4 August 2003
Colwyn Bay 0 Chester City 2
Attendance: 300 Half Time 0-1
Colwyn Bay: Parry, Porter, Evans, Sudlow, Hobson, McMahon,
Williams, M.Johnson, Tranter, McKenzie, P.Johnson. Subs: Campbell,
Dews, Kendrick, Roberts.
Chester City: Brown, Jordan, J.Davis, Coulson (Brady 51), Heard, Kelly
(Selkeld 82), Carey (Buckley 80), Lathom, Brodie (Dogun 72), Rapley (Trialist
72), Cameron (D.Byrne 51).
Kevin Rapley scored his first goal for the club to give City a 39th minute
lead with a fine 18 yard shot following a pass from Steve Brodie, the striker
also had a golden opportuity to increase the lead just before the break.
Earlier the Blues had gone close through a Tom Jordan header, and should
have done better when Ian Lathom missed a great chance. At the other end
Jamie Heard was in the right place to clear a Bay attack off the line.
The best chances of the second half fell to the Blues, Jordan, watched
by dad Joe in the crowd, headed over from a corner when well placed, but
the defender got his name on the scoresheet eleven minutes from time when
he headed home from a Jon Brady free kick.
2 August 2003
Vauxhall Motors 1 Chester City 1
Attendance: 515 Half Time 0-0
Vauxhall Motors: Ralph (Hilton), Ward, McDermott, Robinson,
Griffiths, Lawton, McCann, Lynch (Cooper 23), Fearns, Young,
Cuminsky. Subs: Wright, Hughes, Cooper.
Chester City: Brown, Collins, Sodje, Ruffer, McIntyre, Carragher (Brady
45), Carden (Heard 64), B.Davies (Carey 64), Harris (Kelly 64), Rapley
(D.Byrne 64), Beesley (Foster 45). Subs not used: Cameron, Brodie, Dogun.
City take another look and Sam
Sodje and Matt Carragher as they visit local UniBond
Premier League side Vauxhall Motors. Not a lot of action
in the first half, in fact only a long range effort
from Rapley that grazed the outside of the post to
Four minutes later Ian Foster
neeted his forst goal for the Blues after the ball
had fallen for him at the edge of the box. In the closing
stages City went close with a Sodje effort being cleared
off the line and Hilton pulling off a good save to
Following the breaK Ben Davies hit the bar with a long range effort
before a mix-up on 77 minutes between Kevin McIntyre and Wayne
Brown allowed Hughes to score for the home side.
31 July 2003
Flint Town United 1 Chester City
Attendance: 200 Half Time 0-1
Flint Town United: A.Hughes, Scott Beck, Johnson, Jones,
Thomas, Lee Taylor, Alcock, S.Hughes, Edwards, Shaun Beck,
Chester City: McCaldon, Carragher, Lathom, Carey (Cooke 82), Jordan,
J.Davis, Heard, Kelly (Dogun 82), Cameron (Brodie 78), D.Byrne (Trialist
66), Eaton (Buckley 85). Subs not used: Moore, Coulson, Hunter.
goal by Jimmy Kelly on 44 minutes gives the Blues a half-time lead. Dave
Cameron played the ball in to Kelly, he played a one-two with Danny Byrne
before slotting the ball home. The best chance prior to the goal fell to
Danny Byrne who rounded goalkeeper Hughes but couldn’t finish the
chance from a narrow angle. City take a look at three more trialists, defenders
Matt Carragher from Port Vale and Tom Jordan (Southend), as well as Macclesfield
Town striker David Eaton.
Darren Edwards equalised for United on 64 minutes wit an unstoppable 20
yarder, before Dave Cameron restored the lead nine minutes later heading
home a Carragher cross. The Blues scored a third through Byers on 76 minutes
before Steve Brodie added the fourth on 79, a minute after he’d replaced
29 July 2003
Connah’s Quay Nomads 1 Chester City
Attendance: 755 Half Time 0-1
Chester City: Brown, McIntyre, Sodje, Bolland (Collins 45),
Hatswell, Brady (Brodie 53), Harris, Carden, B.Davies, Foster (Cameron
68), Beesley (Byrne 53). Subs not used: Kelly, Carey, J.Davies.
