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31 October 2006

Manager Mark Wright is forced into at least one change tonight as City take on Stockport County in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Midfielder Roberto Martinez sits out the game with a one match suspension following his red card at Underhill. Jamie Hand however will be available after following his one match ban. City received a bye in the first round while the hatters won 1-0 at Macclesfield Town. Tonight’s game must be played to a completion with penalties being used if required

The competition rules this season state that clubs must play their strongest teams available.

Rule: 7.3 Each Club shall play its full available strength in all matches. The Board will from time to time issue guidance as to what constitutes ‘full available strength’. Any Club failing to meet this requirement will be required to pay a fine of up to £5,000.

There will be free admission to all under-15s tonight, however there is no terrace available so just the main East stand will be open to Chester fans with visiting supporters housed in the West stand. Admission prices for the game have been reduced to £15.00 adult and £10.00 concession.
Leyton Orient striker Lee Steele has signed on an emercency loan at Chester City. The deal will keep the player at Deva Stadium until January 2007. He is available to play in tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match and also in the FA Cup.

Steele began his career at Northwich Victoria in 1996 where he made two appearances in the FA Cup for our Cheshire neighbours. He moved to Shrewsbury Town in August 1997 and in three years with the Gay Meadow club made 118+10 appearances scoring 41 goals.

In 2000 he moved to Brighton & Hove Albion where he made 30+40 appearances scoring on 12 occasions. After two seasons in Sussex the 32-year-old Liverpool-born player moved to Oxford United where he scored 4 goals in 6+20 appearances.

His last move to Leyton Orient came in May 2004 and Steele has since then made 66+20 appearances, finding the net 27 times for the O’s.

Picture © Evening Leader
29 October 2006

After much confusion surrounding the draw the Blues must travel to Clevedon Town in the first round of the FA Cup. The Somerset side, who play in the Southern League Premier Division, will be competing at this stage for the first time in their history after defeating Welling United 3-0 away in the fourth qualifying round yesterday. The game will be played on Saturday 11 November with the winning side picking up £16,000. Clevedon are expecting to announce ticket details on Tuesday.

The two games shown live on TV are:

Sunday 12 November 2006 (14:15hrs)
Weymouth v Bury (BBC)

Monday 13 November 2006 (20:00hrs)
Macclesfield Town v Walsall (Sky)


Manager Mark Wright fumed at match referee Ray Lee after seeing his City side concede two penalties, and have Roberto Martinez sent off for two yellow cards from the Essex official in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at struggling Barnet. Martinez will miss Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game as a result of his one match ban.

“The penalties were jokes. For the second one, Yakubu actually caught the ball. It was a ridiculous sending off too as Roberto is not a dirty player. It wasn’t even a dirty game. We never got off the coach and it was a poor performance. No one reached the height so we deserve to lose but we had the best four chances of the game and did not take them. We changed it in second half and we were the better side. But we didn’t convert so we didn’t win.”

“We changed it in the second half. I decided to bring off Dave Artell and Stephen Vaughan – Dave wasn’t at the heights he had set for himself previously and Stephen had got a bad stomach and then flipped over on his ankle.”

City showed none of the form that saw them battle to three points against Hartlepool last week, and created little against a side that had won only once at home all season. The only goal of the game came as the Bees were gifted a penalty after Kevin Sandwith bundled Dean Sinclair off the ball. Sinclair dusted himself down to convert the spot kick sending John Danby the wrong way.

Danby judged right later in the game when he saved a second spot-kick from Nicky Bailey, controversially given after Ismail Yakubu was adjudged to have been tripped in the box.

League Two table

Picture © Evening Leader – Roberto sees red.

Goals from Paul McManus (2), Shaun Kelly and an own goal gave City’s youth team a 4-1 victory at Port Vale yesterday.

Fixtures | Table

27 October 2006

Striker Drewe Broughton has signed for Boston United on a one month loan. New Macclesfield Town manager Paul Ince had expressed an interest in a similar deal with the striker earlier in the week.
25 October 2006

As is now customary for our match at Barnet, due to engineering work on the underground there will be no trains to High Barnet station on Saturday. Traveling out from London you should take the Piccadilly Line to Arnos Grove and then catch the Bus 34 towards Barnet Church which ends at High Barnet station. Alternatively you can catch a train to New Barnet rail station which is 15/20 minutes walk from Underhill. Trains depart London Kings Cross at .11 and .41 minutes past the hour – journey time is 20 minutes.

