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30 August 2002
Two goals by Mark Beesley and others from Steve Brodie, Dave Cameron and Danny Byrne gave Chester reserves a 5-1 win at Burscough on Wednesday night. The reserves are in action again next on Wednesday at home to Northwich Victoria, the home game being played at Flint Town United (kick-off 19:30hrs). The City line-up against Burscough was: Worsnop, Lancaster, Keegan, B.Davies (Byrne), J.Davies, Carey, Carden, Brodie, Beesley, Cameron, Whittaker.

27 August 2002
[Whittaker]Following the opening day stalemate with Kettering Town, the Blues drew their second successive home match of the season 0-0 with Scarborough yesterday.

Manager Mark Wright was not too duly worried though as he commented after the match: “We just need to score one goal at home and it will light up everything. Then the team can go out and enjoy themselves. Whatever our problem at home, whether it’s a jinx or a hoodoo, or whether the players get nervous, they do need to score a goal at home and things will be good. Something is going on with our players at home, but we need to break it, have a little bit of luck, just fluke a goal, and then the confidence will show in our players. Scarborough didn’t deserve to beat us, but we didn’t deserve to beat them either.”

Winger Mickey Brown made his full debut for City on Monday, read his post-match interview with Rob Ashcroft here. Read also why chairman Steve Vaughan says City need another striker here.

City’s next chance to beat the home hoodoo comes next Tuesday when Morecambe ar the visitors. Before then, City travel to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday to take on the Conference’s bottom side.
Photo by Max Ainscough.

26 August 2002
Mark Wright has no more injury problems ahead of this afternoon’s match against Scarborough at Deva Stadium, kick-off 15:00hrs. The Blues are looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season which continues following their fine 3-0 victory at Barnet on Saturday. The Blues have gained seven from nine points without conceding a goal in their opening three fixtures.

The form for this season’s Exiles competition is available to download in acrobat format here. Current members will receive forms with their subscription renewal the the first week of September. Please note that the competition is open to anyone, Exiles member or not, and money remaining after paying out the prizes will be put back into the football club through sponsorship – so please support us to support the club. The closing date is 30 September.

The Football League have announced that Chester will play in the southern section of this seasons competition. The draw for the first round will take place live on SKY TV’s Soccer AM programme on 21 September with the first round matches taking place in the week commencing 21 October.

City can expect to face one of the following: Brentford, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United, Cardiff City, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Dagenham & Redbridge, Exeter City, Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, Northampton Town, Oxford United, Peterborough United, Plymouth Arqyle, Queens Park Rangers, Rushden & Diamonds, Southend United, Stevenage Borough, Swansea City, Swindon Town, Torquay United, Woking, Wycombe Wanderers, or Yeovil Town.

23 August 2002
[Barnet]City travel down south this afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s match at Barnet, probably a wise move given the amount of motorway congestion last Saturday. Manager Mark Wright was also at Underhill on Tuesday night on a spying mission to see the home side defeat Yeovil Town 2-1.

City can expect a hard fought match tomorrow against a side that will have former City striker Junior Agogo in their line-up, and it remains to be seen whether Wright will stick to the formation that won 1-0 at Telford United on Monday night.

There are no further injury problems for the boss as manager Wright said: “Only Phil Bolland is unavailable for selection and he will be out for another two weeks. Otherwise everyone else is fine.” Barnet have six major injury doubts although they are hopeful of welcoming back captain Greg Heald after a groin problem. Wayne Purser has little or no chance of playing but Frazer Toms, Stuart Niven, Danny Brown, John Doolan and Lee Flynn are all receiving round-the-clock treatment.

A reminder to those City fans travelling on the train to London tomorrow to expect heavy delays as engineering work means the main line is down near Milton Keynes and a bus service also replaces the latter part of the tube journey to High Barnet station.

Striker Dave Cameron sent off at Telford on Monday has received a three match ban and misses the home games against Morecambe, Leigh RMI and the game at Hereford United.

22 August 2002
Goals by Ben Davies and and a Mark Beesley penalty gave City a 2-0 home win over Southport in the Lancashire League Division One last night. The Blues are playing all their home games at Flint Town United’s ground this season.

21 August 2002
Northern Accent have released three new Chester videos now available to order from the club shop or by mail order from themselves. The three videos cover:

1. Chester v Yeovil Town 10/2/01 with full commentary.
2. In the net 2. 40 more great goals from city, including archive highlights of City v Wrexham at Sealand Road season 1985/86. Introduced by Jeff Banks.
3. City v Liverpool. One to own and cherish forever more!! full commentary.

