Saturday 30 November 2002
Southport 1 Chester City 3
Attendance: 2,447 Half Time 0-1
Booked: Davies. Sent Off: Clare (downgraded later to a booking).
Southport: Welsby, B.Jones, Clark, Winsyanley (Sulivan
59), Lane (Lloyd-Williams 81), Pickford, Soley, Gibson, Howell, Whitehall
(S.Jones 37), Thomson. Subs not used: Scott, Dickinson.
Chester City: W.Brown, Guyett, Bolland, Hatswell, Brady
(Woodyatt 64), Carden, Carey (Ruffer 63), Davies, McIntyre, Sugden (M.Brown
74), Clare. Subs not used: Beesley, Twiss.
Referee: B.Desmond (Swindon).
came early in rain-sodden Lancashire as Chester were gifted three
points in an ill-tempered battle at Southport’s Haig Avenue.
Three killer punches on the field
in the shape of three excellent goals from midfielders
Sean Carey, Paul Carden and Carl Ruffer left the
Sandgrounders knocked out by their more determined
There were also accusations of
punches flying off the field as the two dugouts and
the opposing players squared up as the teams went
off for half-time. The match officials and the police
had to step in to break up the fracas.
But it was never going to be a
friendly affair, as there were too many old rivalries
being renewed – Mark Wright, Scott Guyett and
Phil Bolland were returning to their former stomping
ground, and ex-Deva favourite Steve Whitehall was
in the Southport starting line-up.
Chester made it clear from the
start that they had not come on their coastal day-trip
to get an easy point. Within a few minutes, Ryan
Sugden forced his way into the Southport box, and
a brave defender tackled him and put it wide. The
1,000+ Chester fans cheered on the Blues for the
corner and Guyett’s goalbound header was cleared
by Southport ‘keeper Kevin Welsby.
Chester continued to press, and
Steve Whitehall’s only real contribution of
the day came to nothing when he was clinically tackled
by Phil Bolland, who lived up to his ‘Ice Man’ nickname
all afternoon. Whitehall sloped off soon afterwards
after being substituted.
The game’s first key incident
came just past the half-hour mark, when Southport
captain Steve Soley was red-carded for a second bookable
offence after kicking the ball away when referee
Bob Desmond blew for a foul.
But any worries about Chester traditionally
crumbling against 10-man teams were soon forgotten
when a 25-yard Carey strike was deflected into the
goal celebrations had barely died down when last
week’s hat-trick hero Daryl Clare was scythed
down in midfield by Southport’s Barry Jones.
Clare retaliated as he was getting himself up, and
was promptly sent-off by the referee. Jones stayed
down for treatment, and was eventually yellow-carded.
This clearly ruffled feathers in the Chester dug-out,
leading to the half-time confrontation.
Southport came out much brighter
in the second half, and a goalbound effort in the
opening few minutes was cleared off the line by Kevin
McIntyre – another defender who had an almost
But Southport’s defenders
made a couple of schoolboy errors – one leading
to Chester’s second goal. A defender lost the
ball on the edge of the area and lively Sugden pounced
on his mistake. He passed to Carden who had a simple
job to slot it home.
There was a mini pitch invasion,
but the over-enthusiastic Chester fans were soon
rounded up and were back behind the goal to cheer
on their heroes and taunt the dwindling band of Southport
However, a victory was by no means
certain at this stage, as Southport’s recent
FA Cup comeback proved. They suddenly stepped up
a gear with Steve Pickford and Peter Thomson combining
dangerously in and around the Chester box.
Their edeavour soon paid off, with
Pickford battling his way into the area. He was tackled,
but the ball fell to Steve Jones, who thwacked the
ball past Wayne Brown. It was only the second away
goal scored against Chester so far this season.
The game was heading for a nervy
conclusion, when a McIntyre corner found the head
of Ruffer. The ball hit the underside of the bar
and rebounded down. For a moment no-one seemed certain
if it had gone in or not, but the linesman signalled
that it had crossed the line.
The Chester fans decided Christmas
had now arrived and began singing the old favourite
that’s a variant on ‘Jingle Bells’.
By this time the Merseyside police helicopter was
circling overhead and the flashing riot vans had
There was another mini pitch invasion
when the full-time whistle went and the Merseyside
force braced themselves needlessly for the buoyant
Chester fans leaving the ground.
Everyone in blue certainly enjoyed
their day out at the seaside. Let’s hope next
weeks coastal adventure brings us the same
Friday 29 November 2002
Marine Reserves 1 Chester City
Lancashire League Division
Chester City: Louie Macken,
Adam Hunter, Matt Cook, Paul Connolly, Ian Lathom,
Danny Ventre, Adam Kelly, Peter Dogun, Dean Buckley
(David Pennell), Moore (Danny L Ventre), Lee Reece.