Transport for London website

The draw for the first round of the FA Cup will take place at 17.30 on Saturday.
The reserves lost 2-1 at Tranmere Rovers tonight in a Pontins Holiday League Cup match. Paul McManus scored City’s late consolation goal.
23 October 2006

Manager Mark Wright is hoping to sign an experienced striker ahead of Saturday’s game at Barnet. Two players he’s interested in are Brentford’s Calum Willock and Lee Steele, currently at Leyton Orient. Willock played under Wright when he was manager at Peterborough United while Liverpool-born Steele, according to Wright, is keen on a move back to the North West and attended City’s match on Friday night.

Wright told the Daily Post: “Lee is keen to move back to his native North West, and I know if we can conclude a deal it will benefit both parties. He is a proven goalscorer, and would be an asset to the club. Calum is a big and strong player who imposes himself on opposition defenders. Again, if a transfer can be done, he would give us something extra. Hopefully I can tie up at least one deal prior to the weekend trip to Barnet.”

22 October 2006

There will be free admission to all under-15s at the forthcoming Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round match with Stockport County on 31 October. There is no terrace admission on the night so just the main East stand will be open to Chester fans with visiting supporters housed in the west stand. Admission prices for the game have been reduced to £15.00 adult and £10.00 concession.
20 October 2006
Chester had to come from behind tonight to defeat Hartlepool United 2-1 to move tenth in League Two for tonight at least.

The visitors had taken an early lead on nine minutes through Joel Porter but a few minutes later Jon Daly’s dismissal following a foul on David Artell reduced Hartlepool to ten men.

Ashley Westwood stepped up in first half stoppage time to grab the equaliser. Five minutes after the break Jon Walters grabbed what turned out to be the winner.

League Two table

Picture © Evening Leader – Ashley Westwood celebrates.

Youth team midfielder James Owen turned out for the Wales u-16 side which drew 1-1 with England at Carmarthen in the opening game of the Victory Shield tonight. Owen was unfortunately credited with an own goal on 12 minutes to give the visitors the lead with Leigh Smith of Cardiff City scoring the equaliser a minute later.
Striker Michael Branch has left Chester having had his contract paid-up. Branch signed from Bradford City in the summer of 2004 and scored 19 goals in 59+7 appearances for City.
Hartlepool United visit Chester for the first time on six years tonight as the Blues look to extend their five match unbeaten run and hopefully pick up three points to lift them above their opponents into the top half of League Two.

Manager Mark Wright has a slight injury doubt over Stephen Vaughan, however defenders Phil Bolland and Sean Hessey are available for selection after returning from the substitutes bench at Rochdale and having a run out with the reserves in midweek.

After a shaky start to the season following relegation, Hartlepool have picked up in recent weeks and currently lie in tenth place two points above City having won two of their seven matches on their travels at Peterborough United 5-3 and Grimsby Town 4-1. Hartlepool could be without both Ali Gibb and Joel Porter after they picked up minor injuries in the 3-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory over Rotherham United in midweek.

For tonight’s game accompanied children aged 12 or under will be admitted free to the West (small) stand, based on one adult and one child being admitted for a £17.00 dual ticket, the offer also applies to concessions. So a concession ticket holder may now take a child under 12 in for a combined price of £12. This offer is also open to the unwaged and students. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket office, and this offer is for the West stand only – please allow extra time for this.

18 October 2006

Chester, who received a bye in the first round, have been given a home draw in the second against Stockport County in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The tie is to be played to a conclusion on Tuesday 31 October, kick-off 19:45hrs. The other games in the northern section are:

Scunthorpe United v Port Vale
Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town
Accrington Stanley v Blackpool
Tranmere Rovers v Darlington
Oldham Athletic v Chesterfield
Rochdale v Crewe Alexandra
Hartlepool United v Doncaster Rovers

Chester are giving a trial to 22-year-old forward Leighton McGivern. McGivern scored one goal in 2+28 appearances for Rochdale during the 2004/5 season and he has also spent some time at local Conference North club, Vauxhall Motors.

