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29 September 2008
A second goal in the week from striker Paul McManus earned City a draw at Luton Town on Saturday. McManus headed home a Ryan Lowe free-kick 13 minutes from time to the delight of the 212 fans who made the trek to Kenilworth Road. The point lifts Chester to 13th in League Two and stretches their unbeaten run to five matches.

City had fallen behind four minutes before the break through a well taken half-volley from Asa Hall after the City defence had failed to cut out a right wing cross. Both sides had chances to win the game with Kevin Ellison spurning a couple of opportunities earlier on and the home side came close on several occasions throughout the 90 minutes but couldn’t beat a resolute John Danby.

The Blues best chances late on fell to their substitutes. Anthony Barry who saw a great volley headed away off the line and the Blues almost snatched all three points with the last kick of the match as Jay Harris saw a 20-yarder fly agonisingly inches wide. City had been reduced to ten men just before the final whistle as Kevin Roberts picked up his second yellow card of the game.

Manager Simon Davies said after the game: “The lads stuck together. I said to them at the end of the game, we will play better but the good thing is we’ve not lost. That’s key to us at the moment. We’re sticking together, we’re fighting together. We stuck at it and got the point.”

“I feel for him (Roberts) because he’s just an honest lad. He gives 110% when he pulls on a Chester shirt. He was a little bit too keen, but that’s Kevin. That’s what you get with him. It was a bit harsh three minutes from the end, but it wasn’t the best of challenges. He’ll be back.”

Picture © Evening Leader

League table

The youth team lost at home 2-1 to Wigan Athletic on Saturday and remain next to bottom of the Youth Alliance League.

Youth fixtures | Table

26 September 2008

Chester travel to Luton Town tomorrow aiming to end the month unbeaten. The Blues have won two and drawn two of their last four matches, a run that has lifted them to mid-table, and coincided with the appointment of assistant manager Wayne Allison. The Hatters have picked up ten points so far this season, two more that City, but still lie bottom of the table following their 30 point reduction at the start of the season.

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash manager Simon Davies, an ex-Luton Town player himself, told the BBC: “If we can start better than the opposition away from home it makes it difficult [for them] as the fans get on the case of the home team. It’s really important that we start well, and we will always make chances. Things are clicking at the moment. Funnily enough, no one in the last four games has questioned my formation.”

Games between the two sides are few and far between. They last met on 29 January 1977 in the fourth round of the FA Cup. A crowd of 10,608 were at Sealand Road to see a nostalgic return to Chester of the Futcher twins Paul and Ron. They had been sold to Luton Town in the summer of 1975 for a combined fee of £125,000.

Alan Oakes had an inspired match for Chester who began to take control as the game went on. With the tie moving into injury time and looking to be heading for a replay Billy Dearden crossed from the right wing straight to an unmarked Ian Edwards who made no mistake from eight yards to shoot past Alekscic.

As Edwards celebrated the dramatic late winner, a section of the Kop wall right behind the goal (where most of the visiting fans were standing) collapsed with supporters spilling onto the pitch. Fortunately there were no serious injuries. The win gave City their first ever foray into the fifth round of the competition.

You have to go as far back as 1967/68 for the last league meeting between the sides in Division 4 (programme pictured). A Les Jones goal couldn’t prevent a 2-1 defeat at home while the two sides fought out a 0-0 draw at Kenilworth Road in front of 13,266. The Hatters were promoted as champions at the end of the season.

The sides also met in 1966/67 with a 0-0 home draw and a 0-1 away defeat, and 1965/66 a thumping 2-5 defeat at Luton followed by a 1-1 draw at Sealand Road in the last game of the season.

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

22 September 2008
The club have revealed ambitious plans to redevelop sections of Deva Stadium. For the last nine months the club have been working alongside Liverpool based company Property First Asset Management Ltd (PFAM) in an effort to maximise more the potential of the ground.

The plans show a major redevelopment on the main East stand that would include: Four Tier Stadium, 40,00 square foot office facilities, gymnasium, cafe and bistro, club shop, players and sponsors Lounge, new entrance, redeveloped stands as well as new retail outlets. The club say should they be given planning permission from the Council soon then they would hope that work could start as early as January 2009.

PFAM managing director Gary Metcalf said: “The potential of the club is huge and if we are given the opportunity then it would have a big impact on the club, its fans, the local community and the council. The council will earn a lot of money, as they own the stadium, but the club will benefit the most as it will be allowed to grow and reach its potential both on and off the pitch.”

