Saturday 26 January 2002
Rotherham United Youth 3 Chester
City Youth 0
Football League Youth Alliance
Chester City: Louie Mackin, Trialist (Scott Bagnall), Paul Connolley,
James Dean, Tom Coulson (Matt Cooke), Carl Rodgers, Trialist (Adam Hunter),
Kevin Towey, Adam Kelley, Lee Reece, Chris Hopwood.
The youth team went down 3-0 on a very wet Saturday morning to a powerful
Rotherham team. They trailed 2-0 at half time and conceded the third late
on in the second half, but had several chances at crucial times in the
game which they failed to take.
22 January 2002
Telford United 0 Chester City 3
Attendance: 1,047 Half Time: 0-1
Telford United: Edwards, Woollscroft (Smith 63), Hanmer, Moore, Bentley,
Albrighton, Fitzpatrick, Jobling, Palmer, Quayle (Martindale 79), Edwards
(Moore 72). Subs not used: King, Davies.
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt (Jenkins 82), Bolland, Lancaster, Carden,
Brabin, Porter, McGorry, Whittaker (Blackburn 82), Beesley, D.Brown. Subs
not used: Spink, M.Rose, Malkin.
Referee: G.Chapman (Stroud).
New Bucks Head was the venue for the latest chapter in the revival of the
New Improved Chester City. Brian McGorry, signed form Southport earlier
in the day made his debut for City here. He went straight into last Saturdays
line up in place of Blackburn, otherwise the side was the same as the one
which defeated Barnet.
Telford promised to be a tough nut to crack. Their
squad has been up for sale and Stephen Vaughan has put in bids for several
of them all rejected apart from Neil Moore who's agent couldnt
agree terms with Vaughan. The home fans chanted their low opinion of
our chairman but no doubt are more anxious about their own as his perhaps
over ambitious plans for stadium redevelopment seem to have ground to
a halt. No work seems to have taken place since the clubs last met here
in Spring of last year. The board room and dressing rooms are still portacabins,
the players having to clamber over the terracing to get to the pitch,
the only way in to the site is through the one entrance and involves
a tortuous walk round the outside of the ground to get to the away end.
The game was closely fought to begin with. Best chance
came to new signing Mark Quayle who hit his shot from just outside the
six yard area straight at Brown.
Brabin ferreted the ball out to Whittaker who cut in
from the left to cross to the far post. There was Woodyatt to send his
header looping over Edwards and into the back of the net.
City came under pressure from the home side before
the interval as Telford forced a number of corners. But there is a more
solid look about Citys defence these days. Brabin is no-nonsense;
Bolland is immense and lets nothing past and Lancaster and Brown are
visibly growing in confidence along side them.
Grateful to have our noses in front but expecting Telford
to throw the kitchen sink at us after the break, it only took two minutes
for City to double their lead. Brown held the ball up well and knocked
it back for Woodyatt who made the most sublime of forwards passes to
curl round the last defender and fall sweetly into Beesley's path. Bees
finished clinically and the Blues behind the goal were in raptures.
Chester were now rampant and Brown could easily have
added a third soon after his point blank header from Brabins knock
back was scrambled away by Edwards. Telford hit back and Brown did well
to parry Neil Moores stinging volley.
Beesley finished the contest on the night when he latched
on to Browns pull pack to crisply stroke the ball home for Citys
City fans applauded a great and much needed win. Mark
Wright (Now with blue socks instead of the old yellow and black Southport
ones) made sure the players acknowledged the crowd and then got on with
the job of warming the players down. Very much the feeling that, superb
though this result was, there is still work to do it City are to be sure
of staying up.
Lee Woodyatt, after scoring his first senior goal
for Chester said following the game: Playing at the back means I
dont score that many goals Ive only scored two goals
for the youth team in three years, so I'm just happy to get my first, and
hopefully I can get a few more. �I just remember getting my head to a cross
and seeing the ball fly over the keeper and into the net, it was a great
feeling. There were a few gibes in the dressing room about my celebration,
but I didnt know what to do, so I just ran off!