Goals from Adam Kelly and Steve
Brodie gave City an away victory in their first Lancashire
League game for six weeks.
Saturday 23 November 2002
Chester City Youth 2 Notts County
Youth Alliance North Central
Chester City: Louie Macken,
Adam Hunter, Matt Cook, Paul Connolly, Ian Lathom,
Danny Ventre, Adam Kelly, Peter Dogun, Dean Buckley
(David Pennell), Moore (Danny L Ventre), Lee Reece.
The youth team picked up another
useful point in a 2-2 draw at home to Notts County
on Saturday. They took a first half lead trough a trialist,
Peter Dogun, with Notts Country drawing level early
in the second half. County went 2-1 in front mid way
through the second period before Chester were awarded
a penalty ten minutes from time which Lee Reece dispatched
to earn a share of the points.
23 November 2002
Chester City 5 Margate 0
Attendance: 1,920 Half Time 4-0
Chester City: W.Brown, Guyett, Bolland, Hatswell, McIntyre,
Davies, Carden, Carey, Brady (M.Brown 61), Clare (Twiss 75), Sugden (Beesley
61). Subs not used: Ruffer, Brodie.
Margate: Mitten, Edwards, Shearer, Porter, Oates, Lamb, Keister,
Sodje, McFlynn (Munday 68), Saunders, Collins (Griffiths 51). Subs not
used: Perry, Turner.
Referee: D.Foster (Newcastle).
a creditable draw at Leyton Orient last week and the potentially
lucrative replay to come, Margate chartered a plane to fly the
team up to Chester. Whether they were jet lagged I dont know
but by quarter past three they were certainly shell shocked as
manager Chris Kinnear admitted.
Margate looked like the first team to wake up
as they brought the game towards City but they were soon behind.
After neat work by Ben Davies (Who buzzed creatively all afternoon),
Carey opened up Margate like a tin of beans with a visionary pass.
Sugden flashed in from the right wing and lashed the ball into
the net from a narrow angle. An early goal for once seemed to settle
City and they swept forward again.
Clare was brought down on the edge of the box.
McIntyre’s low free kick was spilled by Mitten and Clare
pounced to make it two-nil. Shortly after he added a third as his
first shot was blocked and he volleyed in from just inside the
was a smoking ban at the Deva because of the firefighters dispute
but by now Chester were definitely on fire.
Complacency crept in at the back after
all what tactics do you adopt for the remaining 75 minutes when
you find yourselves 3-0 up? A mistake by Guyett let in the Margate
forwards. Brown parried the resulting shot and Keister tapped in
the rebound only to see the linesmans flag raised
From a free kick wide on the right taken by Davies,
Hatswell headed home at the far post to make it 4-0 before half
There was an air of anti-climax after this as
the game was well and truly over as a contest. Margate plugged
away gamely Collins hit the foot of the post with Brown
well beaten but they were already holed below the waterline
and sinking fast.
Clare rounded of his hat-trick with a flourish
as Carey fed him once again and he smacked a shot into the top corner.
Another ironic chorus of What a waste of Money! rang
around the Sealand End. Clares ready anticipation and clinical
finishing has shown what we have been missing before he arrived.
He was inevitably named man of the match but others deserve special
mention too, not least his striking partner Sugden whose pace and
running off the ball were exceptional. Carey, Davies and Carden also
got through a tremendous amount of work in the middle and ensured
that Margate never had the chance to recover from those early setbacks.
Colin Mansley | Pic: Sue Choularton
16 November 2002
Colchester United 0 Chester City 1
F.A.Cup Round 1
Attendance: 2,901 Half Time 0-0
Colcester United: Brown, Stockwell, Baldwin, Warren, Keith,
Stockley, (Morgan 80), Bowry, Pinault, Izzet (Atangana 84), Rapley, McGleish.
Subs not used: Fitzgerald, Odunsi, McKinneyl.
Chester City: W.Brown, Brady (M.Brown 66), Guyett, Bolland,
Hatswell, McIntyre, Carey, Carden, Davies, Clare (Blackburn 90), Tate (Ruffer
90). Subs not used: Sugden, Beesley.
Referee: S.Tomlin (East Sussex).
Chris Tate goal seven minutes from time gave City a thoroughly
deserved victory at Layer Road after dominating for long periods
of the game. Mark Wright made just one change to the side that
won at Stevenage last week bringing in on-loan striker Tate in
preference to Ryan Sugden who found himself on the bench.
