|28 February 1998
Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Chester City 2
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ormerod,
Smith, Tuck, Linger, Hobson, Johnson, Storer, mayo,
Westcott, Ansah, Narner. Subs not used: Barker, Saul,
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson, Fisher (Thomas
66), Richardson, Whelan, Alsford, Flitcroft, Priest, Rimmer
(Bennett 66), Murphy, Woods. Sub not used: McDonald.
Referee: Mr P.Danson.
Another three points thrown away
by City that leaves them now lying in tenth spot
in the division. Nick Richardson returned to the
side following his thigh injury replacing Rod McDonald,
Neil Fisher came in for Martin Giles at full back
and Dave Flitcroft returned at the expense of Rod
Thomas. Thomas started on the bench with Matt Woods
on the left side of midfield not the most
attack minded option available!
The 'Yellows' (looks like the green
kit still isn't back from the laundry!) started brightly
and took the lead on eight minuted through Dave Flitcroft.
John Murphy's low cross from the left was dummied
by Stuart Rimmer to allow Flitcroft to side foot
the ball home from fifteen yards, he celebrated by
doing a somersault into the net and nearly getting
stuck in it!
Ten minutes later it seemed that
we had doubled our lead. Flitcroft's corner went
over everyone (nothing new there!), Alsford picked
the ball up at the back post and miscued a high centre
back into the box. Spenner headed against the post
and Rimmer bundled the ball home. The referee ruled
the goal out however, for either offside or the ball
crossing the byline from Alsford's cross.
The Seagulls hadn't really threatened
until Spenner lost the ball on the half way line
to Ansah on 30 minutes. He played the ball to Westcott
whose cross was driven home by Mayo from the edge
of the box leaving Ronnie Sinclair no chance. The
goal spurred on the home side no doubt putting that
bit extra in to impress new manager Brian Horton.
Just before the break Brighton took the lead. Linger
found Storer who was given acres of space on the
left and his cross as dispatched home by Ansah from
ten yards out.
No changes made for the second
half which saw City playing with a swirling wind
behind them. Flitcroft went close to the equaliser
when his angled drive from about eighteen yards flashed
by the far post, before Albion added the third on
Storer broke down the right and
left Julian Alsford struggling for pace. His cross
eluded Ansah and fell to Mayo to crash home his second
goal from the edge of the box.
The City bench were at last stirred
into action. Bennett and Thomas replaced Rimmer and
Fisher with Matt Woods dropping to left back. Thomas
proved a handful for the home defence and helped
set up a storming finish. John Murphy pulled a goal
back on 78 minutes, scoring with a right footed shot.
Scramble followed scramble in the Albion box as City
finally realised that at least a point was there
for the taking. Murphy did get the ball in the net,
but his goal, two minutes form time was ruled out
for an infringement.
Once again City have put the
pressure back on themselves. Next up on Tuesday night
are Leyton Orient, lying just one place behind us in
the league. Nothing but three points will do, otherwise
we'll soon be stuck in mid-table and out of touch.
28 February 1998 Lancashire
League Division Two
Chester City A 3 Carlisle United B 1
Chester City: Conkie, Moss,
Whitehead, Carson (Blackburn 66), Dobson, Pendleton, (Lancaster
56), Lloyd, Shelton; Rendell (Kilgannon 56), Wright, Williams.
Chester took the points in a comfortable 3-1
win over Carlisle in a game continuously interrupted by ferocious
hail showers. City dominated the opening exchanges but failed
to conjure up the opening goal, despite Carl Rendell, Scott Williams
and Ryan Dobson firing wide and Darren Wright's shot flashing
David Pendleton fired Chester into the lead
after 33 minutes with his low shot into the bottom right hand
The Blues extended their lead just two minutes
later but through the goal mouth scramble it was difficult to
see who had the final touch. Dobson claimed it as his and no
one would argue with that. United pulled a goal back 11 minutes
into the second half but Scott Williams sealed the victory with
a coolly taken penalty on 77 minutes.
But it was a patchy display by City who started
well and finished comfortably.
Stephen Whitehead and Dobson were strong
at the back but Chester lacked penetration up front as Darren Wright
and Carl Rendell both sought to regain form following illness and
Kim Fair, Evening Leader
24 February 1998
Chester City 1 Torquay United 3
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson,
Giles (Fisher 45), Woods, Whelan, Alsford, Thomas, Priest, Rimmer
(Bennett 72), Murphy, McDonald (Flitcroft 67).
Torquay United: Veysey, Gibbs, Gurney, Robinson,
Gittens, Watson, Clayton, Hill, Jack, Roberts, Leadbitter.
Subs not used: Mitchell, Hapgood, Bedeau.
Referee: Mr M S Pike (Barrow).
The pace of Rodney Jack and the power of Jason
Roberts, on loan from Wolves were too much for second best City.
Right from the off Torquay players were first to the ball and
stronger too. City were just not allowed to get going and it
was beginning to look ominous by the time Jack drove in a wicked
cross from the right and full-back Gurney powered his header
in from four yards. That was on thirteen minutes and then twenty
minutes later. Jack and Roberts sprung City's offside trap to
leave Roberts well in the clear and he scored with ease.
