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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 1997
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NOVEMBER 1997
28 November 1997
CUP TIE SELL-OUT
Chester have today sold-out of all their cup tickets for the Wrexham game. Fans queued up for four hours yesterday to get their hands on tickets. All terrace places had already gone, and half of the West Stand and all remaining seats in the East Stand have been sold this afternoon according to the official Clubcall phone line.
27 November 1997
LIVERPOOL AT THE DEVA
Liverpool play their first Pontins League game at the Deva tonight. This is the first of several games after City and Liverpool agreed a deal back in the summer for the Anfield side to play their winter games at Chester. “We are looking forward to welcoming them to The Deva,” said City chairman Mark Guterman. Prices for tonight’s game are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

Other fixtures at the Deva.
22/12/97 Sheffield Wednesday (1-0)
27/1/98 Blackburn Rovers
5/3/98 Tranmere Rovers
9/3/98 Preston North End

All games will kick off at 19:00hrs. Adults £3.00, juniors/oap’s £1.00. Car Park is free.
26 November 1997
MURPHY OUT FOR SWANSEA CLASH
John Murphy is City’s latest casualty and is ruled out of tonight’s clash with a knee injury. The Swans are also struggling with injuries. Aidan Newhouse is out and former Wrexham player Steve Watkin is doubtful.

Chester City (probable): Brown, Jenkins, Fisher, Alsford, Whelan, Flitcroft, Priest, Richardson, Thomas, Bennett, Rimmer. Subs from: McDonald, Jones, Dobson, Giles, Shelton.
Swansea City (from): Freestone, Price, Clode, Bound, Edwards, Walker, Ampadu, Cusack, Appleby, Bird, Watkin, Coates, Casey, Lacey, O’Leary, Mainwaring.

24 November 1997
CHESTER V SWANSEA AT THE DEVA RE-ARRANGED
Following the postponement of Saturday’s match, Chester have agreed to reverse their fixtures with Swansea City and will play the Swans at the Deva this Wednesday (26th) with the return at the Vetch Field on March 28th.
21 November 1997
SWANSEA MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS?
Unless emergency safety work is carried out at the Vetch Field by 12.00 noon today (Friday), tomorrow’s game between Swansea and Chester City will be played behind closed doors. If you intend travelling to the game ring either club this afternoon to check details.

CLUB ISSUED WITH WINDING-UP ORDER
The Inland Revenue have issued a winding-up order in London Gazette against Chester City Football Club. However, chairman Mark Guterman has stressed that there is nothing to worry about as all outstanding bills have now been paid. Despite this, the club must still appear in the High Court on 3 December. A club statement read: “The chairman settled the matter personally with the Inland Revenue on Wednesday.”
CITY SCHEME TAKING OFF
Football fans from all over the country are taking full advantage of Chester City’s ’come and watch us for free’ offer. Season-ticket holders from other clubs are allowed into the Deva for nothing in a unique scheme.

The innovative idea hasn’t gone down too well with City supporters but rival fans still continue to flock to the Deva. More than 150 watched the Rochdale game on November 1 while 254 turned up to watch Tuesday’s game against league leaders Peterborough United.
Almost 100 of them were from Everton while City secretary Derek Barber admits to be puzzled why 39 Liverpool fans turned up.

“Liverpool were playing in the Coca Cola Cup on the same night – yet 39 of their fans came to watch us instead,” said Barber. Twenty Wrexham fans made a cross-border trip to spy on City before next months’s televised cup cracker while one fan from Wolves donated £5 to the club.
“It was a nice gesture for someone to give £5,” added Barber.

The breakdown of fans was: Everton 97, Man Utd 48, Liverpool 39, Wrexham 20, Tranmere 15, Man City 14, Crewe 5, Wolves 4, Bolton 3, Leeds 2, Middlesbrough 2, Sheff Wed 2, Huddersfield 1, Aston Villa 1, Wimbledon 1.

20 November 1997
CITY v WREXHAM TICKET NEWS
The Chester v Wrexham FA Cup cracker on Friday December 5, is ALL-TICKET.
Stand tickets cost £10 (£5 concessions) with terrace tickets £7.50/£4.
Season ticket holders and executive club members can but tickets on Monday 24 (4pm to 7pm); Tuesday 25 (12pm-4pm); Wednesday 26 (10am-2pm).

General sale: Thursday 27 (12pm-4pm); Friday 28 (10am-2pm); Saturday 29 (after the home match with Exeter); Monday 1 (12pm-4pm); Tuesday 2 (10am-2pm); Wednesday 3 (12pm-4pm); Thursday 4 (3pm-7pm).

