27 September 1997
Rotherham United 4 Chester
Rotherham United: Mimms,
Clark, Scott, Thompson (Hurst 79), Knill, Warner, Bos,
Bass, White, Glover, Roscoe, subs, Berry, Hurst.
Chester's slip-shod defence committed
a catalogue of cardinal sins to gift Rotherham victory
before the half-time whistle.
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson (Murphy 67),
Jenkins, Richardson, Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Priest, McDonald,
Flitcroft, Fisher (Thomas 45), sub Brown.
Referee: Matt Messias (York).
The Blues, unchanged from last week's mauling at Mansfield, fell behind
in the 16th minute after David Flitcroft was dispossessed in midfield,
Spencer Whelan failed to cut out Andy Roscoe's cross and the Millers' Jason
White was left unmarked to head the ball past Ronnie Sinclair.
Chester had competed equally before the goal, but from then on Rotherham
Dutch import Gijsbert Bos killed off the game as a contest with two simple
tap-ins in the 38th and 41st minutes.
His first strike came after City failed to clear a corner, while his second
finished off a neat move which started on the left wing.
Gary Bennett was the only Chester player who could justifiably feel aggrieved
about events in the first half. The unfortunate striker became a victim
of mistaken identity when he was booked for a foul committed by Chris Priest.
The travelling fans booed the Blues off the field after the first 45 minutes
and had to endure further humiliation two minutes after the restart.
Rotherham striker Lee Glover highlighted the Chester defence's inadequacies
when he picked the ball up outside the penalty area, waltzed into the box
and directed the ball past Sinclair despite the attentions of five City
Chester then woke up and substitutes John Murphy, who replaced the injured
Ross Davidson, and Rod Thomas, on for the ineffective Neil Fisher, injected
a little more urgency into the Blues attack.
Goals from Julian Alsford, who converted a neat free kick routine in which
Murphy played a major part on 69 minutes, and Priest, who forced home a
goalmouth scramble six minutes later, conjured faint hopes of a miraculous
Priest was also denied two creditable claims for penalties, but it would
have been a real injustice if Chester, who were nothing short of dire in
the first half and barely average after the break, had come away from South
Yorkshire with anything but a sound beating.
20 September 1997
Mansfield Town 4 Chester City
Mansfield Town: Bowling,
Ford, Harper (Williams 45), Sedgemore, Eustace, Hackett,
Schofield, Clarke (Hassell 64), Christie (Milner 87),
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson, Jenkins, Richardson,
Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Priest, McDonald, Flitcroft, Fisher
(Thomas 59), subs Jones, Murphy.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Welwyn Garden City).
Despite a dream start with the lead
on 18 minutes, City's defence caved-in, conceding three
goals in 12 minutes, to leave the game out of reach
at half-time. Ross Davidson, scoring his second penalty
of the week (est speed 100mph) slightly against the
run of play to put Chester one-up after Rod McDonald
had been fouled inside the box by Doolan.
All in all a very disappointing
performance in front of an expectant away following.
Having to pay £8 for an awful view from the corner
didn't help either, the end behind the goal being closed
for safety reasons.
came with an unstoppable 25-yard free-kick from Whitehall
after Spenner had given away a free kick (and earned
a booking) outside the box.
The Stags took the lead
a couple of minutes later. Tony Ford, cutting in from
the left unchallenged, shot at goal and the ball hit
the net via what looked like a Jenkins/Sinclair mix-up the
defence was now a complete shambles. Whitehall helped
himself to a second goal ten minutes later, as the
City defence conveniently backed off as he homed in
from the right. Chester's midfield was completely outclassed,
with Fisher ineffective and Richardson non-existent
(again). While up front Gary Bennett and Rod McDonald
struggled with what little service they got.
replaced Fisher, and Murphy was about to enter the
fray before mysteriously donning his tracksuit and
sitting back on the bench. Mansfield wrapped up the
points five minutes from time, Christie slotting the
ball home after Sinclair, with much embarrassment,
had totally missed his attempted clearance from Whitehall's
long ball up field.