In contrast, at the other end Rimmer with
a rare one on one chance showed a lack of composure and
his hesitation meant his goal attempt was smothered by their
Giles, who'd had a torrid time against Jack,
but was not disgraced was replaced by Fisher at half-time. Fish
ran out with the rest of the team at the start of the second
half but a pedantic referee made him run all the way back again
to hold hands with the linesman before he was allowed to take
up his starting position. Strangely the ref was not as fussy
when it came to players being treated on the pitch, allowing
plenty of time to elapse whilst play was held up to treat injuries.
City got the perfect start to the second half
when Woods' shot from distance took a cruel deflection and wrong
footed the Torquay keeper. But City were unable to capitalise
and the visitors maintained their tough tackling, hard working
no-nonsense approach. They wer happy to launch the ball upfield
as soon as possible because the speed and skill of their two
forwards made mediocre passes into good ones.
Eight minutes from time Jack caught Spenner
in two minds and whipped the ball away from him to run clear
through on goal. Ronnie had no chance with his clinical finish.
Neil Turner on Merseyside thought Torquay
the best side at the Deva this season. Ratcliffe too acknowledged
their hard work and attitude but was clearly disappointed with
City's defending. "We are so naive. We don't talk to one
21 February 1998
Chester City 4 Rotherham United 0
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson
(Fisher 83), Giles, Woods, Whelan, Alsford, Thomas, Priest, Rimmer
(Bennett 77), Murphy, McDonald. Sub not used: G.Shelton.
Rotherham United: Mimms, Richardson (Dillon
53), Clark, Poric (Thompson 84), Monington, Knill, Berry, Garner,
White (Druce 75), Glover, Roscoe.
Referee: J.Robinson (Hull).
Spencer Whelan returned to the City side following
his injury in the Sherwsbury match. Manager Kevin Ratcliffe started
once again with John Murphy leading the line and Gary Bennett
on the bench.
Millers 'keeper Bobby Mimms was first into
the action rushing out to deny Stuart Rimmer after the City striker
had been put through by Chris Priest. Minutes later Roscoe entered
the referee's book following a clumsy tackle on Rod Thomas who
was weaving his magic on the right wing. Rimmer and McDonald
combined well to set up Chris Priest whose shot from the edge
of the box was deflected over the bar. Whelan headed over from
Martin Giles's resulting corner.
Chris Priest picked up a booking from a very
fussy referee, for a challenge on Poric. It was Poric who had
the visitors' first effort on goal with a long range shot on
the half hour that Ronnie Sinclair had well covered saving low
The game burst into life at the start of the
second half with the Blues taking the lead through a superb flick
header by John Murphy following a fine right wing cross by Ross
Davidson, having another good game for City. Just two minutes
later City doubled the lead with Julian Alsford scoring from
close range, his shot squirming under the body of Bobby Mimms
who tried to claw the ball back from well over the goal line.
he couldn't fool the linesman though who awarded the goal.
City's third goal came on 70 minutes and followed
the sending off of Andy Roscoe. City were awarded an indirect
free kick in the penalty box to the right of the goal following
a challenge on Ross Davidson. Roscoe stood over the ball, preventing
a quick kick and was spoken to by the referee. He then continued
arguing despite being dragged back by his own players and was
duly awarded a red card, much to the delight of the home pans
behind the goal. The kick was eventually squared for Priest whose
shot hit the net via both posts!
City were now rampant, and eight minutes Murphy
and Thomas later broke down the right wing again. This time Bobby
Mimms came rushing out of his goal and dropped on the ball yards
outside of his box as Rod Thomas attempted to round him. Like
the law or not, Mimms had to go for a professional foul though
he argued the point with the referee before handing his keepers
shirt over. City's fourth came minutes later with a simple tap
in for Chris Priest after good work from John Murphy who laid
on the cross.
The Blues had chances to notch a fifth. Most
notable through Gary Bennett, on for Stuart Rimmer, (who ran
his legs off all game again). Benno's best chance came after
he rounded two defenders in the box then hammered a shot straight
at the makeshift keeper from six yards, nearly knocking him into
the net. Bennett had another chance which he screwed into the
side netting and Chris Priest had a dipping shot superbly tipped
over by the stand-in keeper.
City's next game is at home on Tuesday against
another of their promotion rivals Torquay United. Dave Flitcroft
is back from suspension but it's difficult how he'd get back
in the side. Rod Thomas clearly offers more playing on the right
wing as was all to evident here. The only change may see Bennett
coming back at the expense of Rod McDonald who had another quiet
game on Saturday.
Spenner, who was named sponsors Man of the
Match. picked up another booking and now faces a two match ban
14 February 1998
Hartlepool United 0 Chester City 0
Hartlepool United: Hollund,
Knowles, Lucas, Barron, Davies, Bradley, Clark, Beech, Pederson,
Connor (Orvine 71), Howard. Subs not used McDonald, Hutt.
