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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2017

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SEPTEMBER
30 September 2017
ANOTHER LATE POSTPONEMENT
Chester’s game at Eastleigh on Saturday was caled off by the match referee at 12.45 after a section of the pitch was deemed unplayable to to ‘sub-soil drainage problems.’

A statement issued by Eastleigh said: “Following a pitch inspection from today’s match officials, our game against Chester has been postponed. It is with regret this decision has been made so close to kick off however, every care had been taken in advance of the game to prevent this from happening.”

“A match official was called in on Friday afternoon to view the pitch and following this inspection it was deemed safe to play. This information was relayed to today’s referee Mr Savvas Yianni on Friday afternoon.”

“Upon arriving at the ground today, the match officials have taken the view that player safety was at risk and decided to postpone the game.”

“Ground staff had covered the small affected area over night to protect the surface from any rainfall which was forecast. However, the problem with this area of the pitch is not a surface water issue but a sub-soil drainage problem. Additional drainage has been installed in the affected area over the past week.”

“This issue is being addressed immediately and emergency work will commence Monday.”

“Fans who have purchased tickets in advance are entitled to a full refund and this will be available from the club shop. Should fans wish to keep their tickets, these will be okay to use for the re-arranged game or for another league game of your choice.”

This of course is the second time this season that a match has been called off late following the opening day postponement at Solihull Moors.

26 September 2017
WINNING START FOR BIGNOT
Marcos Bignot could not have asked for a better start to his managerial reign at Chester as he saw his side record their first home win since last December beating Maidenhead United 2-0 on Saturday. Captain Ryan Astles gave the Blues a sixth minute lead and Ross Hannah sealed the points with a penalty in the second half.

After the victory the Blues boss said: “Winning on Saturday at home was a big thing for the football club and you could sense that relied around the place coming in on Monday morning. Obviously from my point of view it was very pleasing to get off to a winning start but for the supporters to be able to go home happy after three points made it even sweeter and it was a result that they very much deserved and one that could have been even more.”

“The players have responded really well since we’ve come in and taken on board everything that we have thrown at them. It’s been the first full week and they have been asked to work a bit harder than they have probably been used to, but the reaction has been great and they have shown a real desire to want to work.”

“I did my due diligence on them before I came in but until you get out on the grass with them you don’t really know about their character and what they are capable of, but I’ve found plenty of hunger in the group.”

Despite the victory Chester remain in the bottom four. On Saturday they travel to Eastleigh looking to build on the confidence no doubt gained from the Maidenhead victory.


Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
ASSISTANT NAMED
Chester have announced that Ross Thorpe is to be the assistant manager to Marcus Bignot, the pair have worked together before at Solihull Moors. Thorpe also works as the head coach of the women’s side at Nottingham Trent University.

20 September 2017
BLUES APPOINT MARCUS BOGNOT
Chester have appointed Marcus Bignot as their new manager. Bignot (43), has previously managed at Birmingham City Ladies, Solihull Moors and Grimsby Town. His playing career includes Telford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Crewe Alexandra, Bristol Rovers, Rushden & Diamonds, Queens Park Rangers and Millwall. Bignot was chosen after interviews with ten candidates including Richard Money, Ronnie Moore, Steve Watson and Neil Redfearn, were held on Monday and Tuesday.

On Chester’s poor start to the season Bignot said: “We will turn things around, I’m sure the supporters will see a group who are going to be organised, there will be a structure to their play both on and off the ball.”

“There will be clear roles and responsibilities and I honestly believe they will gain confidence from that. If they’ve got the desire to work harder and smarter, I’m sure we can turn our fortunes around. I want to bring success, for my next job it was important I got the opportunity to bring success and, for me, Chester provides that.”

“I can’t wait to get started, I’ll meet the players at training and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Chiex Executive Mark Maguire (pictured here with Bignot) said: “We have met with and spoken to some exceptional candidates over the last few days. Marcus convinced the panel he has the skills to deliver results whilst building for the long term and enhancing the culture at the club.”

