28 February 2004
Woking 1 Chester City 2
Attendance: 2,554 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Smith, Carden.
Woking: Bayes, Boardman, Townsend (Haule 89), MacDonald,
Murray, Canham, Cockerill, Smith, Ferguson, Foyewa, Giles. Subs not used:
Johnson, Sharp, Northmore, Oliver.
Chester City: Turner, Smith (Twiss 67), Heard,
Bolland, Guyett, McIntyre, Collins, Williams, Clare, Stamp, Carden. Subs
not used: Davies, Rapley, Lane, Carey.
Referee: K.Stroud (Bournemouth).
wonderful late winner from super-sub Michael Twiss gives City their
first win at Kingfield and puts the Blues eight points clear at the
top. The shock scoreline the night before that saw Hereford United
put nine goals without reply past Dagenham & Redbridge had seen
the Blues close the gap on City to five points and Blues fans knew
a positive response in front of the SKY cameras was needed.
There was just one change from the week before
with Paul Carden returning from suspension to replace Shaun Carey
who took his seat on the bench. He, like most of the crowd, was
still probably settling in when the Blues fell a goal behind
on 55 seconds as Amos Foyewa (who ran City ragged at the Deva
last season) got goal-side of a statuesque Phil Bolland to set
up Steve Ferguson to score from close range to the delight of
the home fans behind the goal. Minutes later Foyewea was at it
again before City’s defence cleared their lines.
City weathered some more early Cards pressure
before settling in and creating some chances of their own forcing
a corner and free-kick in quick succession though McIntyre’s
near post efforts were easily dealt with. The Blues were having
a lot of possession without really testing Ashley Bayes in the
home goal as the game was fought out in midfield with Alex Smith
and Danny Williams having their work cut-out by their opposite
numbers Canham and Murray, both set up Darryn Stamp however with
chances that were missed.
On the stroke of half-time Stamp missed a glorious
chance as he shot over the bar from close-range after a surging
run down the right wing from Williams.
The Blues started the second half brightly
and Bayes came to the rescue again superbly pushing a Clare snap-shot
over the bar on 49 minutes, the resulting corner being cleared.
Ferguson had two quick shots in succession shooting wide of Turner’s
post on both occasions as the game move from end to end.
Midway through the half manager Mark Wright
made a surprise change bringing on Michael Twiss for midfielder
Alex Smith and seconds later he almost got his name on the score
sheet as, leaning back, he headed over McIntyre’s inswinging
corner for point-blank range.
Steve Ferguson was causing all sorts of trouble
for the City defence breaking away time and time again though
the backline of Collins, Guyett and Bolland did well to force
the striker to long range efforts.
On 78 minutes City got the equaliser their
second-half display deserved as Danny Collins rose unmarked at
the far post to head home another McIntyre corner. No sooner
had City's celebrations died down when Collins was in action
again at the other end blocking a shot from dangerman Foyewea.
Twiss forced another save from Bayes as his
strength and pace was causing all sorts of problems and with
four minutes remaining scored the wining. City broke quickly
from the back with Clare picking the ball up on half-way. He
slipped a pass forward to Twiss who beat two defenders before
unleashing an unstoppable left-foot thunderbolt past Bayes who
had no chance in the home goal.
A tense final few minutes followed as the home
side threw everything into an equaliser. There was the mother
of all scrambles in the City six-yard box that saw Danny Collins
clear for a corner from Ferguson, and substitute Davis Haule
shot wide from two yards when he seemed certain to score. Turner
saved a curling shot from Ferguson and Williams cleared his lines
as City’s defence held firm. It was on-loan Turner in the
City goal who had the last say in the result saving from a Gary
MacDonald header deep into injury time.
21 February 2004
Chester City 2 Dagenham & Redbridge
Attendance: 2,990 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Clare, Stamp.
Chester City: Turner, Collins, Bolland, Guyett, McIntyre,
Carey (Davies 73), Williams, Smith (Twiss 73), Heard, Stamp, Clare. Subs
not used: Rapley, Harris, Lane.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Roberts, Mustafa, Cole,
Vickers, Bruce, Janney, Hill (L.Piper 75), Shipp, J.Jackson (Braithwaite
68), Moore (Kimble 79), K.Jackson. Subs not used: Baruwa, Rees, Lenny.
Referee: M.Matadar (Blackburn).
the second match in succession City left it very late to secure all three
points. Last time against Farnborough Town it took an 88th minute strike
from Daryl Clare, this time it was deep into injury time when Darryn Stamp’s
goal almost took the roof off the home end. Manager Mark Wright gave a
debut to loan signing Danny Williams – replacing Ben Davies from
the side that started the last game.
It was the visitors who had the first real
chance of the game as a mistake from Jamie Heard let in Jimmy
Jackson but Iain Turner spread himself in goal and made a
confidence-boosting save with his legs to deflect the ball
out for a corner that was dealt with by Phil Bolland (who
had an excellent game all afternoon).
Minutes later Heard was in action at the
other end this time crossing for Clare to half-volley a shot
straight at Roberts. It wasn’t long though before Clare
had another chance to beat the ex-QPR ‘keeper. Alex
Smith was brought down by Roberts in the box (no card given)
and referee Matadar immediately pointed to the spot. Despite
a couple of spot-kick misses recently, Clare grabbed the
ball and dispatched it into the bottom left corner, sending
Roberts the wrong way.