Chester City: Sinclair, Davidson, Giles, Richardson,
Woods, Alsford, G.Shelton, Priest, Rimmer, Murphy, McDonald.
Sub not used: Thomas, Fisher, Jones.
Referee: E.Wolstenholme (Blackburn).
Manager Kevin Ratcliffe made four changes as
City had to battle hard for a point against yet another team
we should really beat if we are to harbor serious intentions
of promotion. In came Gary Shelton, John Murphy, Rod McDonald
and Ross Davidson (just four weeks after his cartilage operation).
Out of form striker Gary Bennett was dropped and didn't even
make the bench, and, with Iain Jenkins still suffering a back
injury, Julian Alsford was promoted to team captain for the day.
Playing into the swirling wind in the first
45 made life difficult at times for City, but it was John Murphy
who forced the first save of the game after a quarter of an hour.
The big striker also missed to chances following fine crosses
from Priest and Davidson.
Pool had the better of the first half and once
again Ronnie Sinclair produced the goods in goal to keep out
Knowles' volley. The home sides best chance fell to Jan Ove Pedersen,
who hit his shot into the side netting on the stroke of half
After the break Gary Shelton had a shot cleared
off the line by Lucas before an amazing incident occurred as
home manager Mick Tait rushed onto the field to confront Ross
Davidson after the defender had kicked out at Clark following
a clumsy challenge. The resulting fracas involved several players
and Ratcliffe managed to calm things down. Davidson got a yellow
card for his troubles, whilst Tait got away with a verbal warning
from an over-lenient referee.
Both sides had chances to win the game in the
closing stages. Chris Priest went close with a long range effort
and that man Davidson hit the post.
As is the norm away from home now, City
played in last season's yellow shirts (a much better strip than
the awful green which thankfully appears to have disappeared) with
Hartlepool United's reserve kit sky blue shorts! Following on from
the embarrassing shambles of having to wear Notts County's reserve
kit at Meadow Lane, is it asking too much to have a proper second
strip as most professional clubs would!
7 February 1998 Lancashire
League Division Two
Tranmere Rovers B 1 Chester City A 1
Chester City: Conkie, Pendleton, Warrington,
Carson, Thompson, Lancaster, Moss, A.Shelton, Patterson (Doughty
60), Rendell (Blackburn 70), Williams.
Centre of Excellence substitute Chris Blackburn
earned Chester's A Team a well deserved point for the second
week running with his last minute strike at Tranmere Rovers.
Despite the waterlogged pitch City took control,
but were surprised to find themselves a goal down after Tranmere's
first corner on 19 minutes resulted in a disputed own goal.
On 23 minutes, Carl Rendell's snap shot was
smartly turned away. City's justifiable penalty claims were dismissed
on 56 minutes and the corner which followed was headed over by
Scott Thompson. Craig Warrington's clever chip from 25 yards
was tipped over by the Rovers keeper and at the opposite end
of the pitch Martyn Lancaster cleared off his line to deny the
hosts a second.
In the 82nd minute David Pendleton's header
was touched over and Scott Thompson shot tamely into the keeper's
Tranmere thought the points were in the
bag but Chester's persistence was rewarded when super sub Blackburn's
left footed strike hit the top corner of the net. This was Chester's
third consecutive impressive result and they will be looking to
extend their excellent run when they fact Blackpool at home next
Kim Fair, Evening Leader
7 February 1998
Chester City 0 Mansfield Town 1
Chester City: Sinclair, Jenkins,
Giles, Richardson, Woods, Alsford, Bennett (Murphy 60), Priest,
Rimmer, Flitcroft, Thomas (McDonald 71). Sub not used: Jones.
Mansfield Town: Bowling, Clarke, Harper, Peters,
Eustace, Ford, Schofield, Sedgemore, Christie, Whitehall, Tallon.
Subs not used Kerr, Hutchinson, Milner.
Referee: G.Frankland (Middlesbrough).
Chester had only themselves to blame for surrendering
three much-needed points to a decidedly average Mansfield outfit.
The Blues failed to stamp their authority on a scrappy first half as
midfield passes went horribly astray, while the forward line of Bennett
and Rimmer were denied the ball by Mansfield's resolute defence.
Sinclair was the busier keeper in the first 45 minutes, but his goal
was never seriously threatened by the Stags' equally ineffective strikers.
The deadlock was only broken when Sinclair was unlucky to fell Steve
Whitehall in the area in the 55th minute and the former Rochdale marksman
sent the keeper the wrong way.
John Murphy replaced Bennett five minutes after the goal, but it was
only in the final five minutes that the Blues threatened to salvage anything.
Rod MacDonald on for Road Thomas made a nuisance of himself
down the wing and his efforts guided the ball to Rimmer, who was unfortunate
to see his shot deflect off a Stags defender onto the top of the bar.
And minutes later Harper was well positioned on the Mansfield goal line
to clear a Rimmer header that Murphy played a large part in setting up.
But a draw was too much City could hope for after too many Blue-shirted
players most notably Priest and Jenkins had an off day.