City still had a couple of chances
with Bennett heading over from point-blank range, and
Whelan volleying narrowly wide from 20-yards but a
goal then would have been scant consolation.
Chester City Youth 2 Barnsley Youth 0
Chester City: Conkie, Moss,
Whitehead, Carson (Lloyd 64), Thompson, Pendleton, Patterson, McKay
(Lancaster 9), A Shelton, Rendell (Love 75), Williams.
Chester's youth team put in a battling performance
against Barnsley in the FA Youth Cup to end up 2-1 winners.
It was a scrappy first 15 minutes, with both sides making errors, but Chester
then came to life.
After 20 minutes City took the lead through Phil Patterson. Carl Rendell's
shot was touched onto the post by the Barnsley keeper, and Patterson followed
up by hammering home City's first.
Plenty of chances fell to the home side, who dominated the first half and
Chester extended their lead on 32 minutes.
Scott Williams' free kick hit the post but Matty McKay was on hand to head
The second half saw a complete change around from Barnsley. Chester were
under more pressure, and keeper Matthew Conkie was forced to make several
Sixteen minutes into the second half Barnsley got a goal. Substitute Curtis
Bernard took advantage of a hesitation in defence to give the visitors
a chance to get back into the game.
As Chester began to tire, they found themselves hanging on desperately
to their lead.
All the Chester side did their best, especially Conkie who made several
excellent saves in the second half. Scott Thompson and David Pendleton
were strong at the back.
Youth Team Coach Dave Fogg was delighted with the performance.
He said: "I am delighted to perform so well against a Premiership
club and it proves that we are getting it right."
16 September 1997
Cardiff City 0 Chester City 2
Cardiff City: Hallworth, Eckhardt,
Beech, Young, Harris, Fowler, O'Sullivan, Stoker, Greenacre, White,
Partridge (Carss 76), subs Middleton, Lloyd.
A solid defensive display earned Chester their
third win on the run and prevented Cardiff City going top. Chester
took the lead on 11 minutes through Julian Alsford, heading home
a Neil Fisher corner. Their second came just after the half hour
from the penalty spot. Substitute Nick Richardson, on for the injured
Matt Woods, was fouled in the box by Scott Young and Ross Davidson
smashed home the spot kick.
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson, Jenkins, Woods
(Richardson 12), Whelan, Alsford, Bennett (Jones 87), Priest,
Murphy, Flitcroft, Fisher (Thomas 90).
Referee: John Brandwood (Lichfield).
Two saves from Ronnie Sinclair denied
Partridge and White and kept the Blues in the frame up to the break.
John Murphy almost made it three 15 minutes from time but his diving
header, which was heading for the corner, was brilliantly saved by
the Cardiff keeper Hallworth. This win moves Chester up to 7th place
one point behind the leaders.
13 September 1997
Chester City 2 Shrewsbury Town 0
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson,
Jenkins, Woods (Richardson 58), Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Priest,
McDonald (Murphy 69), Flitcroft, Fisher. Sub not used: Thomas.
Shrewsbury Town: Edwards, Taylor (Seabury 79), Dempsey, Scott, Herbert,
Wilding, Brown (Currie 66), Ward, Steele, Evans, Berkley. Sub not used:
Referee: Alan Butler (Sutton-in-Ashfield).
Once again it was that man Gary Bennett who did
the damage, scoring both goals as City overcame the swirling wind
for a hard fought win. The Shrews twice went close in the opening
stages while City's defenders found their feet. The Blues' best
chance fell to Rod McDonald who had a superb game leading the line,
and looks to be forging a strong partnership with Gary Bennett.
McDonald headed over the bar on 18 minutes but soon after City
opened their account with Bennett heading home while on
his knees after fine approach work from Jenkins and Flitcroft.
Bennett and Flitcroft both missed great chances
to increase the lead before the interval. After the break and with
the wind behind them, Shrewsbury only really threatened on one occasion
with a Mark Dempsey free kick, that just flew over the bar. Chester
secured the points with a killer goal on the break, Neil Fisher's
cross being headed home by Benno. City were now running the game,
and, but for a couple of superb saves by Paul Edwards in the Shrews
goal may have doubled their tally.