Mark Wright had another look at Sam Sodje tonight as the defender played
his second trial game for City at the Deeside Stadium. As last night, City
took an early lead, this time through Ben Davies. Kevin McIntyre’s
cross was headed on by Ian Foster, the ball hit a Quay defender before
Davies applied the finishing touch. Foster had two more chances to increase
the lead but things weren’t going all City’s way with Phil
Bolland handily placed to make a goal line clearance during a spell of
pressure by the home side.
Nomads equalised on 52 minutes with a free header from a corner by George
Mark Wright introduced three substitutions after that but it took a great
close-range header from Ben Davies following a Dave Cameron cross, two
minutes from time to settle the game that was played in front of a crowd
28 July 2003
Droylsden 0 Chester City 2
Attendance: 175 Half Time 0-1
Chester City: McCaldon, Brady (Byrne 61), Lathom
(Coulson 80), Ruffer, Hatswell (Stone 61), Collins (J.Davis
76), Carey, Kelly, Dogun (Selkeld 40), Brodie (Buckley
74), Beesley (Cameron 61). Sub not used: Moore.
Blues (reds tonight!) sent a strong side to the Butchers Arms for this
friendly game, and it didn’t take long for them to get off the mark
as Shaun Carey lashed the ball home from 22 yards after Jimmy Kelly had
pulled the ball back for him in the fourth minute. Minutes later Mark Beesley
missed a golden one-on-one chance to double the lead.
The Bloods featured three ex-city players in their side; Darren Wright,
Leroy Chambers and Chris O’Brien, and the nearest they came to scoring
in the first half was from a free-kick that skimmed the top of the City
There was drama on 40 minutes as manager Mark Wright was asked to substitute
Peter Dogun after the youngster had made a heavy challenge.
City made several changes during the second half and one of them, Dave
Cameron, set up the second goal. Cameron’s 67th minute cross found
midfielder Jimmy Kelly, his initial shot was blocked but the rebound was
knocked home by Danny Byrne.
26 July 2003
Buckley Town 1 Chester City 4
Attendance: 450 Half Time 0-2
Chester City: McCaldon (Brown 64), Ruffer, Hatswell
(Stone 64), Collins, McIntyre (Lathom 64), Davies (Dogun
64), Harris (Kelly 64), Carden (Carey 64), Brodie (Brady
64), D.Byrne, Heard.
Two goals in each half brought City victory over their Cymru Alliance opponents
Buckley Town at a wet Globe Way. This was mainly a first team run-out and
their was another appearance, for 64 minutes, from Ian McCaldon in goal
and Danny Stone also played. Three of last season’s reserve side,
Danny Byrne, Ian Lathom and Peter Dogun, also made appearances.
City took a first-half lead through Steve Brodie (42), and doubled it with
a cracker from Paul Carden on the stroke of half-time. Jamie Heard added
a third before manager Mark Wright called the changes with seven substitutions.
Danny Byrne extended City’s lead on 80 minutes before the home side
pulled back a consolation goal through Chris Roberts two minutes from time.
City finished the game with ten men after Jamie Heard hobbled off through
injury, all of Citys substitutions having been made at the time.
Manager Mark Wright was happy with the performance, he said: “It
was a good workout at Buckley. We kept the ball and did a lot of good things,
but it was more about me being a little bit tentative because the squad
is already carrying six injured players. I didn’t want to see any
flying tackles, so it was just an exercise of playing one-two touch football
and bouncing the ball around, and we did that for long periods.”
23 July 2003
Chester City 2 ADO Den Haag 0
Attendance: 750 Half Time 1-0
Chester City: Brown, Cowan, Sodje, Hatswell, Collins, Harris
(Kelly 67), Carden (Carey 62), B.Davies, Brady (McIntyre 60), Twiss
(Heard 45), Foster (Brodie 62).