Wright told the Evening Leader: “I had a look at McGivern when Chester were in the Conference. His goalscoring record in non league football is very good. He went to Rochdale but things didn’t quite work out for him, but the chairman mentioned him to me the other day and we’ll now run the rule over him.
But at the moment we’re looking for someone who is proven at this level or above, but if McGivern can do then great.”
The reserves won 1-0 at Bury this afternoon, the game being played at Radcliffe Borough. Chris Holroyd’s goal gave the side their first Pontins Holiday League win of the season at the sixth attempt.
17 October 2006

The club have extended their free child admission scheme for Friday night’s home match against Hartlepool United. As well as accompanied children aged 12 or under will be admitted free to the West (small) stand, based on one adult and one child being admitted for a £17.00 dual ticket, the offer now also applies to concessions. So a concession ticket holder may now take a child under 12 in for a combined price of £12. This offer is also open to the unwaged and students. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket office, and this offer is for the West stand only.
Jamie Hand picked up his fifth booking of the season at Rochdale on Saturday and is suspended for the visit to Barnet on 28 October.
16 October 2006
City manager Mark Wright will be stepping up his search for a proven goalscorer after Chester drew another blank on Saturday at Rochdale. City’s second successive goalless draw leaves them 13th in League Two but Wright will look at this as two points dropped.

Wright said: “I felt we were playing well and to come in at half-time 0-0 was a shame for the boys. I think we deserved to be at least two up. We had hit the woodwork, worked the goalkeeper and put lots of balls into the box without really attacking them. I think it’s something we need to address as a club. I think we need to add somebody to the forward line because when you play like that you have to score and you have to finish teams off, so it’s very disappointing for us.”

Phil Bolland made his first appearance of the season, following his shoulder injury pre-season, coming on as a late substitute and there was also a return from injury on Saturday for Sean Hessey who, like Bolland, joined the action from the bench late on.

City are next in action on Friday night when Hartlepool United visit Deva Stadium, kick-off 19:45hrs. Accompanied children aged 12 or under will be admitted free to the West (small) stand, based on one adult and one child being admitted for a £17.00 dual ticket. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket office, and this offer is for the West stand only.

Picture © Evening Leader

10 October 2006
The club have wasted no time in replacing Joe Hinnigan with experienced physio Mark Leather (left). Mark has previously had experience as the first team physiotherapist at Liverpool, Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland as well as Rugby Super League side Wigan Warriors.

City chairman Steve Vaughan told the Evening Leader: “We have acted immediately to bring in Mark Leather, the former Liverpool physio and that in itself is a bit of a coup for us. Joe tended his resignation and we have accepted it.

It is a bit disappointing that he has joined Shrewsbury Town, but these things happen and you just have to pick up the pieces and move forward. I would like to thank Joe for all his work with Chester City and naturally we wish him all the best in his new position.”

Picture © Evening Leader

The youth team have been drawn at home to Rochdale in the second round of the Youth Alliance Cup after Shaun Kelly’s goal gave the Blues a first round win at Macclesfield Town on Saturday morning. The second round tie will take place on Saturday 11 November at Airbus UK.
9 October 2006
Physiotherapist Joe Hinnigan is leaving Chester to join fellow League Two side Shrewsbury Town. Hinnigan, a former player, was a popular figure amongst City fans and had two spells at the club in charge of the treatment room. The club have announced that Rebecca Hodgkiss a physio with Widnes Vikings will provide cover.

7 October 2006
City came within a whisker of inflicting League Two leaders Walsall’s second defeat of the season at a windy rainsoaked Deva Stadium on Friday night and in doing so extended their own unbeaten run to four matches after the two sides drew a blank.

Bertrand Bossu, making his Saddler’s debut in goal pulled off a double save late in the game to deny first Drewe Broughton whose shot was pushed onto the post and then Dean Bennett whose follow-up was blocked onto the crossbar.

Chances were few and far between but City seemed to adapt to the the difficult conditions better and were well worth their point that lifts them to 13th place.

Manager Mark Wright (left) was happy with the quality of football played buy thr Blues on the night. He said: “We had a lot of the play and we had the best chance when it looked harder to miss than to score.

We put a lot of balls across the face of the box but did not get on the end of them which is disappointing.

The football we played and the way we went about it was brilliant. You can see why Walsall are top of the league so for us to get a result like that is first class.”
City are next in action on Saturday when they make the trip to Spotland to play Rochdale. Dale sit one place aboove City by virtue of a better goal difference – helped in no small way by their 5-0 victory at managerless Darlington on Friday night. Captain Stephen Vaughan will miss the game as he serves a one match ban.

