punching Nick Richardson while in a free kick line-up.
The Blues stuck with the side that
had beaten Swansea earlier in the week and totally
dominated the game for long periods. Nick Richardson
had another outstanding game in midfield, backed up
well by Iain Jenkins and Neil Fisher at the back. Rod
Thomas too, especially after the break, created chance
after chance for the front line.
The game started fairly evenly with
the Blues playing the better football in midfield as
Exeter found it hard to adapt playing with the wind
at their backs. Gary Bennett missed two guilt-edged
chances to give City the lead just before the break.
First he was put through by Richardson's through ball,
only for Bayes to save well down. Then he shot agonisingly
wide of the far post following good work by Rimmer.
City were made to pay for these misses
in the next minute as Darren Rowbottom lobbed 'keeper
Brown to put the visitors 1-0 up at the break with
their first shot on goal, against the run of play.
The much-deserved equaliser came
on 66 minutes through Stuart Rimmer. Once again Thomas
went on a weaving run down the edge of the box before
cutting in to the bye-line. He managed to thread a
pass through to the unmarked Rimmer who slid the ball
home from a couple of yards.City almost took the lead
soon after as Richardson hit a piledriver from fully
30 yards against the left hand post.
Bennett headed over from ten yards
and Rimmer had a shot cleared off the line as Chester
pressed for the winner. By now it was wave after wave
of City attacks.
In the dying minutes it looked as
though City had conceded a penalty with Brown clumsily
pulling down Williams in Exeter's only real attack
of the second period. Still despite all their efforts
the Blues couldn't snatch the winner, but, to their
credit they tried to play football to the end and never
resorted to the long-ball tactic as time began to run
Still, this was two points dropped
as City missed a great chance to catch on on their
fellow promotion rivals.
Nick Richardson was again named
man of the match by match sponsors the Chester
26 November 1997
Chester City 2 Swansea City 0
Chester City: Brown,
Jenkins, Fisher, Richardson, Whelan, Alsford, Bennett
(Jones), Priest (McDonald), Rimmer, Flitcroft, Thomas
Subs not used: Davidson.
Swansea City: Freestone, Bound, Clode, Edwards, Walker,
Cusack, Ampadu, Appleby, Bird, Mainwaring, Coates, Subs not used O'Leary,
Referee: Phil Richards (Preston).
Not surprisingly there were only
1500 supporters for this hastily re-arranged game brought
forward from March to help ease the cash-flow problems
at the Deva. However three more points were welcomed
as City overcame the Swans and put themselves back
in the promotion frame.
The Blues had keeper Wayne Brown
to thank for two crucial saves early on, as a mistake
by Nick Richardson let in Tony Bird. Bird had a better
chance minutes later but Brown smothered the close
Chester's first effort on goal came
on the half hour through a Dave Flitcroft shot. And
minutes later City took the lead with a Flitcroft penalty.
Rod Thomas having another good game was brought down
in the box by Ampadu. Freestone went the right way
but couldn't stop the shot.
In the best move of the half, Stuart
Rimmer and Gary Bennett set up Thomas. He in turn set
up Priest who slipped when he was about to shoot.
Chester dominated after the break
but didn't create any real chances. Their second goal
came on 53 minutes with a superb towering header from
Rod Thomas. He leapt above defender Mark Code to power
home Iain Jenkins' first time cross.
Matt Bound thought he'd scored direct
from a free-kick for the Swans on 67 minutes but it
was ruled out however for encroachment and the retake
was comfortably saved by Brown.
Spenner had a header cleared off
the line before Mark Code was shown the red card for
retaliating after a foul by Priest. City's midfielder
was booked, and that fifth yellow card of the season
will now bring a three match ban beginning on December
18 November 1997
Chester City 0 Peterborough United
Chester City: Brown,
Jenkins, Fisher, Richardson, Whelan, Alsford, Bennett,
Priest, Rimmer, Flitcroft, Thomas (McDonald 69). Subs
not used, Murphy, Giles.