ADO Den Haag: de Groot (de Vries 46), Rijaard
(Ros 46), Verberne (Zandstra 80), Van As, Van Heiningen, Huisman (Rosali
46), Pronk, Leonardo, Komeev (Stroeve 62), Cales (Knijnrnburg 72), Platvoet.
Referee: R.Pollock (Liverpool).
summer sunshine after a heavy shower made the playing
surface at the Deva a picture of billiard table perfection.
With the swallows on good form swooping in and out of
the eaves of the stands watching football became an added
The talk was that Den Haag were resting their
stars after winning at Sheffield Wednesday the previous evening
and would only throw them into the fray to save embarrassment.
The main interest for City supporters was to look at the new signings
made over the summer and a couple of trialist’s too. Of the
former Foster looked full of running up front, running behind the
back line in ways reminiscent of Stuart Rimmer. He combined well
with Twiss for Chesters first half goal and he rattled the
bar with a drive from the corner of the penalty area. Harris looked
very steady, passing with good effect and getting up quickly to
support the strikers. The two trialist’s who appeared were
Tom Cowan who played at left back, experienced, not so fast, but
solid and took several very good corners which had the Dutch defence
in a tizz. Then there was Sam Sodje from Margate who looked so
accomplished and laid back on the ball he just exuded class throughout
what was, admittedly, a low key game. The fans took to him so much
they beckoned him over to the Sealand End at the final whistle
and high fives were exchanged all round.
Den Haag played the ball across the back for
most of the match exhibiting good control but making few chances.
They only really threatened towards the end when Joffrey Knijnrnburg
came on and showed plenty of class down the right wing. Collins and
Hatswell looked a good combination in the centre of defence useful
cover for Bolland and Guyett. Citys second goal came from the
spot when the linesman spotted a tackle form behind in the corner
of the box. The impressive Davies scored it with confidence.
21 July 2003
Cammell Laird 0 Chester
Attendance: 200 Half
Cammell Laird: Gann,
Staff, Hollyfield, Nall, Lynch, Gebb, Couch,
Greenhalgh, Davies, Nezianya, Pew. Subs: Farr,
Porter, Thompson, Hughes.
Chester City: McCaldon, Betts (Heard 67), McIntyre (Dudley 67), Ruffer
(Stone 82), Hatswell, Brady (Collins 45), Harris (Kelly 45), Carey (Carden
45), Twiss (Brodie 45), Taylor (Rapley (45), Foster (Clare (45).
Referee: D.White (Wirral).
||A goal five minutes before the break from Andy
Harris, put through by Ian Foster, gave City a narrow 1-0 victory
at West Cheshire League side Cammell Laird. The Blues gave a game
in goal to Ian McCaldon and also fielded three trialists: Simon Betts
(Darlington), Craig Dudley (Burton Albion) and Danny Stone (Notts
It was a very good workout. We tried a few things and it was a good competitive
game. I thought Cammell Laird’s were particularly strong opponents. Unfortunately
Robert Taylor has pulled his hamstring, which is a great shame. Mark Wright
told the press following the game.
19 July 2003
Chester City 0 FC Nordsjaelland
Attendance: 854 Half Time 0-1
Chester City [1st half]: Brown, Collins, Bolland
(Hatswell 33), Ruffer, Heard, Carden, B.Davies, McIntyre, Clare,
Chester City [2nd half]: Brown, Collins, Hatswell, Ruffer, Brady,
Carey, Harris, Twiss, Beesley, Rapley, Brodie.
FC Nordsjaelland: Hoffman,
Birm, Vinzents, Marvits, Dickoh, Hindsberg, Rasmussen (Ziberi
86), Alding, Fredgaard, Tingberg (Halvyke 66), Sorenson.
first continental opponents to run out at the Deva came
in the shape of FC Nordsjaelland, UEFA Cup qualifiers
from the Danish Premier League. And it was the Viking
invaders who went away with the victory spoils.