Forms for the 2008/09 competition are available to download from the link below. The closing date is 30 September.

PDF two page form

A smartly taken goal three minutes before the interval from Paul McManus brought City a point from this keenly contested match. A fine build up involving Man of the Match Mark Hughes and Ryan Lowe fed McManus who flicked the ball over Shrews ‘keeper Luke Daniels at the near post.

City had to weather a lot of early Shrewsbury pressure and had fallen behind in dubious fashion on 28 minutes. Referee Mark Halsey, himself the centre of controversy last week, overruled a linesman and awarded the visitors a penalty following a tackle in the area by Stephen Vaughan on ex-City midfielder Ben Davies, Grant Holt scored from the spot-kick. This was the fifth penalty already conceded in seven league games this season.

Manager Simon Davies said: “There were a number of talking points, obviously the main one was the penalty decision. I will take a good look at the video before really commenting, but it certainly appeared that the linesman had indicated a goal kick before the contact.”

He continued: “We have now gone four matches unbeaten, and that basically is down to hard work. The players are all responding well and that is pleasing.”

City face another test on Saturday when they make their first visit to Kenilworth Road in 40 years to play bottom side Luton Town. The Hatters are currently bottom of League Two having started the season with their much publicised 30 point reduction, a tally they’ve now reduced by ten.

League table

Man of the Match Mark Hughes (pic Sue Choularton)

20 September 2008

The youth team lost their latest league match 2-1 at Tranmere Rovers today.

Youth fixtures | Table

This season is another reason to celebrate for the Exiles as we are 25 years old in November. One of our plans is to produce a book, at the end of the season, with reminiscences of watching the Blues over the last quarter of a century from the Exiles and other fans as well.

This will only be possible with your contributions, so if you have any good stories, whether they be funny, sad or just interesting we would love to receive these reminiscences from you. Perhaps memorable days out, meeting the players or management (Harry of course!) etc; As well as stories we would also welcome any photographs you may have from following Chester over the last 25 years.

Please email your stories to but if you are unable to send these electronically, please pop them in the post to Steve Mansley at the address on the Exiles committee page. We will keep you posted on how this project develops.

19 September 2008
Chester entertain Shrewsbury Town on Sunday looking to extend their three match unbeaten run. The Blues have taken seven points from the last nine available, scoring nine goals in the process of beating both Barnet and Grimsby and forcing a draw against Bury.

Skipper Paul Linwood who has a hamstring injury is expected to be fit, while there are doubts over Laurence Wilson and Paul Taylor, though the latter played in the reserve friendly against Wrexham in midweek.

Manager Simon Davies put the recent run of good form down to teamwork. He told the Chester Chronicle: “We’ve worked harder as a team. Instead of going out and just thinking we can play football, we’ve actually earned the right to do so in the last few games. Added to that is the quality in front of goal. It’s all come together a bit in the last three games. It’s going to be a tough game at the weekend but if we get chances and put them away, it’s going to be a tough game for Shrewsbury.”

Shrewsbury come to Deva Stadium on a high after thrashing Gillingham 7-0 at the New Meadow last Saturday, a win that lifted them to fourth place in League Two. Two of those goals were scored by ex-City midfielder Ben Davies who will be making his first return to Chester since he left in 2006. he told the BBC: “They'll be giving me a bit of stick and boo me every time I get the ball, but that won’t bother me as long as we send our fans home happy.”

Tickets for the match against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday are still available from the Deva Stadium ticket office and the club shop in Watergate Street from 10:00-16:00hrs today. They will also be on sale at Deva Stadium tomorrow (Saturday) from 10:00-12:00hrs. Shrewsbury fans have been given the south terrace and west stand seating. The game will kick-off at 12:00hrs.

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

17 September 2008

Manager Simon Davies has injury concerns over three players ahead of Sunday’s noon all-ticket clash with Shrewsbury Town. Captain Paul Linwood has a slight hamstring problem, Lawrence Wilson still has a calf injury picked up against Bury and Ryan Lowe is struggling with illness.

In a behind-closed-doors friendly in the rain at Colliers Park yesterday a Chester reserve side beat Wrexham Reserves 3-2. Paul Taylor, recovered from food poisoning that kept him out of the win at Grimsby, gave the Blues the lead on 17 minutes an advantage they held until the interval.

The home side started the second period well and equalised through Marc Williams in the opening minute, fifteen minutes from time the same played gave Wrexham the lead. But the Blues fought back well scoring twice in the final twelve minutes through Ryan Williams and Lloyd Ellams to record a victory.