Saturday 19 January 2002
Chester City Youth 3 Shrewsbury Town
Football League Youth Alliance
Chester City: Louie Mackin, Tom Coulson, Paul Connolley, James Dean,
Adam Hunter (Tony Mclaughlin), Carl Rodgers, Matt Cooke (John Kearney),
Kevin Towey, Adam Kelley, Lee Reece, Chris Hopwood.
The youth team turned in a good performance at the weekend in difficult
weather conditions and also included four Centre of Excellence Under 16s
in the squad. Playing against a strong wind they found themselves a goal
behind after 15 minutes but managed to equalise through Lee Reece on 35
minutes. With the wind in their backs they dominated the second half. On
70 minutes Chris Hopwood pressurised the Shrewsbury keeper into an error
and Lee Reece crashed home the loose ball. Ten minutes later Chris Hopwood
rounded off a good team performance by breaking clear of the Shrewsbury
defence and lifting the ball over the advancing keeper.
Table as at 19/01/02
19 January 2002
Chester City 1 Barnet 0
Attendance: 1,421 Half Time: 0-0
Booked: Beesley, Porter.
Chester City: W.Brown, Lancaster, Brabin, Bolland, Woodyatt, Porter,
Carden, Blackburn, Whittaker (Haarhoff 90), Beesley, D.Brown. Subs not
used: Spink, Jenkins, Malkin, Jones.
Barnet: Nesnitt, Gledhill (Midgley 70), Arber, Heald, Flynn, Gower
(Darcy 63), Niven, Bell (Toms 67), Berkley, Purser, Strevens. Subs not
used: Harrison, Pluck.
Referee: L.Mason (Bolton).
expected, Wright picked a 3-5-2 formation but it was a surprise to
see Lancaster on and Jenkins dropped to the bench. Also unexpected
was the sight of Gary-Honey Monster-Brabin lining up at left back and
wearing the capain's armband for the first time. Brabin's aberration
of a throw in in the first minute back to Wayne Brown but into
the teeth of a gusty wind let in Purser for a chance at goal.
Martyn Lancaster threw himself into the tackle to retrieve the situation.
Barnet had the lion's share of the first half possession
and forced a number of corners. But City looked to have an extra dimension
going forward with Whittaker holding the ball up well down the left and
David Brown and Beesley at last beginning to show some understanding.
The closest either side came to scoring before the break was when Andy
Porter's volley from the edge of the area thudded against the inside
of the post but bounced back in to play and was hacked clear.
Referee Mr L Mason made some eccentric decisions and
began to irritate the home crowd. After giving two free kicks to Barnet
for innocuous challenges he then failed to give one when Beesley was
blatantly bundled off the ball and then booked Bees for protesting just
to add insult to injury. There could be no argument about his earlier
booking of Niven for up-ending David Brown. Porter grabbed the offender
by the scruff of the neck and several players joined the shoving around
which followed. Nothing much really but it made for a great photograph
on the front of the Non-League Newspaper.
At half time we were entertained by a penalty shoot
out amongst some schoolboys from Saighton. The penalty area was given
a good rolling after this (What has happened to the Deva pitch by the
way? It is absolutley ridden with bobble inducing divots lately). Just
as well as, fifteen minutes into the second half Andy Porter lined up
a crucial spot kick to give Chester the lead. It had been awarded when
Beesley went down in the box having rounded the keeper. Most of us thought
that the keeper had brought him down but it was No. 3 Flynn who was shown
the red card. Porter kept his nerve well as, first, Heald objected to
the placement of the ball on the spot and was booked for his pains and
then, as Porter started his run, the ball rolled slightly. But Andy made
no mistake as he smashed the ball in for the only goal of the game.
How there werent more goals is a bit of a mystery.
Chester found plenty of room going forward and might have had a hat full.
Carden sent a twenty five yard screamer against the bar it fell
to Blackburn who somehow contrived to put it wide though the keeper
was bearing down upon him. Keeper Naisbett had it even easier when Whittakers
dipping shot canoned off the bar and into his grateful grasp.