It was Colchester who had the first effort of
the game in the opening minutes as Wayne Brown had to smartly tip
over a dipping shot from Sam Stockley for a corner, but, in reality
that was about the only time Brown was called to save for the rest
of the half.
The Blues gradually took control of the game
and created four great headed chances to open the scoring with
Kevin McIntyre’s teasing crosses causing all sorts of problems
for the U’s defence. Daryl Clare, lively up front almost
scored with a glancing header from six yards but just couldn’t
get enough contact on the ball and ’keeper Simon Brown saved
John Brady’s cross.
Phil Bolland and Scott Guyett were in commanding
form at the back with Ben Davies working tirelessly throughout.
Bolland had City’s next effort as he headed
over the bar from six yards when a goal looked certain as City’s
aerial threat was proving dangerous. Skipper Bolland again forced
a great save out of Brown, as he pushed his goalbound header from
another McIntyre flag kick round the post.
At the other end, Wayne Brown was called in a
couple of times to clear his lines, one clearance was launched
many a mile over the Barside and out of the ground down Layer Road
as the home side were restricted to a couple of long range efforts
and a near post shot that Brows saved after Guyett had been caught
in possession shielding the ball out of play.
As the half drew to an end, Tate saw a back header
just slip past the post and Blues fans, who’d sung and cheered
along with the drummer through the opening period, will have been
wondering if we’d pay for these near misses as the teams
trooped off at the interval to a chorus of boos from the frustrated
The second period opened with United pressing.
Scott McGleish had a couple of efforts and almost set up Rapley
with a back heel but McIntyre cleared superbly under pressure.
Just after the hour mark, manager Mark Wright
brought on Micky Brown for Brady and the hard working winger almost
scored with his first touch. A loose United ball was intercepted
by Brown and, although he was forced away from goal, he managed
to get a low shot on target and 'keeper Brown got his fingertips
to the effort pushing it out for a corner in front of the City
later Tate, in the thick of the action for most of the game, almost
gave City the lead with a clever volley from outside the box. Seeing
the keeper off his line, Tait volleyed a lob but Brown recovered
well and produced great save to turn the goalbound effort over
the bar. At the other end there was a let-off for Wayne as he spilled
a shot from the edge of the box but managed to scramble to the
loose ball before a United player could follow up.
The goal that settled the match came with seven
minutes remaining. The Blues (reds!) were awarded a free kick on
half way and Davies’ delivery was headed down by Guyett on
the left to Tate who swiveled on the six yard box to shoot into
the bottom corner from eight yards out to the delight of he City
fans behind the goal who mobbed the scorer. City were never really
troubled in the remaining minutes and left the ground to an ovation
from both sets of fans.
After the game Chester manager Mark Wright said: “I
thought we fully deserved our win. We did our homework and the
fact that their goalkeeper was man of the match says it all.”
Pic: Tony Arnold
Saturday 9 November 2002
Chester City Youth 2 Shrewsbury Town Youth
Youth Alliance North Central Conference
Chester City: Louie Macken, Adam Hunter,
Ian Lathom, Matt Cook, Paul Connolly, Danny Ventre, Adam Kelly,
Mike Simpson (McLaughlin), Dean Buckley (David Pennell), Danny
L Ventre (Moore), Lee Reece.
Goals from Dean Buckley and Adam Kelly gave
the under-19 side their second win in a week.
9 November 2002
Stevenage Borough 0 Chester City 1
Attendance: 1,716 Half Time 0-1
Booked: W.Brown, Carden, Hatswell.
Stevenage Borough: Westhead, Travis, Trott, Riddle, Howell,
Stirling, Fraser, Blackwood (Midson 70), Pacquette, Jackson (Sigere 70),
MacDonald. Subs not used: Wilson, Willis, Wormull.
Chester City: W.Brown, Brady, Bolland, Hatswell, Guyett,
McIntyre, Carey (Ruffer 75), Carden, Davies, Clare, Sugden (Tate 62). Subs
not used: M.Brown, Blackburn, Cameron.
Referee: A.Green (Hinckley).
Daryl Clare goal on the stroke of half-time gives City the three
points to lift them to second spot in the Conference. Mark Wright
brought back Wayne Hatswell to the defence in preference to Carl
Ruffer who started on the bench. The Blues took to the field in all
white! does our blue and white stripes really clash with Borough’s
Stevenage had only win one home game all season
but gave a battling performance that belied their bottom three
position in the table, and only superb performances from Scott
Guyett, Phil Bolland and Wayne Brown kept the home side out during
the 90 minutes.
