| 31 December
Saturday’s friendly match
with East Fife at The Deva is off as the waterlogged pitch
still hasn’t recovered from last Sunday’s league game
with Scunthorpe. With storms and more rain predicted in
the next few days, City had no option but to call off
the fixture. Meanwhile a Chester X1 lost 2-0 in yesterday’s
friendly with Manchester City reserves.
30 December 1997
MURPHY ON COMEBACK TRAIL
||Striker John Murphy, whose
career has been plagued by a knee injury, made
yet another comeback today. He played in a game
against Manchester City reserves. Matt Woods,
Wayne Brown and Neil Fisher were also involved
in the match.
29 December 1997
CITY LOOK EAST
With no Nationwide League fixture
this Saturday, City have confirmed that they will play
Scottish second division side East Fife in a friendly
at the Deva Stadium. The match kick’s-off at 15:00hrs
and admission will be £5.00 adults, £1.00
CHRISTMAS DOUBLE WAS LONG TIME COMING
Last weeks back-to-back victories over Hull and
Scunthorpe brought a Christmas double not often seen at City. Not since
the 1980/81 season have the Blues taken maximum points over the festive
period. Then, goals from Keith Fear, Steve Ludlam and Terry Cooke gave
us a 3-2 victory at Blackpool on Boxing Day, with Cooke and Fear scoring
again 24 hours later in the 2-1 victory over Chesterfield at Sealand Road.
22 December 1997
BLANK DAY FOR BLUES?
It looks as though Chester will be without a League
game on January 3rd. City’s original opponents, Cardiff City, are involved
in the third round of the FA Cup as are Leyton Orient’s League opponents
that day Scunthorpe United. The Blues wanted to bring forward their fixture
at the Deva which is scheduled for Tuesday March 3. There has been talk
of a friendly game at the Deva against Scottish opponents East Fife!
18 December 1997
DUO BACK IN SQUAD
||Both Gary Bennett and Matty Woods (left)
have been included in the City squad for tomorrow’s League
game at Colchester. Both came through last night’s reserve
match with Scarborough at a snow covered Deva which City drew 1-1,
scored City’s goal. Midfielder Neil Fisher is rated at only
50-50 for the game as he is struggling with an old thigh injury.
City manager Kevin Ratcliffe has set the Blues a minimum target
of 70 points. That’s 12 wins from the remaining 24 games.
Meanwhile there is encouraging news on midfielder Shaun Reid who saw a specialist
yesterday and declared: “He’s told me outright that I’ll be
playing again before the end of the season I should get a few games in.” That’s
just the news all City fans have been waiting for.
16 December 1997
GIVING THE YOUNGSTERS A CHANCE
Kevin Ratcliffe is using tomorrow
night’s home reserve game with Scarborough to take
a look at a few of City’s new breed of promising
youngsters. Andy Shelton, Scott Thompson, Scott Williams
and Darren Wright should be getting a run out along with
Matt Woods and Gary Bennett who are out to prove their
fitness before Friday’s trip to Colchester.
15 December 1997
RATCLIFFE CLEARED BY FA
The Football Association will not be
taking any further action against manager Kevin Ratcliffe after
claims he ’racially abused’ former trainee James Hussaney.
BACK IN CONTENTION
City players Gary Bennett and Gary Shelton
have shaken on the effects of flu and are in contention for places
at Colchester this Friday night. Matt Woods, who played for the
Reserves last week, is also fighting for a place on the bench following
his long lay-off through injury.
12 December 1997
BACK TO LEAGUE ACTION
It’s back to League action as City
take on Darlington tomorrow at the Deva looking to improve on their
current form following three successive defeats. An embarrassing
1-2 reverse in their last League game at bottom club Doncaster
Rovers was followed by cup defeats at the hands of Wrexham and
The flu bug which has affected several first
team players seems to have now passed by with only Gary Bennett
still suffering. City will be without midfielder Chris Priest
as he beginning a three match ban tomorrow after picking up his
fifth yellow card against Swansea City. Gary Shelton may be in
line for a recall or Neil Fisher may switch to his more customary
Although near the bottom, Darlington still
like to play passing football and tomorrow’s game will be a stern
test for City.
If you’re going to the match please feel
free to send in a report.
9 December 1997
MATT ON COMEBACK TRAIL
Defender Matt Woods makes a
welcomed comeback tonight playing for the City reserves
in a re-arranged match at Wigan Athletic. He’s expected
to play 45 minutes of the game. The versatile defender
can play in defence or in midfield, has been out for three
months with a knee ligament injury, suffered in the Blues’
win at Cardiff City.
8 December 1997
CITY LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK
Chester City travel to Scunthorpe
United tomorrow for their first round match in the Auto
Windscreens Shield. The Blues will be looking to bounce
back following Friday’s FA Cup disappointment at the hands
of Wrexham. No injuries were reported from the game, though
a flu bug is sweeping through the club. I’d expect the
manager to rest several players for this one, before City
take on Darlington at the Deva on Saturday.
TROUBLE IN CITY CENTRE
Police made 34 arrests following
trouble before and after Friday night’s match, including
12 for affray after fighting broke out before the game
in Watergate Street.
Sgt Keith Sutton, of Chester police, said there had been
several isolated incidents both before, during and after
the game. He explained that many Wrexham fans had been
dropped off in Handbridge and made their way into town
via The Groves. At one stage police had been aware of
a group of 200 supporters walking along Pepper Street
and up Bridge Street. The group split up into smaller
groups with some going down Watergate Street and other
making their way up Northgate Street and down past the
Princess Street bus exchange.
“It was a case of the match being spoilt by the
minority,” he said. “It is always the minority
that cause the problems the majority of groups
2 December 1997
PROTECTING THEIR INVESTMENT
Chester City and Wrexham are
looking into the prospect of jointly financing a pitch
cover to help ensure Friday night’s FA Cup clash goes
ahead. Weather forecasts for the end of the week aren’t
promising, there may even be a postponement, and with
both clubs set to receive £75,000 from television
rights it makes sense to get together and share costs.
CITY AT DONCASTER TONIGHT
Chester will be looking to
pick up maximum points at struggling Doncaster tonight
(weather permitting). Belle Vue is one of the Blues happier
hunting grounds with victories there on our last four
visits. Donny manager Danny Bergara will not be there
tonight though, he’s had enough of the fans demonstrations
and will be watching another game instead. Former City
player Ian Helliwell is currently in the Doncaster squad
and looks set to play tonight.
Chester City (from): Brown, Jenkins, Fisher, Richardson,
Whelan, Alsford, Bennett, Priest, Rimmer, Flitcroft, Thomas,
McDonald, Davidson, Jones, Shelton.
Doncaster Rovers (from): Davis, Sanders, Smith, Cunningham,
Brookes, Gore, Mike, Ireland, Dobbin, Helliwell, Moncrieffe,
McDonald, Pell, Hilton.
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