But this was only a friendly and it was
more important that Chester learned some lessons, tried out
a couple of formations with the new-look squad and tested
a couple of triallists in Robert Taylor (from Scunthorpe
and ex-Gillingham and Man City) and Jamie Heard (from Leeds
United, or was it Hull City?).
The first half saw a distinctly overweight
Taylor playing up front with Daryl Clare, supported by new
signing from Kidderminster, Ian Foster. Red-booted triallist
Heard was also doing his best to support the attack. He was
the most noticeable of the new boys in the first 20 minutes,
taking people on, and having a firm shot on target from 30
yards out. His determination certainly made an impression
on the 854 Deva faithful.
Taylor also had an opportunity to make
an instant impact when he nearly headed home from a Kevin
McIntyre corner. And towards the end of the second half he
found the ball at his feet with acres of space in the area.
But he seemed too unfit to turn and smash the ball into the
net. He’s certainly more of a target man than a twinkle-toed
By then Chester were already 1-0 down.
FC Nordsjaelland’s shaven-headed number 16 had two
chances to put away a one-on-one against orange-shirted Wayne
Brown. The first goal-bound shot was parried away by Brown,
straight back to the Dane. He then had another chance to
slot it away – only for brave Brown to save again.
But that put Chester very much on the back foot in the box
and before they'd had chance to recover, the Danes had another
opportunity. This time Brownie couldn't stop the Danes finding
the net, when Denis Sorensen headed home from close range.
The first half was still an encouraging
performance – the only worries coming from Phil Bolland
going off with an apparent strain, to be replaced by Wayne
Hatswell, and Ian Foster not making as much of an impression
as the other new faces. But he didn't seem to be exactly
sure where he was supposed to be playing, and I’m sure
Ben Davis, complete with a spikey version
of Hatswell’s haircut, did his usual best to cover
the whole park, while Collins continued to prove himself
a cool customer in defence. Carl Ruffer and Paul Carden,
who both looked fit and raring to go for the new season,
completed the first half line-up.
The second half saw the appearance of new
signings Kevin Rapley and Andy Harris. Rapley was paired
up front with Mark Beesley, ably supported by Steve Brodie.
No-nonsense Harris seemed to slot well into the Jimmy Kelly/midfield
The half had barely started when Jon Brady
was tearing down the wing, proving what a transformation
he’s made in recent months – from crowd boo-boy,
to crowd pleaser. Brodie also put his heart-and-soul into
the game. It was as if both had a point to prove.
Rapley had two near misses in the first
20 minutes, including a spectacular overhead bicycle kick.
He’s shaping up to be another crowd pleaser! Beesley
also saw a well-hit daisy cutter saved near the post by the
excellent keeper, Jesper Hoffman, a member of the Danish
Perhaps Rapley’s best opportunity
to make his mark came when everyone stopped when they thought
the offside flag was about to go up. Rapley didn’t
stop, but the ever alert keeper ran out and blocked his shot
at close range.
Chester certainly had more second half
chances than the Danes, but FC Nordsjaelland put away one
of the opportunities they had. Ulrich Vinzents’ 35-yard
free kick went through the Chester wall and just hit the
inside of the post as Brown scrambled to reach it. For a
split second, it looked like the ball would rebound out,
but it ran along the line and into the goal. I didn’t
see any Danish fans in the ground and it was one of the quietest
celebrations I’ve seen for such a goal. Mind you, the
chain-smoking coach managed to put his cigarette out to join
in the team hugs!
Chester’s second half changes also
included Michael Twiss, who put in a creditable performance,
and Shaun Carey, whose new silver-trimmed boots made more
of an impression on me than he did.
All in all, it was a promising display
and the Deva pitch looked even more immaculate than usual – all
credit to the ground staff. Oh, and although it was supposed
to be a friendly, there were a couple of confrontations with
our continental cousins. Carl Ruffer, Phil Bolland and Wayne
Hatswell all squared up to their opponents at some stage.
Some things never change!