Peterborough United: Tyler, McMenamin, Lewis,
Linton, Bodley, Edwards, Farrell, Payne, Carruthers, Quinn, Houghton.
Subs not used, Drury, Bullimore, De Souza.
Referee: Graham Lewis (Whitley Bay).
An excellent game (despite the scoreline)
between two quality sides. Posh came looking for the
win and played with two out and out strikers and two
wing backs always looking to go forward.
But first blood to Chester. Richardson,
who had an outstanding game put Bennett in down the
inside right channel his brilliant chipped shot
looked to be going in but hit the foot of the post
and rebounded to safety.
At the Sealand End, Carruthers and
Quinn both had one-on-one chances put through by beautifully
weighted passes but Brown stood up to both and
Posh started strongly in the second
half and threatened to overwhelm City who seemed to
be defending too deeply. But when City got back at
Peterborough Bennett (who ran his heart out) and Rimmer
got behind the defence only for Flitcroft and McDonald
to miscue good chances.
The best chance of all came with
four minutes to go when Priest smashed a cracking shot
from 10 yards out against the inside of the post. McDonald
also had a good header saved on the line.
Great match, two good sides, fair
result. The crowd of 2,612 was slightly disappointing.
How is it there are standing queues outside before
the match but when you get in you think "where's
Neil Fisher was named Man of the
Match. he deserved it too. One classic goal line clearance
in the second half when he dribbled the ball out of
the six yard box, wrong footing a Posh forward to get
the ball away.
15 November 1997
Chester City 2 Winsford United
City: Brown, Jenkins, Fisher, Richardson,
Whelan, Alsford, Bennett (Murphy 89), Priest, McDonald
(Rimmer 72), Flitcroft, Thomas. Subs not used,
Shelton, Sinclair, Giles.
Winsford United: Oakes, Clegg, German, Came
(Russell 81), Talbot, Byrne, Doherty, Bermingham, Shaugnessey
(Dulson 84), Steele, Wheeler (Aspinall 66). Subs not used, Goodall,
Referee: Steve Lodge (Barnsley).
Two second half goals from the midfield
secured City's place in round two and prevented the
shock result which looked on the cards at halt-time.
Winsford's Winfield Steele gave the visitors an 11th
minute lead with a superb curling shot into the top
After the break City dominated
and spent much of the 45 minutes in Winsford's half.
They equalised through Nick Richardson on 53 minutes,
volleying home Rod McDonald's right wing cross. Fifteen
minutes from time Chris Priest grabbed the winner.
City came more into it as the game progressed.
Neil Fisher hit a shot that rattled the bar and Chris
Priest put a couple of efforts wide.
time it was Iain Jenkins who crossed from the right to
Priest, who turned and slotted the ball home from six
8 November 1997
Leyton Orient 1 Chester City 0
Leyton Orient: Hyde,
Channing, Naylor, Smith, Hicks (Joseph 76), Clark,
Ling, Warren, Regis (Harris 73), Hanson, Inglethorpe.
Sub not used, Baker.
Chester City: Brown, Dobson (Thomas 80), Giles,
Richardson, Jenkins, Alsford, Bennett (Murphy 73), Priest,
McDonald, Flitcroft, Rimmer. Sub not used, Shelton.
Referee: Robert Harris (Oxford).
It was definitely a case of 'after
the Lord Mayor's show' for City, who, after the euphoria
of winning at leaders Notts County in midweek, failed
to score in a league game for the first time this season.
In truth they never looked like scoring either, with
only Chris Priest's first minute volley, and a Stuart
Rimmer shot late in the first half (after our best
move of the match) forcing the home keeper into good
saves. There was a suspicion of offside for the O's
goal on 24 minutes with Smith running through onto
Regis' through ball to leave Wayne Brown no chance
in the City goal.
The Blues had plenty of possession
after the break without creating any clear-cut chances.