Bignot’s first game in charge will be on Saturday when Chester entertain Maidenhead United, looking for their first home win of 2017.

Tom Shaw, who looked after the side following Jon McCarthy’s departure, has been given the job of player/first team coach. An assistant to Bignot is to be announced soon.

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)

17 September 2017
SECOND HALF COLLAPSE
Chester’s miserable start to the season continued with a 4-0 defeat at Dover Athletic on Saturday. Defeesive errors gifted the Whites the opening goal midway through the first half when an unmarked Giancarlo Gallifuoco headed home in the six yard box. Mitch Pinnock added a second goal for the home side on 62 minutes. Nortei Nortey added a third eight minutes later and the rout was complete when Mitch Brundle added a fourth with seven minutes remaining. This was the last game in charge for caretaer manager Tonm Shaw as the club look to appoint a new manager next week.

Table after Dover defeat

13 September 2017
LAST DITCH GOAL SINKS BLUES
Chester remain in the bottom four after conceding a very late goal at Gateshead last night. Chester had battled back from two doan to equalise in stoppage time, only to concede after that. The Heed had led through an Andy Halls own goal and a Richard Peniket strike before Ross Hannah reduced the defecit on 71 minutes. The comeback looked complete when substitute Matty Waters picked up a Harry White pass to curl home the equaliser in the first minute of added time. But Chester’s elation was short lived as Gateshead forced a corner in the 93rd minute that saw a goal bound header fly in off Conor Mitchell for a second own goal of the night.

Table after Gateshead defeat

RECORD FOR MAHON
Craig Mahon became the club record appearance holder when he played at Gateshead. Mahon beat former club captain George Horan’s 159 match record. Mahon said: “It’s an honour and a real privilege to say I’ve played for Chester for 160 games, I’m very proud.”


“I’ve had messages off my parents saying how proud they were. It was a really nice occasion for myself but obviously the result takes the shine off it a bit. But I will never forget what the club has done for me, what the previous gaffers have done for me and what the fans have done for me, so I’m very grateful and all I can do is keep working hard on that pitch and keep repaying them.”

10 September 2017
HOME IMPROVEMENT BRINGS DRAW
Managerless Chester battled to a deserved 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet United on Saturday. Caretaker manager Tom Shaw took charge of team affairs following the departure in the week of Jon McCarthy. Shaw opted to start with Nyal Bell, Ross Hannah and James Akintunde in attack as the Blues looked for their first home win of 2017. Chester created plenty of openings in the first half but were unable to break the defence of a side that had gone an amazing 34 games without defeat.

The Fleet took the lead on 58 minutes with a superb long-range strike from Jack Powell, but Chester were deservedly drew level eight minutes from time as Akintunde fired home from the edge of the area. Lucas Dawson and Bell both went close in the dying minutes to ending the Blues 15 game winless run at home.

Shaw said: “We know we’ve done well with our recruitment, we know we’ve signed the right players, so to see them at full tilt was pleasing. It's been a tough week, we’ve lost a terrific man from the club who did a lot for all of us, and the lads were down.”

“But to react how they did, how they trained on Thursday and how they played today, shows theres some tough, strong-willed men in there. I thought they were great.”

“I think we had enough chances to win it. We lacked a bit of conviction and confidence in the box but Akintunde got his goal, he’ll go on from that, and he deserved it for the work that he did.”
6 September 2017
McCARTHY SACKED
Chester are in search of their fourth manager following the sacking of Jon McCarthy yesterday. The dismissal comes on the back of a poor start to the season and a dreadful home record that hasn’t seen the Blues taste three points since just before Christmas.