Whittaker was named man of the match and came off with
a minute to go to well deserved applause. But there were several good
performances from members of a Chester team which looked better organised,
fitter and more tigerish in the tackle than for a very long time. Brabin,
after his first minute error never missed a tackle or a header. Bolland
looked always in charge at the back with languid ease. Whittakers
control and movement added a huge amount to Citys attacking play
as did his well-delivered corners.
We all know that Steve Mungall made a good start to
his regime too but lets hope that this time there is a more
lasting revival in Citys fortunes under Mr Wright.
15 January 2002
Stourport Swifts 0 Chester City 3
FA Umbro Trophy Round 3 Replay
Attendance: 630 Half Time: 0-1
Booked: M.O'Brien, D.Brown.
Stourport Swifts: Clarke, Mulders, Ulfig, Southwick, Davies
(Dearlove 69), Nicholls, Cowley, Nicholls, Marsh, Langford (Wright 26),
Charlton. Subs not used: Laker, Wright, Hipkins
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt, M.Rose, Lancaster, Jenkins, Spink,
Carden, Blackburn, D.Brown, Beesley, M.O'Brien (Porter 80). Subs not used:
Collins, Halford, Haarhoff, Jones.
Langfords FA Trophy dream ended at Walshes Meadow last night
when his Stourport Swifts side were beaten by Nationwide Conference
strugglers Chester City.
Langford, forced to sit out two Wembley finals
when former club Wycombe Wanderers lifted the silverware in the
early 90s, had hoped to steer his team into the next round and
a tie with fellow Dr Martens Western Division outfit Solihull Boro.
But those hopes began fading as early as the 27th minute when a
pulled hamstring forced the player-manager to hobble off.
It has been Langfords pace, skill and experience
that has helped lift Swifts into the top six of the table and see
them through to the third round of the Trophy in their first season
as a senior club.
Without him they looked short of ideas up front.
Strike partner Simon Marsh worked tirelessly and substitute Andy
Wright busied himself but a goal seemed some way off.
That said, Stourport should have taken the lead
on 44 minutes. Asa Charltons free-kick caused chaos in the
visitors area but the Conference outfit still managed to
keep out a Simon Marsh header and a Dave Davies shot in the ensuing
If that wasnt bad enough, goalkeeper Wayne
Browns quick kick up field found David Brown hurtling clear
of the home defence. He took the ball around the on-rushing Swifts keeper
Rob Clarke and calmly slotted the ball in the empty net.
It was a cruel blow for Stourport who had the
pick of the first half chances when Langford twice missed out,
blazing over from in front of goal and then forcing Brown into
a fine save at his near post.
The second period may have lacked the chances
of the first but it certainly didnt lack the passion with
Stourports Jan Mulders and Chesters David Brown lucky
to stay on the pitch as the tackles became more and more X-rated.
Chester sealed the match with two goals from
Mark Beesley in the final five minutes. The first saw the former
Preston trainee exchange passes with Mike Rose before thundering
a shot home and he then bagged an injury time second with a shot
deflected past Clarke by Stourport defender Steve Ulfig.
Chester's assistant boss Ted McMinn said the
scoreline was not a fair reflection on the match.
He said: I thought 3-0 flattered us but
Wayne Brown didnt have a save to make in the second half.
They had said a lot of things in the papers about how good they
were on Saturday and how we would come down here and give us a
tonking. They thought they had probably done the job on Saturday
by getting us down here. We told the lads what they had said and
it lifted them.
David Lawrence [David wrote this report
for a local Stourport paper].
12 January 2002
Stockport County Youth 3 Chester City Youth
Football League Youth Alliance
The youth team produced a disappointing performance at the weekend
and conceded three goals in the opening 20 minutes of the first half.
They improved in the second half finishing strongly with two strikes
from Chris Hopwood in the final 15 minutes.
12 January 2002
Chester City 1 Stourport Swifts 1
FA Umbro Trophy Round 3
Attendance: 1,006 Half Time: 0-0
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt, Jenkins, Porter, Lancaster, Spink,
Blackburn (Wright 82), M.Rose, D.Brown (Haarhoff 60), M.Beesley, M.O'Brien.
