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31 October 2008
City manager Simon Davies is hopeful that both Ryan Lowe and Eddie Johnson will be fit for tomorrow’s League Two game at Exeter City after both picked up injuries in the midweek win over Brentford. Shaun Kelly has recovered from a back injury but Laurence Wilson is unlikely be risked as he only started back in training this week. Glenn Rule sits out the game as he serves the last of his three match ban tomorrow.

The win over the Bees came a few days after an improved performance at Gillingham last Saturday. Davies, who had a loan spell at Exeter City in 1994 said: “I thought we continued to perform well the other night in our 3-0 home win against Brentford and we got the rub of the green after they hit the bar. We need that bit of an edge to a game with our forwards scoring goals and we need to be strong at the back. The win against Brentford was a big boost – I needed it and everybody needed it. It’s been coming after our second half performance against Port Vale, but I’d just like to go and win ugly sometimes.”

The Grecians will be looking to bounce straight back following a shock 6-1 home defeat by Chesterfield on Tuesday. They currently lie in fifth spot helped by an impressive away record that has seen them record five victories away from St James Park as opposed to two at home.

The two sides last met in April 2004 when the Blues won an exciting game 3-2 at Deva Stadium in front of the SKY TV cameras and a crowd of just over 4,000 – Chester supporters being allocated both ends of the ground on the day.

It has been reported in the local press that striker Paul Taylor, who had his contract terminated by the club last week, failed a random drug test carried out by the Football Association on 6 October. Taylor was one of four players selected for the test.

Club owner Steve Vaughan told the Liverpool Daily Post: “Four players were randomly selected by the FA to undertake drugs tests on October 6, three of the players were found to be negative but unfortunately Paul tested positive with traces of cocaine in his sample. The player has right of appeal but we have written to him informing him of the test results and outlining that this result, plus the other issues we have experienced with him, amounts to gross misconduct and serious breach of contract.”

“We have taken legal advice and our proposed permanent transfer of the player in the forthcoming January window will not now materialise. I think it is fairly obvious why. This latest bombshell has saddened us all at Chester City but we do hope that Paul can get his life back on track and overcome the demons that appear to be affecting him.”

Vauxhall Motors however are expecting City to pay up in January. Vice-chairman Steve McInerney told the Non League Paper: “We will be chasing full payment.”

“They have not bothered contracting us so as far as we’re concerned nothing has changed and the transfer will go ahead as planned. It was Chester’s idea to have money change hands in January instead of last July, not ours, and we expect the arrangement to be honoured. We have taken legal advice and the FA have confirmed to the club that the written notification we have in our possession stands.”

Chester signed the Vauxhall Motors 21-year-old striker on a six month loan deal on 1 July. The move was due to become permanent during the January transfer window with a reported fee of around £30,000 being paid to the Motormen. It remains to be seen if the player appeals against the findings of the drug test.

Picture © Evening Leader
29 October 2008
City turned in their best performance of the season last night as they swept aside high-flying Brentford 3-0 at Deva Stadium. Ryan Lowe (left) scored twice and kevin Roberts added a third as the Blues recorded only their third victory of the season together with their first clean sheet of the campaign. The victory lifted City two places to 17th in League Two

After the game a delighted City manager Simon Davies said: “The players have contributed for one another now in our last two games and I reminded them that they had just beaten the team that are second in the league which proves what I have been boring them all with for the season so far. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, we’re as good as anyone in this league. The work ethic in the team right now is the thing which is most pleasing – and a clean sheet.”

“If we can find some sort of consistency like we have done in our last two games, and in that five-game unbeaten spell in September, then who knows where it will take us? If we can just continue to start off games in the right manner and continue throughout, like we have done in our last two games, then we’ll pick up a lot of points.”

City will be looking for a repeat of this form on Saturday when they make another long trip this time to Devon to play Exeter City. The Grecians suffered a surprise 6-1 home defeat at the hands of Chesterfield last night.

Picture © Evening Leader

League table
| Match report
28 October 2008
Chester entertain Brentford at Deva Stadium tonight looking to record their second home win of the season. The Bees are currently flying high in second place in League Two and have won twice and drawn three games on their travels so far this season.

Blues manager Simon Davies is expected to keep faith with the side that turned in an improved performance at Gillingham on Saturday despite the 2-0 defeat. Glenn Rule once again misses out through suspension while Laurence Wilson, Stephen Vaughan, Shaun Kelly and David Mannix are all sidelined through injury.