Picture © Evening Leader

6 October 2006
City have had eight players on the treatment table this week as they prepare for the visit of League Top leaders Walsall. Ashley Westwood who limped off against Bristol Rovers last Saturday with hamstring trouble is a doubt while Paul Linwood who knocked an ankle at MK Dons is ruled out. Dean Bennett may be fit enough to take a place on the bench. Of the other longer term injuries Phil Bolland is expected to make a return with the reserves next week after picking up a shoulder injury pre-season, joining him should be Sean Hessey.

One player who won’t be playing is Lincoln City midfielder Ryan Semple who was due to have a medical at Chester before signing a three month loan deal but is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury. Talks may continue next week.

The Saddlers could be without their Trinidad & Tobago duo goalkeeper Clayton Ince and Hector Sam, both injured. Sam had a trial with Chester during the summer. If Ince is declared unfit then there will be a debut between the sticks for recent signing Bertrand Bossu. Blues fans may remember Bossu from his days at Hayes and Rushden & Diamonds and last season at Darlington.

It’s a long time since Walsall last played at City, March 1994 in fact, as goals from Chris Lightfoot and Dave Thomson gave the Blues a 2-1 victory in front of 3,324.

The match tonight will kick off at the usual midweek time of 19:45hrs.

City will be at home to Crewe Alexandra in the second round of the Cheshire Senior Cup. The match will take place at Deva Stadium on Monday 13 November at 19:00hrs. The Railwaymen beat Woodley Sports 2-0 in the first round.

Admission is £5.00 for adults and £1.00 for concessions and children. Note that only the East Stand will be open for the game.

2 October 2006
Martinez celebratesCity turned in their best all-round performance for weeks on Saturday as they beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 at Deva Stadium. Goals from Kevin Sandwith and Roberto Martinez gave the Blues a two goal lead at the break and the Pirates never looked like getting back in the match with the Blues defence coping well despite losing Ashley Westwood with a hamstring injury after just ten minutes.

Sandwith’s second successive goal came on 18 minutes with a free-kick that beat Phillips via the inside of the post. The visitors’ best effort came a minute later as City had the post to thank again after seeing Lambert’s shot hit an upright but rebound to safety. Martinez scored his second of the season with a delightful chip on 37 minutes after picking up a through ball from Jonathan Walters.

Manager Mark Wright was happy with everyones contribution. He said: “I’ve had to chop and change recently, but we’ve had three positive results. The players gave me everything, and we’ve got to keep that up and build on these results. In the first half we looked pretty good, but with the injuries we’ve got, to get a result like that is fantastic. I couldn’t say there was one player who didn’t give me one hundred per cent. It was a fantastic day for us and the crowd played a big part in that, they lifted the players and when they get behind them like that it gives us an edge.”

That’s seven points in a week for City now which lifts City to 14th in League Two. On Friday night league leaders Walsall visit Deva Stadium. The Saddlers have had a tremendous start to the season winning all six home games without conceding a single goal and have just one defeat to their name on their travels away from Bescot Stadium, at Grimsby Town.

Picture © Evening Leader [Martinez celebrates]
Two goals from Paul McManus gave the youth team a home victory over Macclesfield Town on Saturday to maintain their fine start to the season. The young striker has now notched eight goals this season. The win lifted the youngsters above Walsall on goal difference to the top of Group B. The team travel to face Walsall in their next fixture on 21 October.

Fixtures | Table

Stephen Vaughan picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday and will receive a one match automatic ban. He will now miss the game at Rochdale on 14 October.

The Blues are poised to sign Lincoln City midfielder Ryan Semple on a three month loan. Manager Mark Wright expects to tie-up the deal before Friday's home match against League Two leaders Walsall.

The 21-year-old Belfast-born player began his league career in 2002 at Peterborough United where he made 18+34 appearances, scoring 3 goals up until July this year when he moved to Sincil Bank where he has made 0+3 appearances. During his time at London Road he spent a period on loan at Farnborough Town where he scored twice in nine appearances.

Semple played under Mark Wright at Peterborough and the City boss is a big fan of the player. He told the Daily Post: “I have always been an admirer of Ryan’s ability and he is the sort of player who will excite our supporters. I tried to sign him at the end of last season but Peterborough were asking for a six figure sum. However, now it looks like we have clinched the deal and the formalities should be completed in the next couple of days.”













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