CUP DRAW
The draw for the first round of the Auto Windscreens Shield takes place this evening live on Virgin Radio (London 105.8 FM, nationally 1215 AM) between 17.00 and 17.30.

18 November 1997
SINCLAIR SHOCK
Chester goalkeeper Ronnie Sinclair has asked for a transfer. City’s player of the year has lost his place in recent weeks to Wayne Brown but the new will still come as a shock to supporters. He lost his place after being banned for one game following his sending off at Torquay. Sinclair was signed 16 months ago on a free transfer from Stoke City. Chester are asking for a fee for the experienced keeper who has stated that he want’s to move back nearer home.
BLUES TAKE ON POSH
Chester take on league leaders Peterborough at the Deva Stadium tonight in what promises to be a cracking game. Posh and City are the highest scorers in the league (no doubt it will now end 0-0!) with Barry Fry’s twin strike force of Jimmy Quinn and Martin Carruthers just pipping Gary Bennett for top scorer spot. With no injury worries, City look set to keep the side that beat Winsford on Saturday.

17 November 1997
CITY MATCH LIVE ON SKY TV
City’s home draw with Wrexham in the FA Cup second round promises to be a cracker (can you imagine Gary Bennett’s reaction to the draw!). The game will be featured live on SKY TV on Friday December 5th Kick-off 7.45pm. Both clubs will receive the television fee of £75,000. City striker Bennett is remaining tight-lipped about the tie and has decided not to talk to the press about it during the build up. The last time the teams met in the same competition was back in the third round in 1987, when City, with two goals from Bennett triumphed 2-1 in the Racecourse snow.
14 November 1997
UP FOR THE CUP
Tomorrow’s FA Cup first round day, and City take on neighbours Winsford United determined not to underestimate their non-league opponents. Our record against non-league opposition in recent years has been quite good with home wins over Witton Albion, Stalybridge Celtic and Boston United. Mind you most of us remember the banana skins in the past Northwich, Penrith etc.

City’s home form is impressive this season, and they will be looking to striker Gary Bennett to continue his fine Deva scoring record to send City into the second round at the first attempt. Winsford have also had a cracking start to the season in the Unibond Premier League, with Steele their top scorer on nine goals, and with an expected following of 1,500 backing them it promises to be a good game with a great atmosphere that the cup always seems to attract.

Chester City (probable): Brown, Jenkins, Giles, Alsford, Whelan, Flitcroft, Priest, Richardson, McDonald, Rimmer, Bennett. Subs from: Shelton, Dobson, Murphy, Thomas, Jones, Sinclair.
Winsford United (from): Oakes, Clegg, German, Came, Talbot, Byrne, Russell, Bermingham, Roberts, Steele, Dulson, Wheeler, Shaughnessy, Aspinall, Goodhall, Obing, Hibbert.

Tomorrow’s referee is Terry Jones from Barrow-in-Furness.

The draw for the second round takes place on Sunday afternoon.
13 November 1997
MILNER TO JOIN SEASIDERS
Striker Andy Milner has joined Vauxhall Conference side Morecambe for £8,000 (a club record) following his two month loan spell at Hereford United, ironically he scored a hat trick against the Shrimpers in Hereford’s 5-1 victory last month.

WHELAN TO RETURN?
Defender Spencer Whelan looks set to return to the first team, following a three match suspension, for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Winsford at the expense of right back Ryan Dobson (left). Iain Jenkins is expected to revert to right back with Whelan partnering Julian Alsford in the centre of defence.

I can understand the managers wishes to “play the strongest side” but Alsford has looked more stable in the last three games playing alongside Jenkins in the middle, it remains to be seen if his form will continue alongside Spenner! Martin Giles, who has impressed on his two outings so far, looks certain to keep his place.

11 November 1997
REID BLOW
Midfielder Shaun Reid, who has been out all season with a knee ligament injury, has had a set-back in his recovery and may need a further exploratory operation. However, defender Ross Davidson is making good progress in his recovery from a hernia operation and may be in line for a recall to the first team in the next few weeks – providing he can get his place back!
MOVE OVER!
Winsford United supporters have been allocated the whole of the west stand for this Saturday’s FA Cup match. Chester will be expecting their biggest gate of the season for the game. United will field two ex-Blues in their side in Mark Came and Paul Wheeler.
MAGPIES IN TOWN
Newcastle United visit the Deva Stadium tomorrow night for a Pontins League game, kick off 7pm. Unfortunately, however, they’ll be no comeback just yet for Alan Shearer, Faustino Asprilla and Blues old boy Ian Rush. They are all out injured.
6 November 1997
YOUNGSTERS KEEP THEIR PLACES
Chester City’s three youngsters Wayne Brown, Ryan Dobson and Martin Giles (left) have kept their places in the starting line-up for tomorrows trip to Leyton Orient. All three had impressive games at Notts County on Tuesday night.