Tonight’s game will kick-off at 19:45hrs.

26 October 2008
City have been given a home tie to League One side Millwall in the first round of this season’s competition. The game will take place on Saturday 8 November with a 13:00hrs kick-off. The two sides have met each other in the competition before back in the fourth round in 1979/80 when Chester beat the Lions 2-0 at Sealand Road in front of a near 8,000 crowd with goals from Trevor Storton and Ian Rush. The last time City and Millwall played each other was in the 1981/82 season.

It has been announced that the game will be all-ticket for Millwall supporters. Chester fans can pay on the gate as usual.

Chester have now gone seven games without a win following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Gillingham. The scoreline flatters the home side though as City battled well and dominated for game long periods keeping the home side quiet and restricting them to just one real chance in the opening 45 minutes, a shot from Mark McCammon that was superbly saved by John Danby. Ryan Lowe, Eddie Johnson and Kevin Ellison both saw chances go begging as the Blues failed to convert their first half dominance into goals.

The breakthrough came for the home side midway through the second period when they scored twice in a four minute spell through on loan Tottenham Hotspur players, Andy Barcham and Leigh Mills. There was no way that the Blues were going to come back after that double.

After the defeat manager Simon Davies said: “It just wasn’t to be. The lads were devastated in the changing room. I thought the lads were lacklustre at Rochdale and I asked for a reaction – they gave it me and more.”

“We conceded two silly goals, but I told the players that we needed to be a bit more cuter in each box but I couldn’t ask any more of my lads. They gave me everything at Gillingham and I'm proud of them for doing that.”

“If we play like we did at Gillingham every week and put the same effort in and work for each other then the law of averages suggests we'll get something out of those games.”

“I did change our system (to 4-4-2), but for me it was all about the way our lads went about the game and worked for one another. We can talk about systems for as long as we like, but a lot of clubs are now playing 4-3-3 and I don’t want to mar the day any more than the result suggests.”

League table
Simon Davies’ post-match interview
(Evening Leader)

Picture © Evening Leader
The youth team suffered a 3-1 defeat at Walsall on Saturday.

Youth fixtures | Table

25 October 2008
Chester have terminated the contract of 21-year-old on-loan striker Paul Taylor for breech of contract. Earlier inthe month the club revealed that the player had been given a third and final disciplinary warning. It was reported then that the forward, signed on loan from Vauxhall Motors, had been missing training sessions and had twice pulled out of matches at short notice saying he was ill.

Cub owner Steve Vaughan said: “We have bent over backwards to try and guide Paul away from his problems, but unfortunately we feel badly let down yet again. I would rather not publicly itemise all the issues we have experienced, but again he has let us down prior to an important game that he was due to be involved in. On two occasions recently Paul has informed us, via a third party, that he couldn’t attend the matches and it has happened again prior to this weekend.”

Picture © Evening Leader

24 October 2008
Fans traveling to Gillingham tomorrow can save £2.00 on their admission by pre-booking direct from the home club. The Gills ticket office number is 01634 300000 (option #3). The full pay on the gate price is £20.00, the discount price is £17.00 + £1.00 booking fee.

Defender Shaun Kelly is fit again and could return to the starting line-up tomorrow as the Blues meet Gillingham. Laurence Wilson is still sidelined with an ankle ligament injury and Glenn Rule starts a three match ban following his red card at Spotland.

Chester have gone seven games without a win and tomorrow’s task against a side just out of the play-off positions is a tough one. The Gills have won four and drawn one of their six home games this season and have nine more points that the Blues. The Kent side will be without the services of captain Barry Fuller who is suspended.

Manager Simon Davis is remaining calm despite the poor run of results. He said: “I’m feeling no pressure, just disappointment in terms of our recent results. But I’ll keep working hard in a bid to turn our results around. You can be low if you let things beat you. But I’ll keep working, and I’ll stay positive because I believe and have faith in the players I’ve got, and I believe in what Wayne (Allison) and I do at the club. We both do our homework on the opposition and we’ll both continue to work hard.”

22 October 2008
For the second time this season Chester conceded six goals on their travels. After Dagenham’s opening day salvo Rochdale took advantage of the ten man City side, and, but for a series of John Danby saves the scoreline could have been worse than the 6-1 final outcome. Few players came out of last night’s match with any credit and even City’s goal came from a Dale player as Rory McArdle headed into his own net following a Ryan Lowe free-kick to make he score 2-1.