City fielded two trialists in the match, defender Simon Grand and goalkeeper Alex Bentley.

15 September 2008
A superb hat-trick, his first ever in the League, from Kevin Ellison brought City a 3-1 victory at Grimsby Town on Saturday. Ellison is the first player since March 2006 to score a treble, Derek Asamoah netting three at Boston United on that occasion. The win lifts the Blues to 14th in League Two.

Ellison scored his first after just three minutes, shooting past Phil Barnes following a Ryan Lowe through ball. The Mariners drew level after the break and dominated for long periods in the second half. John Danby kept City level with a fine display in goal.

However with 12 minutes remaining Ellison put City ahead with a stunning curling free-kick, following a foul on Damien Mozika, and sealed the points five minutes from time with another great finish following a pass from Mozika.

The dying minutes were full of action with Danny Boshell missing a penalty for the home side and City twice hitting the woodwork through Mark Hughes and substitute Paul McManus.

After the win manager Simon Davies said: “We’ve played better and we will play better and maybe only get a point or even come away with nothing. Kevin Ellison’s hat-trick was really good and John Danby has kept us in the game with some good saves. We will take the three points because it’s massive for us as it increases the gap on teams like Grimsby.”

He added: “I was slightly frustrated with our actual performance, but the one thing we have right now is lads that just won’t give in. We’ve got a team, and while we’ve got that character within the team I feel we’ve got a hell of a chance this season.”

Two late casualties for the match were Laurence Wilson who massed out with a calf injury and Paul Taylor who had food poisoning.

City named 17-year-old Ryan Williams as one of their substitutes at Blundell Park. The Birkenhead born player was a member of last year’s youth squad.

Picture © Evening Leader

More photographs | League table
Even more photographs on the Chester Standard/Evening Leader website

12 September 2008
The club have announced that two more French players with Championat experience will train at Chester next week and possible take part in a behind closed doors friendly.

The Blues signed Damien Mozika (left) from AS Nancy after a trial period in the summer and the midfielder has been turning in man-of-the-match performances ever since. Earlier this week the club turned down an offer from an unnamed Championship side wanting to take the 21-year-old on loan.

Club owner Steve Vaughan said: “We have had confirmation that the two French players will be with us at the beginning of next week. Simon Davies and Wayne Allison will run the rule over them in training and we are also hoping to include them in a behind closed doors friendly match that we are trying to arrange against another local side. If they turn out to be as good as Damien, then it could be quite a coup for us.”

Picture © Evening Leader

City travel to Grimsby Town tomorrow and are likely to have Kevin Ellison and Laurence Wilson fit after both took knocks in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Bury. Manager Simon Davies is expected to name an unchanged side. The Mariners, who welcome back Robbie Stockdale and ex-City defender Richard Hope, lie two places below the Blues with two points secured this season from draws against Lincoln City and Chesterfield.

League table
Simon Davies interview with the Evening Leader

11 September 2008

Tickets for the match against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday 21 September are still available from the Deva Stadium ticket office and the club shop in Watergate Street from 10:00-16:00hrs Monday-Friday. Shrewsbury fans have been given the south terrace and west stand seating. The game will kick-off at 12:00hrs.

9 September 2008

Wayne Allison has been appointed assistant manager on a permanent basis. He has been helping out manager Simon Davis since his predecessor Huw Griffiths was sacked following the Leeds United game.

Yorkshire-born Allison began his playing career in 1987 as a trainee at Halifax Town before moving on to Watford, Bristol City, Swindon Town, Huddersfield Town, Tranmere Rovers, Sheffield United and Chesterfield.

Talking about his new assistant manager Simon Davies told the Chester Chronicle: “He brings a bit of structure and he commands respect.
He brings a lot to the table and the lads listen to every word he’s saying because he’s been there and done it. You can’t beat that really.”

“He’s experienced from playing at all sorts of levels. He’s got all the top coaching qualifications. He brings the whole package and we’re happy to have him.”

Picture © Evening Leader
8 September 2008

The Blues fought out a deserved 1-1 draw with unbeaten opponents Bury at Deva Stadium on Saturday. City had the better of the opening period and took the lead seven minutes before the interval with a delightful goal from French midfielder Damien Mozika who slotted home pas ex-City ‘keeper Wayne Brown after being set up by Ryan Lowe. Brown went on to deny both Lowe and Paul Taylor in the opening period.