5 September 1997
Chester City 1 Hull City 0
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson,
Jenkins, Woods, Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Priest, McDonald (Thomas
76), Flitcroft (Richardson 86), Fisher, sub Murphy.
Hull City: Thomson, Trevitt (Brown 80), Rioch,
Wright, Brien, Dewhurst, Joyce, Peacock, Darby, Hateley, Mann
(Doncel 66), sub Wilson.
Referee: Trevor Jones (Barrow-in-Furness).
A goal from Gary Bennett, and set up by Rod McDonald,
just before half time was enough to give Chester the points in
this Friday night encounter. This was a much improved attacking
display from City, though defensively they were still shaky at
the back. This time it was the turn of Julian Alsford to have one
of those games he'd want to forget in a hurry. Mark Hateley and
Duane Darby were giving the defence the run-around in the early
stages, with Ronnie Sinclair coming to City's the rescue on several
occasions, with one particularly good save to deny Darby.
Rod McDonald also had a couple of efforts but
shot tamely at keeper Thompson. Hateley wasted a golden opportunity
when he was put through one on one, shooting over the bar.
After the break Chester took control. Bennett
had a couple of chances and McDonald went close with a 30-yard chip.
But City's best chance of adding a second went to Chris Priest right
at the death.
2 September 1997
Scunthorpe United 2 Chester City 1
Scunthorpe United: Clarke, Walsh,
McAuley, Sertori, Housham, Hope, Walker, D'Auria. Regis, Forrester
(Eyre 70), Calvo Garcia, subs McNeil, Shakespear.
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson, Jenkins, Fisher
(Thomas 87), Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Richardson (Woods 62),
McDonald (Murphy 80), Flitcroft, Priest.
Referee: Brian Coddington (Sheffield)
At the end of the match Benno and Jenkins
applauded the travelling faithful for their support but the fans
had churlishly turned their backs and were slouching out of Glanford
Park. The outside speakers were playing Always Look On
The Bright Side Of Life making us feel even more miserable.
Had we taken a point home and we should have done it
would have been so different. Now the pressure is beginning to
pile up for a win against Hull.
The pattern of the game was similar to Barnet three days before. For
the first ten minutes Scunthorpe were buzzing round the edge of the box
and with the defence all over the place we prepared ourselves for the
worst. But steadily City got to grips with the game and pushed play back
to the half way line. A couple of forays into attack followed. Then just
as two bored City fans began to strike up another turgid rendition of " Stand
up if you hate Wrexham", Flicker whanged the ball over from deep
on the right wing and there was Benno, lurking in the darkness at the
far post to send in a perfect looping header and City were ahead.
It was a lead they held without much trouble till half time. After the
break they threatened to go further ahead with McDonald and Bennett combining
quite well without ever making that final telling pass. Fisher and Priest
left the ball for each other on the edge of the box no-one seemed
to want to have a dig. At the other end Scunthorpe looked to have equalised
when Cavo Garcia broke free and crossed perfectly Ronnie made
a world class save from the ensuing header. The game was still remarkable
open going from one end to the other. Fatefully as twenty minutes were
left, we began to think well, we night win this, but then look
what happened at Barnet. Then what happened at Barnet happened at Scunthorpe
too. Regis (Cyrille's cousin) went down like a sack of potatoes on the
edge of the box of the penalty area with the diminutive Fisher, who hardly
ever makes a tackle anyway standing, arms akimbo, unable to believe the
referee's quick decision.
Ronnie, agonisingly touched the kick but couldn't prevent the goal. From
the kick off City had not improved their hoof-it routine. Worse was to
follow five minutes before the end, their number five went on a raking
run from the right (as he had done a few minutes before), dinked the
ball into Eyre who turned and hit a fierce low shot which seemed to go
in off Ronnie's body.
One thing, and one thing only cheered me up on the long drive home The
Radio 5 comment that Wrexham who had been 3-0 up had lost
4-3 to Blackpool.