City were already a goal down when young defender Glenn Rule (left) was shown a straight red card on 28 minutes for a rash challenge. The Blues were made to pay for it as Chris Dagnall added his second of the night minutes later. He went on to complete his hat-trick in the second half that saw The Blues concede four goals in eleven minutes.

“Glenn made a rash tackle, but whether it merited a straight red card I’m not sure, but it was then difficult from that point on because Rochdale passed the ball well. Going down to ten men so early was always going to make life difficult. Maybe Glenn was a little bit naive, but he was probably trying to do as best as he could, and he'll gain experience from his mistake, but it obviously hurt on the night.” said manager Simon Davies.

He continued: “We conceded sloppy goals that I couldn’t legislate for and, once we had gone 1-0 down and been reduced to ten men we seemed to resign ourselves to a defeat. We lost three points, but we need to bounce back from this defeat. Whether we had ten or eleven men on the pitch, some of our defending against Rochdale just wasn’t good enough and it must be addressed.”

The games come thick and fast this month. On Saturday City make the long trip to Kent to face ninth placed Gillingham and follow that up next Tuesday night with a home match against high-flying Brentford at Deva Stadium, the Bees currently lie second in League Two.

League table
Simon Davies’ post-match interview
(Evening Leader)

Picture © Evening Leader
21 October 2008
Defender Shaun Kelly (left), who had to be replaced after 35 minutes on Sunday with a back injury, is a doubt for tonight’s League Two match at Rochdale. Full back James Vaughan is available again after suspension and is expected to reclaim his place in the starting X1. Laurence Wilson and Richie Partridge are both still ruled out through injury.

City manager Simon Davies will be expecting his side to reproduce their second-half display from the weekend’s 2-1 defeat for the full 90 minutes tonight.

Ahead of tonight’s game Davies said: “It’s going to be another tough game but if we play like we did in the second half against Port Vale, we’re a match for anybody. When we play like we did for the first 30 minutes, it’s frustrating. It’s going to be a long season if we play like that.”

Dale currently lie four points above Chester midway down the table with two wins, a draw and two defeats at Spotland this season.

Picture © Evening Leader

The draw for the first round of the FA Cup will take place live on ITV1 at 13:00hrs this Sunday 26 October.

20 October 2008
A well-taken goal by Ryan Lowe (left) five minutes from time proved too little too late for City who crashed to their third home defeat of the season at the hands of Port Vale yesterday. After a lackluster disjointed opening half City were a transformed side after the interval, but having already conceded in the first period were guilty of missed chances and were made to pay by a vale side who added a second against the run of play twelve minutes from time.

Striker Eddie Johnson made his debut for City and with James Vaughan suspended youngster Glenn Rule made his first appearance of the season at right back. And it was Johnson who missed the golden opportunity on what was an otherwise good debut as he blazed the ball over an open goal from ten yards following up after Lowe had hit the post in the 46th minute.

The striker added after the game: “I’ll practise my shooting. I’m disappointed with that one. It would have been nice to get off to a scoring start and it would have got us back in the game with plenty of time to go. We knew if we had got it to 1-1 we would have gone on to win.”

City have to pick themselves up quickly, they’re back in League Two action on Tuesday night when they travel to Spotland to play 12th placed Rochdale. Defender Shaun Kelly must be a doubt after hobbling off in the first half yesterday.

Picture © Evening Leader

19 October 2008
Goals from Ben Jones and Lloyd Ellams brough the first League victory of the season on Saturday for the youth team as they defeated Shrewsbury Town 2-0 at home.

Youth fixtures | Table

17 October 2008
City manager Simon Davies will have up to four additional players vying for a place in the City squad to face Port Vale on Sunday. Wayne Allison, Eddie Jonson, Glenn Rule and Andy Mitchell all signed contracts this week and are available. The players most likely to feature are Chester-born Johnson who could find himself in attack while defender Rule may deputise for the suspended James Vaughan at right back. Richie Partridge and Laurence Wilson are both expected to be sidelined through injury.

Johnson, whose family support the Blues, is eager to start on Sunday told the Chester Chronicle: “Just to be involved and to be eligible to play is a big relief off my shoulders. Going to watch the lads every week has been difficult when you just want to be on the pitch playing. It’s over now and I just want to concentrate on doing my best.”