After the break the Shakers came more into the game and dominated for periods. They equalised just after the re-start when Paul Linwood was adjudged to have fouled Andy Morrell. Andy Bishop scored from the spot-kick into the bottom corner, just beating the dive from John Danby.

Manager Simon Davies was forced to replace the injured Laurence Wilson with Shaun Kelly as City regrouped. It was the visitors who had the better chances to win the game with Bishop and Glynn Hurst both going close.

League table | manager’s post match interview

6 September 2008
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

Chester have been given a home tie against Morecambe in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, the game will be played on Tuesday 7 October. The match will kick-off at the earlier time of 19:00hrs. City received a bye in the first round while the Shrimps beat League One high-flyers Oldham Athletic 5-4 on penalties after the sides had drawn 1-1 at Boundary Park.

Admission will be £10.00 for adults, while senior citizens and under-16s will be admitted for £5.00. Juniors under 16 years of age who attend the game with a paying adult will be admitted to the ground free of charge if they acquire a special ticket from the Deva Stadium office prior to the match.

5 September 2008
City manager Simon Davies will be hoping to name an unchanged squad for the visit tomorrow of Bury following last Saturday’s thrashing of Barnet. The Shakers boast an unbeaten start to the league two campaign and sit third on goal difference. Away from Gigg Lane they have won at 3-1 at Chesterfield and drawn 1-1 at near neighbours Rochdale.

Ahead tomorrow’s clash Davies said: “For once, the team near on picks itself. The Barnet performance was of such a level that it would be unfair to change too much about it. Sometimes when you play away, you might change it slightly and be a bit more cautious. But when you’re at home it’s your duty to take the game to teams and we’ll do the same this week.”

“We’ve had Bury watched and I know Bury were here on Saturday watching us. I think they’re very good going forward. They’ve got a few holes at the back that we think we can have a say in the game about. They have two big centre-halves but if they had everything in their game they wouldn’t be playing at this level.”

Davies’ counterpart at Bury Alan Knill also looks set to name an unchanged team for the match.

4 September 2008

The home game against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday 21 September, kick-off 12:00hrs, is all-ticket. Tickets for the match will go on sale from tomorrow and all next week at the Deva Stadium ticket office and the club shop from 10:00-16:00hrs. They will also be available after Saturday’s home game against Bury. Shrewsbury fans have been given the south terrace and west stand seating.

3 September 2008
Chester have circulated clubs telling them that experienced duo Paul Butler (pictured left)and Tony Dinning are available for temporary loan. Neither player features in manager Simon Davies’ plans and managing director Rob Gray believes their experience could be utilised elsewhere.

He said: “Both players have a wealth of experience and if that experience can be put to good use by other clubs, then that would be beneficial not only to the players involved but also to the clubs they may temporarily join.”

Between them both Butler and Dinning have played in over 1,000 league matches.

Pictures © Evening Leader

1 September 2008
City’s season finally got up and running on Saturday following their comprehensive second half demolition of Barnet at Deva Stadium on Saturday. Kevin Ellison got the scoring underway in the opening period to give the Blues a one goal advantage, and it could have been more, at the break. Second half goals from captain Pail Linwood, Kevin Roberts and a brace from Ryan Lowe though swept the Bees aside. The visitors, who have still to win this season, did score a consolation goal through Cliff Akurang in added time.

After the match Chester manager Simon Davies said: “It’s good for the lads and the supporters needed it – everyone at the club needed it. We’ve worked ever so hard. We’ve been working extra sessions to get it right and today we defended properly from the off. We turned them round. The lads have listened to instructions. They’ve done it to the letter.”

He continued: It’s 4-3-3 we’ve played and it’s worked. The formation worked really well. Every formation will work as long as the lads are putting a shift in. The quality we’ve got is good enough to match any team in this division but we’ve got to do the ugly bits first. We did that and the quality came to the top.”

The win lifts City to 16th place in League Two ahead of Saturday’s visit from third placed Bury. The Shakers, with three wins and a draw from their opening games, should provide a much sterner test for Davies’ squad who will at least be buoyed following their first three points of the campaign.

More photographs | League table

Picture © Evening Leader

The youth team were beaten again on Saturday this time at home by Stockport County. Chester took the lead on 38 minutes through Frazer Ablett. Eight minutes after the break Kyle Wilkie equalised for the Hatters from the penalty spot. The visitors were awarded another spot-kick which Robert Vincent converted. The Blues fought back and Kristian Platt scored the equaliser but it was the visitors who had the last laugh as Rick Ratcliffe scored the winner fifteen minutes from time.

Youth fixtures | Table





































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