It was Borough who had the first attack of the
match forcing a corner in the opening minute that saw Trott’s
lobbed header hit the top of the bar from ex-City player Michael
Blackwood’s delivery. Fiver minutes Ben Davies was handily
placed in the back post to prevent a repeat.
A foul by Blackwood on Clare set up City’s
first attack of the game. McIntyre’s free-kick was put out
for a corner but the defender’s near-post flag-kick was easily
Kirk Jackson volleyed high and wide of Wayne
Brown’s goal and Pacquette tested the keeper with a header
as chances at both ends were at a premium.
On 22 minutes City forced a succession of corners.
John Brady curled a kick to the far post where Clare met it with
a fierce shot from the right which was deflected for another corner.
McIntyre’s first effort was cleared for another flag-kick
and his follow up was headed over by the unmarked Ryan Sugden from
six yards out.
Phil Bolland, an assured figure at the back,
was on hand to block a Stirling shot for a corner and was on hand
again to clear the resulting kick. Minutes later, as the half moved
into injury time, City scored the only goal of the game.
Kevin McIntyre’s through ball was knocked
down by John Brady to Clare in space in the box. The striker unleashed
an unstoppable shot past Westhead before whipping his shirt off
for a trademark celebration.
City had a couple of chances after the break
to double their lead. First Ben Davies shot wide from 18 yards,
the Scott Guyett headed wide when well placed from a John Brady
corner. Following this miss Stevenage enjoyed more of the play
for the final 30 minutes.
The home side’s main threat came from a
series of long-throw’s by Jude Stirling. Time and time the
ball was launched into the City box this way but Guyett and Bolland
coped admirably. Brown was on hand to save from Fraser and again
from Blackwood before Mark Wright replaced Sugden with on-loan
Wright also brought on another defender, Ruffer,
for Shaun Carey as the Blues found themselves penned back, and
a couple of minutes later Wayne Brown made another stunning save
from on-loan QPR forward Richard Pacquette as the home side pressed
more. But Brown was proving unstoppable and he saved his best save
for the 87th minute as he turned a Richard Howell shot round the
post and help bring City’s first Conference win for a month.
4 November 2002
Stockport County 1 Chester City 3 (AET)
UniBond Cheshire Senior Cup Quarter Final
Score 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Attendance: 134 Half Time 1-1
Stockport County: Spencer, Keilthy, Thomas, Lambert, Hardiker, Walsh,
Wild, Goodwin (Ogden 97), Byrne (Williams 77), Ross (Holt 81), Briggs.
Chester City: Worsnop, Ruffer, Hatswell, Collins, Blackburn, Carey
(Woodyatt 102), Brady, Brodie, Tate (Byrne 102), Twiss, Whittaker (Cameron
Referee: D Stewart.
goals from City substitute Danny Byrne in extra-time take City through
to the semi-final’s after the Blues fought back after going behind.
Chris Tate scored City’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time with
a brilliant lob from 35 yards.
After the game Danny Byrne told the Evening Leader: “I’m delighted
because I’ve taken my opportunities. I just hit the first shot and
it went in, and I should have scored first time with my second goal, but
I scored with the rebound off their keeper. I scored in the first round
of the cup at Cheadle, and I thought if I got on tonight I’d try
and do my best again, and I’ll just keep on playing the reserves
and play well. I was with Stoke City until I was 16, then I arrived at
Chester from Southport reserves with coach Steve Bleasdale.”
Remaining ties in the competition are:
Winsford United 0 Northwich Victoria 3
Crewe Alexandra v Vauxhall Motors (13 Nov, at Vauxhall Motors)
Tranmere Rovers v Woodley Sports (19 Nov)
Saturday 2 November 2002
Doncaster Rovers Youth 0 Chester City Youth 3
Youth Alliance North Central Conference
Chester City: Louie Macken, Tom Coulson (Ben
Harvey), Paul Connolley, Ian Latham, Adam Hunter, Danny Ventre (Sion
Griffiths), Mike Simpson, Matt Cooke (Guiseppe Angilletta), Lee Reece,
Danny L Ventre, Dean Buckley.
The youth team had a good 3-0 away victory at Doncaster
Rovers on Saturday going two in front before half time with finishes from
Mike Simpson and Dean Buckley. They secured victory in the second half
with a Lee Reece strike whilst striker Danny L Ventre had a 'goal' disallowed
and also hit the woodwork.
2 November 2002
Chester City 2 Yeovil Town 2
Attendance: 3,821 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Davies, Sugden, Blackburn.
Chester City: W.Brown, Woodyatt, Bolland, Guyett, Ruffer,
Brady (M.Brown 63), Davies, Carden, Blackburn, Sugden (Tate 77), Clare.