All videos are £9.99 each and available to order from clubshop or add £1.00 p&p to:-
Northern Accent Television
P.O.Box 3118

20 August 2002
There was a great turnout of Blues fans at the Bucks Head to see City forge a 1-0 victory over Telford United to take the Blues so the top of the table. City were reduced to ten men after striker Dave Cameron was sent off in the 27th minute for violent conduct after being accused of leading with his arm for an aerial challenge. The winning goal came from Ryan Sugden on 60 minutes. Great work down the wing by Michael Twiss set up Sugden to shoot home from 18 yards.

19 August 2002
City had to be content with an opening day draw against a well organised Kettering Town side at the Deva on Saturday. The Blues were unable to repeat their form from Tuesday night against a determined visiting side that was stuck in motorway traffic and only arrived at the Deva 25 minutes before the kick-off. Despite ending the game with three strikers the Blues created few clear-cut chances to open the deadlock. Chester now travel to Telford United on Monday night, the Bucks Head club, with former Blue Dean Spink on the bench, lost their opening Conference fixture at Halifax Town on Saturday 2-0.

Meanwhile City’s youngsters also started the season with a draw. Gethin Lloyd was the scorer as the Youth team drew their Football League Youth Alliance opener 1-1 at Rotherham United. Chester’s reserve side have been admitted to the Lancashire League and begin their campaign with a home match against Southport on Wedensday.

City striker Danny Collins is to join Vauxhall Motors on a month’s loan this week. Collins will be playing in a central defensive role with the Motormen. Lee Elam who played in a pre-season friendly for City has joined Morecambe. Stephen Rose turned out for Altrincham on Saturday, as well as Chris O'Brien and Jimmy Haarhoff (sub) at Droylsden.


The club shop sold out of home replica shirts on Saturday but was fully stocked with the second kit which seems to be selling well, white shirt blue collar with yellow trim and blue sponsor logo, and the third kit of all-red was also on sale with fewer takers although the shop assistant did say “the red shirts were popular with the kiddies”.

More home kits have been ordered and are expected in soon though best ring the club first to check availability. Adult size shirts are priced at £34.99.

16 August 2002
After a summer of squad-rebuilding Mark Wright’s City open their Conference programme tomorrow with the visit from Kettering Town. Wright has made a point through the summer of curbing fans expectations as confidence of finishing in a top six spot after the summer changes is sky-high. “We are knitting together better and quicker than I thought and that is credit to the boys as a group,” he said. “No-one should expect miracles but we are going forward in a major way.”

For tomorrow’s opener, the Blues will be without skipper Phil Boland who is still nursing a hairline fracture in his foot. Carl Ruffer, who had an outstanding game on Tuesday against Liverpool, and had been an ever-present in the summer friendlies, will fill the role admirably. Up front is where Wright would appear to have a selection headache. Michael Twiss and Mark Beesley appear to be the first choice but fellow striker Dave Cameron had a good half hour against Liverpool playing as a target man alongside trialist Gareth Grant.

The Blues follow tomorrow’s match with a visit to Telford United on Monday.

15 August 2002
Following Saturday’s home match with Kettering Town the Blues have successive away fixtures at Telford United and Barnet. The official supporters club are running coaches to these matches and fans are urged to book there seat asap if they want to join the coach.

Any Chester fans wanting to book a seat on the coach to Telford on Monday, should ring Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00 and 20:00hrs tomorrow (Friday) night. The bus leaves Delamere Street at 17.15, and places will cost £7. And City fans wanting to travel to the league match at Barnet a week on Saturday should also ring Barrie Hipkiss on the above number. That bus leaves Delamere Street at 09.15hrs and seats cost £15.

Rushden & Diamonds player Jon Brady who played for City against Liverpool on Tuesday, is set to sign for fellow Conference side Woking. Their official site reports tonight: “Rumours that he would be signing for Chester started earlier when it was discovered that he played in a pre-season friendly for them against Liverpool on Tuesday”.

Brady said “I promised Mark Wright some weeks ago that I would be make an appearance for them at some point in the game. My intention was to sign for Woking from the start, this is where I want to play football”. Woking manager Geoff Chapple said “I’m delighted and I hope the fans will be as well, I have to admit I was worried when I heard he had played for Chester. However, I have spoken to him and he is in his car now travelling to Kingfield and will be here in time to sign before training this evening.”

Brady played for Woking on Monday night against a Chelsea X1.

Former City striker David Brown is currently having a trial with Telford United.

14 August 2002
[Goal]A coolly taken goal by substitute Chris Blackburn six minutes from time gave City a well deserved 1-0 victory in last night’s match against a Liverpool X1 played to mark the 10th anniversary of Deva Stadium.

Over 5,000 fans turned out on a fine evening to see the match against the Premiership side that included several first team players in Vladimir Smicer, Jamie Carragher, Igor Biscan, Markus Babbel, Milan Baros and Patrik Berger.