Chester, who have picked up draws in four of their last five matches will be looking for maximum points for only the third time this season to lift them to the middle of League Two. The Valiants, who sit one place above City on goal difference, are under new management with the appointment of Dean Glover last week. His first game in charge saw a surprising and dramatic last minute 2-1 win at Shrewsbury Town last Saturday to bring to an end a run of six successive defeats.

A large away following from the Potteries is expected for the game on Sunday which has a 12:00 kick-off time and is NOT all-ticket for home fans who should pay on the gate as normal.
16 October 2008
Assistant manager Wayne Allison, who celebrates his 40th birthday today, has been offered a playing contract at Chester. The forward, who played his last league game in February is currently short of match fitness and it remains to be seen whether he makes the squad for Sunday’s visit of Port Vale.

It was a busy day at Deva Stadium as the club also handed a two year contract to Chester-born Eddie Johnson. The 24-year-old has been training with Chester since being released by Bradford City in the summer.

Johnson will be hoping to be involved at the weekend. He told the Chester Chronicle: “The manager’s not named the team for Sunday yet so I’m just going to wait and see if I play.
I feel like my fitness is all right. I’ve trained with the lads now for two months and done extra bits of running.”

To complete the day of action the club also handed one year professional contracts to Andy Mitchell and Glenn Rule. Both have come through the youth team ranks at Chester and made appearances for the first team last season.

Picture © Evening Leader | Wayne Allison with Simon Davies

The youth team have been given a home first round tie against Leeds United in this season’s competition. The match will be played at Deva Stadium on Tuesday 4 November with a 19:00hrs kick-off time.

13 October 2008
Striker Paul Taylor is to be given a third and final disciplinary warning from the club. It appears that the forward, signed on loan from Vauxhall Motors, has been missing training sessions and on Saturday morning pulled out of the match at Chesterfield saying he was unwell. The same situation occurred at the away match last month at Grimsby Town.

Manager Simon Davies has revealed the extent of the problem and stressed the matter will be sorted internally and he told the Evening Leader: “Paul Taylor will be getting disciplined again by the club. We've kept it under wraps for quite a while now – he’s already had a verbal warning, and a written warning. He’ll now be getting his final written warning and he is an exception to the rule.”

“Everyone is regularly training and wanting the best for Chester City, but he does what he wants and that won’t be allowed to happen any longer.”

“A lot of things have been going on behind the scenes. I know a lot of fans have been having a bit of a pop at me for maybe not starting him. But he does not deserve to start a football match for this club, and that’s why he hasn’t been starting. His discipline is, to say the least, poor, and that will be addressed.”

Chester signed the Vauxhall Motors 20-year-old striker on a six month loan deal on 1 July. The move could become permanent during January transfer window. The club bid £50,000 for the ex-Manchester City trainee in the January transfer window which was turned down at the time. City made a fresh five figure bid at the end of last season and after a long period of negotiations, involving the players agent, the two clubs agreed the deal.

Picture © Evening Leader

If you would like to ask Simon Davies a question for his weekly Chester Standard/Leader video interview email them to As many of your questions will be put to the Chester City manager as possible. Please include your name and general area that you are from.

Picture © Evening Leader

The youth team were beaten 1-0 at home by Hartlepool United in the first round of the Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday afternoon.

Youth fixtures

10 October 2008
Damien Mozika is struggling to be fit for tomorrow’s visit to Saltergate as City look for their first win in five matches against a Chesterfield side who sit one point above the Blues. French midfielder Mozika has been a revelation since signing for the Blues in the summer but is struggling with a groin injury picked up in Tuesday’s defeat against Morecambe.

Manager Simon Davies said: “We’ve just got to be a bit cautious with Damien because he’s of massive importance to us. He�s done really well this year and, although I want him to play Saturday, I’d rather him miss one game than six. If he makes it worse on Saturday, he could be out for a while.”

Should Mozika miss out then Anthony Barry would step into the role following a good midweek performance against the Shrimps. Richie Partridge is also doubtful with a hamstring injury ahead of tomorrow’s clash paving the way for a starting place for either Ryan Lowe or Paul Taylor who both came off the substitute’s bench on Tuesday.

Tomorrow will see a first return to the Spireites for assistant manager Wayne ‘The Chief’ Allison. He left the Derbyshire club in February after coaching the reserve team following four years spent playing in the first team. During that period he scored 24 goals in 76+53 appearances.

Picture © Evening Leader

Chester are giving a trial to Hyde United goalkeeper Craig Dootson. The club currently have no back up for first team ‘keeper John Danby and a good showing from Dootson may earn him the role.