Subs not used: Cameron, Twiss, Brodie.
Yeovil Town: Weale, Lockwood, Skiverton, O'Brien, Crittenden,
Way, Johnson, Williams, McIndoe, Forinton (Grant 75), Demba (Lindegaard
75). Subs not used: Alford, Sheffield, Elkholti.
foul day at the Deva saw City snatch a vital point against a strong
Yeovil side courtesy of a last minute strike by new signing Daryl
Chester’s high profile addition was
exactly what was needed to lift the clouds following their
indifferent form of recent weeks.
The match began with both sides playing
football that defied the conditions. Yeovil, strong, pacey,
confident looking every bit like league leaders. Chester
in reply looking their equal, crowding the midfield with
Davis, Carden and Blackburn all working well, tackling hard
and making most the soft wet pitch to make good dispossessing
Up front, Clare and Sugden worked well
together showing early understanding while Brady pumped in
some good crosses to put early pressure on the Yeovil keeper
who responded well by using his height and to good affect.
On twelve minutes, Guyett rose high to
send a powerful header just over straight from the corner
and suddenly Yeovil looked vulnerable. Ten minutes later
and the first goal came. Sugden received the box outside
the box; he jinxed and moved purposefully inside the area.
Despite some desperate defending, he managed a shot that
was saved was not cleared. First to the loose ball was Daryl
Clare who managed to stretch his leg out and connect well
to strike the ball home. It was fairy book stuff of course
but also a chance to show the calibre of the striker who
had to this point had showed early promise.
Shortly afterwards, it could have been
two as he thundered a free kick against the bar following
a direct free kick outside the box. For City, this represented
their best period of the game. Whatever Yeovil threw at them,
City matched them with some great runs and tackles that suggested
good form had returned.
Half time was greeted with enthusiastic
applause as Chester edged a deserved lead in what had developed
into a great atmosphere. Yeovil for their part were represented
by a large travelling band of own fans with some fine vocal
support and never say die encouragement.
If Chester had hoped to continue the second
half where they had left off, they were to be disappointed.
Instead Yeovil began by taking the initiative, winning the
loose ball and finding space. What was surprising was not
that they equalised but they did so with a soft goal that
did not do justice to a City defence that had to this point
had worked well and were organised.
A Yeovil ball from the far touch line was
not cleared and continued its path unchallenged through a
crowded defence past a static Brown finding Crittenden, one
metre out who tapped the ball home for one of his easiest
goals he will score this season. All eyes looked at the linesmen
but Chester had no one to blame but themselves and a precious
lead had slipped away. Five minutes later there was worse
Yeovil, sensing the kill, held on to possession
nicely squeezing with some ease through the midfield before
threading a good ball through to Forinton. Slipping the defended
he turned well and with City’s defence looking to each
other, he took the ball into the box hitting the ball hard
and true for an excellent second.
Within a short space of time the tone of
the game had changed. Chester’s confidence visibly
drained away. Davis, Carden and Blackburn whose contribution
had been so telling in the first period began lose their
touch as passes went astray.
Brady who had had an undistinguished second
half was replaced by Michael Brown on the hour. Despite some
tricky skills, he was largely unsupported and with Yeovil
having the better of everything now, chances were few as
Clare and Sugden scrapped for little reward. A series of
substitutions from both parties changed little. Tate came
on to replace a tired looking Sugden and as time ticked away
Yeovil seemed to be holding on to what was looking to be
a comfortable win.
As injury time was being announced, a long
high ball was flicked well by Tate into the path of Clare
who took the ball between two defenders. One touch forward,
a well struck shot and there it was, two – all. Clare,
who had been taunted by Yeovil for much of the game, celebrated
by taking off his shirt waving it wildly around his head
as Chester fans, quiet for so long, cheered hysterically.
There was almost time for an unlikely winner
but Tate’s overhead kick went wide and the final chance
of the game was gone.
Bolland was voted Man of the Match by Chester’s
sponsors for a cool and commanding performance but eyes will
be on Daryl Clare who looked every inch a class player. His
ability to release the ball intelligently and strength will
serve him well but on this performance his finishing was
of the highest calibre and suggest this big money signing
will be money well spent.
A word of praise should also go to Yeovil.
It is easy to see why they are the league’s highest
scorers. Here is assembled a well-balanced side, brimming
with confidence and quick feet. Although they will concede
goals if under pressure, they are likely to take quite a
few sides apart this year and if they continue to play this
sort of football look well equipped to hold their own in
the Nationwide League next season.
In summary this was a fine game of football
under difficult conditions played out by two good sides.
And not even the long traffic queues away from the ground
could dampen an excellent afternoon of sport.