McCarthy, with assistant Ian Sharps, took over the role from Steve Burr in May 2016 after a caretaker role that saw the duo win three of the four final matches of the season to stave off relegation. Chester started last season in style and were within striking distance of the play-off’s before the end of the year, but a dramatic downturn in form saw them slip down the table in the second half of the season finishing 19th.

The club released the following statement: “Chester Football Club can today announce that they have terminated the contract of Manager Jon McCarthy with immediate effect.”

“The Club would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Jon, a thoroughly decent man who could not have worked harder to try and deliver success – and could not have shown more commitment to the Community and the Club.”

“Tom Shaw, Dave Felgate and Calum McIntyre have been asked to prepare the team for the forthcoming fixtures – we ask everybody who can to get down to the Swansway Chester Stadium and get behind the staff and players this weekend as we seek to reverse our fortunes at home.”

Picture © Rick Matthews (Chester Leader)
5 September 2017
McCARTHY REMAINS DEFIANT
After a poor start to the season and a home run that hasn’t seen a victory since last December, manager Jon McCarthy insists he’s the right person for the position telling the Chester Chronicle following the defeat: “Ask people around the football club who work with me every day what they think of me and then add into the equation what has happened and the other factors that are around the squad in terms of where we are as a football club.”

“I understand the frustration but we came into tonight’s game expecting to win and if we had won we’d be two points off the play-offs. It’s a really disappointing result and one we have to take.”

“We have made ourselves quite difficult to beat and there are a lot of clubs in our division who have more defeats on their record. It’s not a group that gets smashed and hammered every week. We just need to get some players on the pitch. It’s frustrating and difficult to take because we can't them out there. I’d love to see that group play and when we do we’ll be all right. Ask the players. If they don’t think that’s the case, you’ll get your answer from them.”

“If I have got Harry White and Ross Hannah starting the games and Nyal Bell and Akintunde on the bench, and if I have Paul Turnbull available on Saturday, and Ryan Astles tonight, that’s six points and two comfortable wins. I know that and people know that.”

“When the strong characters and best players are not all there it has an effect.”

Chester are next in action on Saturday when they have a home game against 15th placed Ebbsfleet United.

Table after Solihull match

BLUES SLUMP TO DEFEAT AT SOLIHULL
Chester were beaten 2-0 at Solihull Moors last night after another poor performance. The Blues hardly forced a chance all night against a side below them in the table, and who played the last 15 minutes with ten men following a red card for Zain Westbrooke.

With Ryan Astles ruled out through injury, Under fire manager Jon McCarthy handed a debut to loan defender Nathan Sheron. The home side opened the scoring on 16 minutes finding plenty of space cutting through the Chester defence before Oladapo Afolayan smashed the ball past Alex Lynch from 20-yards out.

In a rare effort at the other end Jordan Chapell failed to convert a good chhance shooting wide after latching onto a through ball down the left. Westrooke was given his marching orders on 73 minutes for a late challenge on Wade Joyce, but It was the home side that finished stronger with Afolayan adding a second goal two minutes later to seal the points.

There were chants of “We want Macca Out” from some of the 216 away support as the players trudged off at the final whistle.

4 September 2017
TELEVISED MATCH
The home game against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday 25 November will be screened live on BT Sports. The kick-off time is now brought forward to 12.30hrs.

LOAN DEFENDER SIGNS
Chester have signed defender Nathan Sheron on a one month loan from Fleetood Town. He will join the squad for the match at Solihull Moors tonight.

LAST GASP GOAL BRINGS POINT
A stoppage time equaliser from Ross Hannah salvaged a point from Chester as they drew 1-1 at bottom of the table Torquay United. George Dowling gave the Gulls the lead on 12 minutes before Chester hit the bar and the post and forced a couple of saves from Vincent Dorel in the home goal. Torquay had a goal controversially ruled out ten minutes after the break as James Gray put the ball in the net before referee Sam Purkiss ruled it out following a foul on John McCombe in the build-up. Despite the point Chester drop into the bottom four in the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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