The Blues also gave most of their squad a run out and there were two trialists playing as well. Bradford City’s Gareth Grant, who played at Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, and Rushden and Diamonds’ (and ex-Hayes) player Jon Brady. Both had good games with Grant setting up Blackburn’s winner with a fine through ball.

A delighted City manager Mark Wright was pleased with the performance: �If we can start delivering the sort of football we played against Liverpool I think we’re heading in the right direction. Everyone at the club wants to achieve, and now it’s about us doing it on the field and I think we’re getting there”.
Photo by Max Ainscough.

Chester have been drawn away in the first round of this season’s competition. They will play at Cheadle Town on Thursday 19 September.

13 August 2002
City’s new team picture has been released following yesterday’s press day.

[Team Picture]
Larger [750x389px 122kb] picture here. Captain Phil Bolland in the new home shirt which is now available in the club shop priced at £34.99.

12 August 2002
It’s being widely reported that Chester City have resigned from the Avon Insurance League. Blues manager Mark Wright felt there wasn’t enough strength in depth in the squad to play against Football League opposition.

It remains to be seen where City’s reserves will play next season but a return to the Lancashire League may be on the cards.

10 August 2002

Following four defeats on the trot the Blues got back to winning ways with an impressive seven goal victory at UniBond Premier League neighbours Vauxhall Motors. The Blues led 3-0 at half-time with goals from Scott Guyett, Michael Twiss and Steve Brodie. No fewer that nine changes were made at the break and the Blues added four more goals through Ryan Sugden, a brace from Mick Brown and an own goal by Thompson. Bradford City striker Gareth Grant had an impressive trial game for the Blues.

Popular City striker Jimmy Haarhoff has joined UniBond Premier League side Droylsden. Like Chris O’Brien earlier in the week this is a three month loan deal.
9 August 2002

[Phil Bolland]City defender Phil Bolland is out for up to four weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot in a clash at the pre-season game with Bangor City. City boss Mark Wright said: “It’s a blow. Phil is a quality player and his presence will be missed, but these things happen in football. We’ve got two friendly matches left before the start of our League campaign, so now we will have to try a couple of options in the remaining games. It gives somebody the opportunity to prove to me that they are worthy of a place in the starting line-up.”

Most likely option would be for Carl Ruffer to fill the role. Ruffer has been an ever-present in City’s pre-season campaign and would fit in well alongside Wayne Hatswell and Scott Guyett in the heart of the defence. Steve Harkness is another possibility for Bolland’s role and his match fitness will be improved with two more matches before the opener against Kettering Town a week tomorrow.

City defender Chris O’Brien has joined up with City old boys Darren Wright and David Kerr at Droylsden on loan. O’Brien scored for his new team in a 3-0 win over Chadderton in the week.

7 August 2002
Manager Mark Wright is on the lookout for a goalscorer to join the City ranks in time for the new season. The current forward line of Mark Beesley, David Cameron, Steve Brodie and Ryan Sugden is obviously deemed to be lacking in sharpness. City have created numerous goalscoring chances in their recent games but the conversion rate is poor. Making way for the new recruit is David Brown who is being paid off by the club. Brown joined City in December 2001 and made 11+3 appearances for the Blues scoring two goals.

Meanwhile the Blues turned in their best pre-season performance so far in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United reserves last night. After the match manager Mark Wright said: “It must be remembered that these players we've met tonight are quality Premier League club lads, but the way we approached the game really pleased me. Possibly we could be a little more incisive in front of goal, because tonight we made a number of chances but couldn't convert them. It could be that we have to bring a front runner into the club.”

The new date for the Annual General Meeting is Wednesday 21 August at the Penderels Oak, High Holborn, London WC1. Start 19:00hrs in the downstairs bar. All City supporters in the area are welcomed to attend.

6 August 2002
A bit short notice this but the club have announced that tonight's match against a Manchester United reserve side is now not all ticket. Normal matchday prices apply at the turnstiles and are £12.00 (adult), £9.00 (oap), and £6.00 (u-16) for stand seats, and £10.00 (adult), £7.00 (oap), and £5.00 (u-16) for the terrace.

Defender Phil Bolland misses tonight’s match with a foot injury and Steve Brodie must be rated doubtful after hobbling off on Saturday. Manager Mark Wright is looking forward to another test for the team: “This will be yet another step up in class for our boys. Manchester City were good but we should have won. Manchester United will be better tonight and no disrespect to the Conference but United reserves would beat every side in this league. They won their league last season and they’ve beaten the likes of Stalybridge Celtic 9-1 and Barrow 4-0 in pre-season games.”