This means Iain Jenkins will continue in the centre of defence alongside Julian Alsford, a partnership which has worked well over the last seven day. Neil Fisher is still struggling with a thigh strain received during last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Rochdale. O’s main striker Carl Griffiths will miss the game through suspension.

5 November 1997
YOUTH TEAM LOOKING FOR REPEAT
Chester City’s Youth Team travel to Notts County tonight for a third round FA Youth Cup game. They will be hoping no doubt for a repeat of last night’s scoreline which saw the first team win 2-1 with goals from Rod McDonald and Gary Bennett, and inflict on Notts County their first defeat in 13 games.

ALL CHANGE!
After last night’s embarrassment of having to borrow Notts County’s yellow away shirts, as our change kit clashed with the Magpies black and white stripes, it’s about time the club admitted that our away strip of dark green and black shirts isn’t up to the job. Already the shorts, which were originally black, have been changed to white after the players admitted having problems distinguishing between the team and the referee! Why not revert back to last seasons yellow and blue? It didn’t clash as a second strip and it was easy to see under floodlights – or is that too simple.
4 November 1997
CLUB FINED £2,500
Chester City Football Club have been fined £2,500 by an industrial tribunal in Liverpool after 18-year-old former trainee James Hussaney (now playing for Southport) claimed he’d been subjected to racial abuse by manager Kevin Ratcliffe, and was refused a new contract on racial grounds. Ratcliffe admitted he had insulted Hussaney after he failed to change the studs in the teams boots before a game, but claimed the trainee was not good enough to play professional football.

“I asked after James in the terms stated and one of his fellow trainees reported the comment to him. My remark was due to James’ incompetence during some particular tense moments. It was not racially motivated. I apologised to James about 15 minutes after the match and several times after that. He had a right to complain. He was right and I was wrong.” Chester had offered to pay £3,000 the day before for an out-of-court settlement, this was refused. The Football Association are now conducting an enquiry.

NEWHOUSE MOVE
Former City player Aidan Newhouse has joined Third Division Swansea City from Fulham. He made his debut in Sunday’s derby at Cardiff City.
LIVERPOOL ARRIVE
Liverpool reserves first home Pontins League game at the Deva Stadium will take place on Thursday 27 November against Stoke City.
3 November 1997
SELECTION PROBLEMS FOR MANAGER
Chester travel to top-of-the-table Notts County tomorrow night and manager Kevin Ratcliffe has selection problems Who plays in goal and who plays up front. Wayne Brown deputised for Ronnie Sinclair on Saturday and had an excellent game. He made a number of good saves and won the sponsors Man of the Match award.

H e may well have done enough to hold onto his place in the starting line-up Up front Rod McDonald scored his first goal of the season and Stuart Rimmer, coming on for Rod Thomas, bagged a brace and will be eager to start against one of his former clubs though he may again have to settle for a place on the bench. Gary Shelton will be available after suspension and his experience, if selected, could be a crucial factor as City look to improve on their dismal away record.

PLAYERS SHOW THEIR SUPPORT
Both Chester City and Rochdale players wore yellow arm bands on Saturday as a show of support for the free Louise Woodward campaign. City player Gary Bennett said: “With Louise coming from Chester, we felt it was the right thing to do – to show that she has the support not just of the town but even of the City football team as well. We were just as totally disgusted and devasted with the outcome of the trial as everyone else. We just wanted to show our feelings.” During the match the crowd chanted “If you all think Louise is innocent clap your hands.”
GUTERMAN HAILS OPEN SEASON SUCCESS
Chester chairman Mark Guterman has hailed the first of the Open season days against Rochdale a success. According to Mr Guterman 150 season ticket holders from other clubs took up the offer of watching Chester for nothing. 70 were Everton fans, 20 Liverpool, 20 Wrexham some from Tranmere and even a couple from Leicester City! He added: “We’ve got to try something to get more people to come and see us and we’re the first to try this so we didn’t know what to expect. I was pleased because I thought we might only get 20 or 30 so I’m delighted.”
BOOK LAUNCH
On The Borderline, the official history book of Chester City FC was launched on Saturday. Before the game author Chas Sumner and publisher Dave Twydell presented a framed copy of the book to Chester chairman Mark Guterman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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