Subs not used: Halford, Ruscoe, Jones.
Stourport Swifts: Clarke, Mulders, Ulfig, Southwick, Davies,
Nicholls, Cowley (Dearlove 87), Nicholls, Marsh, Langford, Charlton. Subs
not used: Laker, Wright, Hiplins, Wright.
with the reduced admission fee for this game Im considering reporting
this to Trading Standards as I attended it under the impression I was going
to be watching a football match. This was anything but, Wayne Brown having
a nightmare week which could continue with Tuesdays replay in the
Despite the midweek setback against Northwich
even the most pessimistic supporter would have expected City to
cruise through to the Fourth Round against a team two divisions
lower than them but again it looked as if we were the part-time
side with some disgraceful play at times so far removed even from
the victory over Hayes at the back end of last year.
The first twenty minutes were dire in the extreme,
neither side got going and from Chester's point of view this was
criminal as they should have shown so much more class that their
opponents. Some more promising signs crept in as the half progressed,
a number of corners being won but to no avail. Andy Porter, back
in the starting XI, was again at the heart of the defensive work.
Spink also returned and showed his usual commitment despite a clear
lack of skill and fitness.
A couple of decent shouts for handball were turned
down with sight of goal, the referee seemingly happy to let anything
that wasn't clear-cut go but realistically neither side could have
claimed to have made any decent attempts on goal and the frustrating
show on the pitch was mirrored around it with a poor atmosphere.
It was to be more of the same for much of the
second 45 and, worryingly, it was the Swifts who again looked the
better side at times. City lacked any sort of drive going forward
and there seems to be an increasing reliance on Mark Beesley to
produce something from nothing. Almost every positive Chester move
ended with the ball trying to be worked in the direction of Beesley.
There is no doubting his ability but surely we have more to offer
than endless short and risky passes around the box in search of
In fairness it was Beesley who eventually gave
Haarhoff the chance to net a first of the season via goalkeeper
Clarke Mike O'Brien's ball into the area found Beesley whose
low shot was spilled by Clarke, substitute Haarhoff having to tap
home from an embarrassingly short range that should have
been it, game over.
Not so. Within three minutes, the visitors grabbed
their deserved equaliser thanks mainly to Wayne Brown's misplaced
and under-powered attempt at a punch from what should have been
an easy cross to defend. A few touches around the area from Langford
and Nicholls went almost unchallenged and it was inevitable that
the ball would end up in the net, Marsh finally applying the finish.
Stourport rejoiced as well they might leaving Chester to pick up
the pieces of another defensive catastrophe.
With little time to get back into the game, Blackburn
was replaced by Darren Wright, back from his loan spell at Droylsden
as new boss Mark Wright (who watched on from the executive doorway)
seems to rate him. By that stage however the win looked beyond
Chester's reach and it was again the Swifts who made the most of
the play going close with five minutes to play. The visitors looked
content to play out time and managed it to further demonstrate
to Mark Wright the size of the task in hand.
Last year's cup competitions saw the Blues reach
the semis of this Trophy, knock out two league clubs and limit
Blackburn to two goals in the FA Cup and win the Nationwide Trophy.
This year we've lost to Barrow and been held by Stourport. Doesn't
make good reading does it?
8 January 2002
Chester City 1 Northwich Victoria 2
Attendance: 1,660 Half Time: 1-1
Booked: Blackburn, Carden, Woodyatt.
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt, Lancaster, Jenkins, Ruffer (Spink
45), Ruscoe, Blackburn (Haarhoff 87), Carden, Brabin, D.Brown (Collins
62), Beesley. Subs not used: Porter, Jones.
Northwich Victoria: Gibson, Walsh, Barnard, Talbot, Ingram, Owen, Garvey,
Sedgmore (Burket 57), Devlin, Blundell, Quinn. Subs not used: Mike, Norris,
Referee: N.Yates (Blackpool).