8 October 2008
City crashed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy against Morecambe last night on penalties after the two sides had drawn 1-1 after 90 minutes. The visitors, who were far the better outfit in the opening period, took a deserved lead through Rene Howe just before half-time. Twenty minutes from time manager Simon Davies elected to send on Ryan Lowe and Paul Taylor and City began to push the ball round better and created chances. They equalised eight minutes from time through Kevin Ellison.

With no extra time in the competition the tie went straight to penalties but Anthony Barry, Kevin Roberts and Paul Taylor all saw spot-kicks saved by Barry Roche in the Shrimps goal. Only Lowe managed to convert his effort for Chester. Steward Drummond saw his kick saved by John Danby but Morecambe converted the rest of their chances to progress to the area quarter-finals.

Manager Davies bemoaned another defensive error that led to the Morecambe goal. He said: “We gave away another sloppy goal which is a bit concerning. We must start making teams work harder for their goals because we have to work hard for our goals.”

“I thought we were absolutely fantastic in the second half. We passed the ball around and I felt Morecambe couldn’t get a foothold in the game It seemed only a matter of time before we got our equaliser, and we nearly nicked a winning goal at the end of the match. There was a lot of disappointment in terms of our penalty shoot-out defeat, but it’s always a lottery in that situation.”

Picture © Evening Leader
6 October 2008

Picture © Evening Leader
Former Chester player Peter Jackson (left) made a happy return to Deva Stadium on Saturday as he saw his side record their first away victory of the season 2-0 against a City side who looked anything but play-off hopefuls. The Blues, unbeaten in five matches, turned in a below par performance and were punished for slack defending either side of the break by the Imps.

City manager Simon Davies summed up the defeat: “There were too many players who just didn’t perform as we know they can. We didn’t impose ourselves in the key areas, and I’m afraid we got what we deserved. Lincoln seemed to want it more than we did, but hopefully this was a blip and we must now focus on the next game and ensure we bounce back.”

Davies will be looking for his team to return to form tomorrow night when they entertain Morecambe in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The Blues received a bye to this stage.

Admission prices have been dropped for the tie which will be settled on the night and kick-off earlier than usual at 19:00hrs. Admission prices are: adult �10.00, accompanied children are free. Juniors under-16 who attend the game unaccompanied, and senior citizens, will be charged £5.00.

More photographs | League table

The youth team remain next to bottom of the Youth Alliance North West Conference league after a 5-3 defeat at Port Vale on Saturday.

Youth fixtures | Table

3 October 2008
City entertain Lincoln City in a League Two clash at Deva Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 15:00hrs. Blues manager Simon Davies must do without Kevin Roberts who serves a one match ban after receiving a red card, for a second bookable offence, in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Luton Town. Davies though will be hoping to recall defender Laurence Wilson who appears to have recovered from a hamstring injury picked up in the recent draw with Shrewsbury Town.

Manager Davies said: “The mood in the camp is extremely upbeat at the moment, and everybody is playing their part in this successful spell we are having. However, the only way we will continue to progress as a team is if everybody works hard, and thankfully that is the case. The Shrewsbury and Luton games are good points as long as we now make the most of Lincoln at home. If we can get three points, we can then look back at the last three games and think ‘that’s good going’.”

Lincoln, managed by former City favourite Peter Jackson, will be without without midfielder Stefan Oakes and defender Frank Sinclair for the match. They have yet to win on their league travels so far this season picking up just one point from 12 available. Jackson, who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year, had now on the road to a full recovery and is looking forward to revisiting his former club where he played in the mid 1990s and meeting up with assistant manager Wayne Allison, a player he has signed in the past.

Jackson, who played over 100 games for City said: “I’m just looking forward to the game. As I said, I have great memories of Chester and I still have the memento the club gave me when Cyrille Regis and I completed our 600 league appearance landmark.”

Simon Davies’ weekly online video interview with the Evening Leader can be viewed here.

If you would like to ask Simon Davies a question in the weekly Chester Standard/Leader video interview email them to As many of your questions will be put to the Chester City manager as possible. Please include your name and general area that you are from.

Picture © Evening Leader

1 October 2008
In an effort to increase the number of youngsters attending games, the club have reduced the junior admission charges for the Harry McNally Terrace until the end of the season from £10.00 to £5.00. The cost of entry had increased during the summer. Supporters with season tickets will be given a free match programme for each game they attend and will be offered a free season ticket next season.




































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