At the back City looked ok with Iain Jenkins (playing
with a broken nose and a gashed ear) and Julian Alsford
again playing well together, and Martin Giles had a
good game at left back and looks quite an asset from
City's youth policy. Once again though, City were second
best in midfield, with Nick Richardson and Dave Flitcroft
bearing must of the supporters' frustration.
The substitution of Gary Bennett
brought an angry response from the travelling faithful.
Although he didn't do a great deal he's the kind of
player who'll turn a game given half a chance. John
Murphy for Rimmer (who'd run his legs of all afternoon)
might have been a better option.
Orient nearly doubled their lead
with a free kick from Clark that rattled the bar, then
Rod McDonald shot over from a good position, and Stuart
Rimmer went close in the dying minutes as City pushed
for the equaliser.
Matthew Giles (not Chris Priest)
received a yellow card.
4 November 1997
Notts County 1 Chester City 2
Notts County: Ward,
Hendon, Pearce, I.Richardson, Strodder, Baraclough,
Finnan, Derry, Farrell, G.Jones (Martindale 76/ Robinson
86), Robson. Sub not used: S.Jones.
Chester City: Brown, Dobson, Giles, N.Richardson,
Jenkins, Alsford, Bennett, Priest, McDonald, Flitcroft, Rimmer
(Murphy 86). Subs not used: Shelton, Thomas.
Referee: Paul Taylor (Cheshunt).
This was a remarkable result in many
ways as City, with one of the worst away records in
the league, won thanks to a late Gary Bennett strike.
With Wayne Brown playing only his fourth league game
in goal, Ryan Dobson making only his second start for
City and youngster Martin Giles making his debut at
It was one-way stuff for most of the game
and City had Brown to thank for a series of superb
saves that denied County. Although at fault for the
goal (he dropped Mark Robson's corner) his handling
in difficult conditions was superb all night and his
long kick forward with minutes left led to City's winner.
Derry headed wide midway through
the first half from Pearce's cross and City appealed
for a penalty after Bennett fell under a challenge
from Strodder. County took the lead through Strodder,
slotting the ball home after Brown had dripped Robson's
On 87 minutes a massive clearance
by Wayne Brown was missed by Strodder and Gary Bennett
drew keeper Ward before rounding him to slot the ball
home in front of City's jubilant travelling fans.
But City hit back immediately through Rod McDonald.
Priest flicked the ball through to the striker and
his powerful shot went in off the post. County, again,
piled on the pressure and it took a superb tackle by
Julian Alsford to deny Gary Jones. Then Brown did well
to hold a long-range effort from Ian Richardson.
1 November 1997
Chester City 4 Rochdale 0
Chester City: Brown,
Dobson, Fisher, Richardson, Jenkins, Alsford, Bennett
(Jones 85), Priest, McDonald, Flitcroft, Thomas (Rimmer
64). Sub not used: Murphy.
Rochdale: Key, Fensome, Barlow, Hill, Farrell,
Gouck, Bryson, Painter, Leonard, Russell, Stuart. Subs not used:
Carter, Irwin, Stott.
Referee: Mick Fletcher (Warley).
A flattering scoreline this as City
keeper Wayne Brown made three outstanding first half
saves to deny Dale. City took the lead on 10 minutes
through Rod McDonald who finished off an Alsford/Bennett
move. McDonald appeared to control the ball with his
hand before hitting a left foot volley past Key.
Brown then saved from Russell and
Gouck before denying former City favourite Robbie Painter.
It was all Dale and City's only response was a free
kick from Neil Fisher which went inches wide.
In an entertaining second half, City
got the vital second goal on 69 minutes as Bennett
shot home from an acute angle following fine work by
Priest. They got the third just a few minutes later
as Alsford headed down a Jenkins free-kick for Rimmer
to volley home.
Richardson and McDonald both missed
chances before Rimmer added the fourth to leave Chester
with the best home record in the League.