Re-arrange in haste and repent at leisure. That�s
what Chester will be doing after this disastrous result which leaves
them even deeper in the mire.
Mark Wright was announced as the new manager
today and interviewed on local radio but there was no introduction
to the fans tonight. He spoke of the need for new players and improved
fitness before the game and can be in no doubt after witnessing
this match about the size of his task if Chester are to stay up.
It was a hard fought game beginning with
fireworks as the barrel-chested Brabin clattered into Blundell
and Owen within the first three minutes. Both needed extensive
treatment but played on. Brabin had been imported (On a non-contract
basis) and replaced Porter rather harsh considering his
inspirational game against Hayes. Lancaster was brought in for
Spink. Neither O'Brien was on the bench.
Chester had the clearer chances at the start
with Brown heading a good chance over the bar from Woodyatt�s cross
and Blackburn shooting narrowly wide from just outside the area.
Northwich were ever threatening on the break however, the speed
and movement of Blundell being the catalyst. Woodyatt got in a
timely tackle when Blundell sped through.
A fine sweeping pass from Carden found Woodyatt
in space but Ruscoe could not convert his cross into a goal at
the far post. Within a minute City fell behind as Vics attacked
down the left and the tricky Scott Garvey dummied his way past
Jenkins and Ruffer and scooped the ball past Brown. Shortly after
this Chester were exposed again down their right and Northwich�s
left as Quinn got free. his low shot was saved at full stretch
City achieved parity once again after 38 minutes.
The referee played good advantage as Ruscoe was impeded on the
left. He managed to cross and the ball was cleared to Blackburn
who sidestepped a defender and lashed a left footed shot right
into the top right hand corner.
Devlin had the ball in City�s net a couple of
minutes later but the flag had already gone up for offside. Devlin
became entangled with Brown, however, and in the resulting argy
bargy Blackburn was booked for shoving Devlin over.
The forty fifth minute of the half lasted for
six minutes as five extra were added. Plenty of time for Carden
to get booked rather unluckily for a trip. Owen was then
lucky only to receive a yellow card for a disgracefully late tackle
on Ruffer which put him out of the game. How Ruffer must enjoy
playing against Northwich.
Spink came on to fill the breach and looked quite
accomplished at the back, reading the game well and snuffing out
danger before it began.
Just after the break Ruscoe had a golden opportunity
to give City the lead. He chested down Woodyatt�s cross and it
seemed a formality to beat Gibson in the Northwich goal. Inexplicably
he put his shot across the goal and wide. City began the second
half in determined fashion and put the visitors under pressure.
The strain began to show as Barnard and Ingram were booked in quick
Just after the hour Brown was replaced up front
with Collins. He had looked quite good against Hayes but tonight
could not get up to the pace of this much more competetive match.
Chester seemed to lose momentum, the midfield couldn't get up to
support the forwards. Northwich, ably led by Jimmy Quinn, seemed
to step up a gear or two and began to threaten again. Substitute
Burke headed over when he seemed certain to score. Quinn volleyed
fiercely but wildly over. At the other end Walsh almost beat his
own keeper with a header right in the top corner which Gibson did
well to palm away. But City couldn�t sustain the pressure from
the corner. Indeed too many crosses on the night went too close
to the keeper. Appeals for a penalty were rejected when the ball
hit a Northwich arm it would have been harsh but
we've all seen them given.
Eventually, Northwich looking much fitter
than City by now got the breakthrough. But it was a calamitous
goal to give away. There was no danger when Brown came out to meet
a long ball through but he hesitated, hoping it would come into
the area so he could pick it up. Too late he realised Blundell
was almost upon him and decided to kick it. The ball ricocheted
off Blundell and looped up towards goal, only for it to stick on
the line. Garvey was the most alive to the situation and beat Brown
to the ball to slam it home.
City nearly snatched an equaliser at the death
when Haarhoff (On for Blackburn) nodded the ball on and was clean
through. His chip beat the keeper and was running in until Ingram
got back to clear the line.
So Mr Wright has a mountain to climb in his new
appointment. Arguably his task is even harder than Ian Atkins� two