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WHAT HAPPENED TO...

Matt Woods, a former Everton trainee, was signed by Kevin Ratcliffe in 1996 and made his City debut, as a substitute in a Coca Cola Cup game at Carlisle United. Playing as a central defender Matt made his full debut at Scarborough in October and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 home win over Brighton.

Also capable of playing in midfield Matt established himself as a regular in the heart of the City defence towards the end of the 1997/98 season. Over the next two campaigns Gosport born Matt was a virtual ever-present for Chester and was particularly effective in 1998/99 when he forged a strong partnership with the current Scunthorpe United skipper Andy Crosby. Following relegation to the Conference Matt continued to feature regularly in the side and even had a successful stint at centre forward when he scored three goals in successive games against Telford, Boston and Hayes.

The turmoil at the club during the summer of 2001 saw Matt released after more than 200 first team appearances and he signed for fellow Conference outfit Stalybridge Celtic. After only a season at the Bower Fold, Matt joined Rossendale United of the Unibond League Division One and finished the 2002/03 season at Colne.

In summer 2003 Matt briefly returned to Stalybridge before bouncing back to Rossendale in October. By 2004/05 Matt was at Chorley but continued his nomadic career in the north-west by signing for Darwen in September 2005. Next port of call was another North West Counties league side, Padiham, where he remained until March 2008 when he re-signed for Darwen and scored on his debut against Norton United.

Paul Tait is another former Everton trainee who was Keith Curle’s final signing in February 2006. The ex-Crewe and Bristol Rovers striker joined City on a short term contract from Rochdale and had a useful debut in the home game against Stockport County. However, the appointment of Mark Wright as manager saw Paul relegated to the substitutes bench as Jake Edwards was brought in from Exeter City.

At the end of the season Paul signed for Boston United but his stay there was brief and after a loan spell at Southport in November he signed for the Sandgrounders permanently in January. The Newcastle born forward scored two goals in fourteen games for Southport but was released during the summer, following the Conference side’s relegation, and signed for Northwich Victoria. Paul had previously scored 65 goals for Vics between 1995 and 1999 but was unable to repeat the golden touch second time around.

At the turn of 2008 a dispute with manager Dino Maamria saw the big Geordie fall out of favour at Northwich and in March he signed for Barrow on a non-contract basis. The Blue Square North team, managed by former City defender Dave Bayliss, also include ex-Blue Lee Woodyatt in their squad.

Experienced defender Paul Ellender was signed on loan from Boston United by Mark Wright in February 2006. The Scunthorpe born England semi-professional player made his debut alongside Mark Albrighton in the 1-0 defeat at Grimsby Town. Paul, who started his career as a junior with Scunthorpe United, had a wealth of experience in non-league football with Scarborough, Gainsborough Trinity and Altrincham.

He joined Boston United in 2001 and was a member of their team that won promotion to the Football League in 2002. After five games for City Paul was recalled by Boston and was not only restored to their side but also appointed captain. In 2006/07 he was a virtual ever-present for the Pilgrims and played in midfield and up-front as well as in the centre of defence.

Despite some inspirational performances for Boston he could not prevent their relegation to the Blue Square Premier League and when they were demoted down to the Blue Square North he was one of the few players to remain with the squad. Paul, who was Boston’s record signing from Scarborough, has now made more than 250 appearances for the Lincolnshire side.

Chas Sumner [Published 29/4/08] | Pictures © Evening Leader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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