City squad for tonight: W.Brown, Worsnop, Harkness, Hatswell, Ruffer, Guyett, McIntyre, Davies, Blackburn, Kelly, Carden, Carey, Whittaker, Cameron, Beesley, Twiss, Woodyatt, M.Brown, Haarhoff.

City’s stadium has now received a certificate allowing for a capacity of 6,012, thus meeting Football League requirements and ensuring entry into next season’s LDV Vans Trophy, the first round if which is to be played w/c 21 October. The club have also announced that an extra row of floodlights is to be added the the four pylons as well and work is expected to be completed by mid September.

3 August 2002
[Crest]There are around 600 terrace and 320 stand tickets left for the pre-season friendly against a Liverpool X1 on Tuesday 13 August. Liverpool have sold their entire 1,500 allocation for the match, and the remaining tickets are expected to sell quickly. Tickets can be bought from the Deva office between 09:00-17:00hrs next week.

The game will see the club celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of Deva Stadium. To mark the occasion a special issue 32-page advert-free match programme will be issued on the night for £2.50 that will contain articles featuring Ian Rush among others.

Defender Scott Guyett has signed a two-year deal at Chester City just days after announcing his intention to move back to Australia! The 26-year-old trained with the Blues yesterday and the deal was completed in a motorway service station by the clubs chief executive Darren Liversage. “I knew of our previous interest in Scott, and that he was about to return to Australia, so I ferreted around for his phone number, and we arranged to meet in a motorway service station. I offered him a deal, and after a bit of thought he thankfully agreed to join us.” Guyett is expected to feature in tomorrow’s game against a Manchester City youth/reserve team. Guyett previously played alongside Phil Bolland at both Oxford and Southport where Mark Wright was manager.

Wright said: “He was preparing to fly out to Australia to see his girlfriend, but we heard he was out of contract at Oxford and we reacted. How anyone can let a player like Scott Guyett go from a club is beyond me. Having the three centre half's from my days at Oxford laying for Chester in the Conference is fantastic for us. I know Scott inside out – he’s dominant upstairs, he’s quick, and his use of the ball is getting better and better. He comes here with plenty of League experience and he’s a no-nonsense centre half who will have great understanding with both Wayne Hatswell and Phil Bolland. The three former Oxford players are first class. I’ve now got five centre half's with Carl Ruffer and Martyn Lancaster, and that will create great competition for places in defence.”

City have also offered a one year contract to 20-year-old goalkeeper John Worsnop who has impressed in his pre-season appearances. Worsnop was previously on the books at Bradford City. Worsnop is City’s 12th signing of the summer.

2 August 2002
Manager Mark Wright has hinted that another summer signing was near as his search for the right defensive set-up continues. With one prospective signing, Scott Guyett, apparently heading back to Australia, it looks like a new name is about to enter the frame. One thing is certain though, with City amassing such a large squad, some players will be moving on before the season starts in just over two weeks time.

Wright had already hinted a few weeks back that both Danny Collins and Chris O’Brien would be loaned out at the start of the season. There’s no doubting these players’ ability, as Wright stated: “Chris O’Brien captained England at under-15 and under-17 level, and he’s got undoubted ability, but he needs games. He has lost a lot of weight and he’s fitter after working hard, but he needs games, and we’ll be loaning him out to Droylsden, but I’m confident he’ll be an asset to us. And Danny Collins is another player who will be going out on loan to a Unibond League club, but I’m unsure where at the moment.”

Wright added: “I told both Andy Porter and David Brown yesterday that they won’t be playing any further part at Chester, and I’m hoping to fix them both up with other clubs, but nothing has been arranged so far.”

Meanwhile Wright was happy with the teams performance last night in the single goal against a young(ish) Everton side coached by former City favourite Andy Holden. Wright said: “I was very pleased with the way the players performed and there were a few major plusses. Michael Twiss is a good player and should cause problems in the Conference this season. He rounded the Everton keeper in one move last night and was unlucky to see his shot hit a post and fly along the goal line. At the moment it's all about us getting better and moving forward rather than looking at the final result. Both Shaun Carey and Chris Blackburn in midfield played ever so well and I’ve now got a clearer picture of what I'm planning to do before the new season starts.”

With just 16 days to go to the start of the new season, the talk amongst City fans will be that of the starting line-up for the opening Conference fixture with Kettering Town. Programme editor Rob Ashcroft casts his eye over the current potentials here.
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Chester have announced the signing of 30-years-old midfielder Mitch Hancox who was recently released by Altrincham.
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Another good run out for Chester as their pre-season continues with a home defeat to Stoke City.
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Chester travel to play the Isle of Man next Friday, kick-off 19.00.
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The Exiles have set up a blog to provide away match information and articles for Blues fans living away from Chester. You can read it here
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