Clare was booked for dissent midway through
the half before the visitors created a couple of chances
for themselves and missed a guilt-edged chance when two attackers
got in each others two yards out way after a far post cross
had eluded Turner.
Darryn Stamp missed two chances himself
as the half drew to a close, he should have done better than
fail to force Roberts into a save, firing high and wide on
Janney has the first shot for Dagenham after the break after
being set up by Chris Moore, while minutes later at the other
end Roberts saved from Stamp’s close range effort.
The striker saw two more efforts saved by Roberts who also
denied a debut goal for Williams turning the midfielders
effort round the post.
On 67 minutes Daggers manager Gary Hill
brought on Leon Braithwaite with immediate effect. The pacy
ex-Margate striker had only been on the field three minutes
before he headed home unmarked at the far post from a Chris
Moore cross after he’d intercepted Shaun Carey’s
wayward crossfield pass.
Carey and Smith were immediately replaced
with Ben Davies and Michael Twiss as City looked to breakdown
a well organised defence. Twiss saw plenty of the ball and
was causing all sorts of problems with his surging runs down
the City left. Stamp had another shot charged down while
Roberts did well to clear a dangerous inswinging McIntyre
As the game entered the final minutes City
pressed for the winner. Daryl Clare saw a point-blank snap-shot
saved by Roberts in a goalmouth frenzy, another effort just
evaded Clare at the post and was cleared off the line, and
Ashley Vickers was relieved to see an attempted clearance
from a Twiss cross rebound away off the crossbar.
City had a headed goal disallowed before
the killer blow was dealt in the 93rd minute. Kevin McIntyre
chased a through ball down the left before being challenged,
the loose ball was picked up by Twiss who raced down the wing,
he beat two defenders then lost the ball in a challenge before
winning it back, he cut-into the edge of the box and drew Roberts
out before smartly pulling the ball back for Stamp to score
into an unguarded net from eight yards out right in front of
the delirious home fans.
7 February 2004
Chester City 3 Farnborough Town
Attendance: 2,665 Half Time 2-0
Chester City: Turner, Bolland, Guyett, Smith (Twiss
70), Heard, Davies, McIntyre, Collins, Carey, Clare, Stamp. Subs not used:
Rapley, Harris, Foster, Ruffer.
Farnborough Town: Osborn, Martin (Christou 89),
Opinel, Thompson (Manuella 59), Burton, Hayes, Hodgson, Toms (Sombili 80),
Forinton, Chaaban, Doudou. Subs not used: Charlery, Ashwood.
Referee: A.Green (Leicester).
took a wonder strike from Daryl Clare to win the points for City who made
hard work for themselves after dominating the opening period.
The Blues completed their fourth double
of the season but not before it looked as though two points
were slipping away after another second-half lapse in concentration.
The Blues welcomed debutant Iain Turner
in goal and there was a recall in midfield, with Paul Carden
suspended, for Ben Davies, starting his first game for
City since the home defeat to Stevenage Borough in mid-December.
A heavy downpour before the match and
strong wind greeted the start of the game which got off
to a dream start with a City goal inside 45 seconds. Hesitancy
on the Farnborough left let in Daryl Clare whose inch perfect
cross was met by strike partner Darryn Stamp in the middle
to slot home past Osborn. Minutes later Turner was called
into action for the first time as he rushed out to save
low down at the feet of Doudou.
City continued to press and could have
doubled their lead when Stamp headed over the bar from
a Jamie Heard cross from 18 yards. The second goal duly
came ten minutes later as Stamp returned the earlier favour
from Clare knocking on a Scott Guyett cross to set up Daryl
for his 18th goal of the season.
It was all one-way traffic at this point.
Stamp again headed over when well placed and Kevin McIntyre
and Davies saw efforts blocked by the over-worked Osborn.
Just before the break it was Stamp again with a headed
chance this time seeing his effort hit the crossbar from
another Heard cross.
Clare was in the action again at the
start of the second half shooting straight at Osborn from
18 yards before the visitors pulled a goal back out of
the blue. Turner had to be alert to save from Forrington
before Alex Smith was adjudged to have fouled Sacha Opinel.
The resulting free-kick was hoisted into the box by Richard
Hodgson from the right. City’s defence were slow
to react as Nick Burton nipped in to reduce the arrears.
Not for the first time in recent weeks,
as soon as City concede a goal the whole defence looks
shaky and appear to panic. Against Gravesend, Leigh and
Forest Green Rovers in recent weeks when one goal went
in another soon followed, and this was the same again on
City forced a succession of corners but
the action was switching to the other end as Burton missed
a glorious chance, shooting wide from six yards, before
the equaliser came on 67 minutes as Hodgson stole in to
score from six yards with City’s defence watching.
Manager Mark Wright made an immediate substitution bringing
on Michael Twiss for Alex Smith to add some urgency to
Twiss has an immediate impact and
his run and cross saw Heard bring out a fine save from Osborn.
McIntyre saw a shot saved as it began to look like City would
have to make do with just one point. However, with two minutes
remaining, Daryl Clare turned on a sixpence on the edge of
the box and unleashed a wonderful shot (wind assisted!) to
win the game and save City’s blushes.