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31 December 2007

Chester have signed 23-year-old John Welsh on loan from Hull City. The Liverpudlian midfielder is a former England u21 international and began his career at Liverpool where he made four first team appearances. He joined the Tigers in 2005, after an initial loan period, and had recovered from a broken tibia and fibia received earlier this year. He has not played for the first team this season. Chester are hoping to receive clearance from the Football League and the Football Association in time so he can feature in tomorrow’s home game with Grimsby Town. The club have also announced that they have offered youth team player James Gregory a professional contract.

Picture © Evening Leader

Good luck to Ashley Westwood will join Conference side Stevenage Borough tomorrow. The defender recently returned from a loan spell at Port Vale. Westwood joined City in June 2006 and made 25+0 appearances in a Chester shirt scoring three goals.

Picture © Evening Leader

Kevin Ellison will be suspended for the away game at Accrington Stanley on 5 January after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

30 December 2007

City ended 2007 with back-to-back defeats over the holiday period following Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 loss at Brentford. The Blues turned in their worst performance of the season at Griffin Park, having fallen behind to an early goal they failed to create a real chance on goal in the entire 90 minutes and the home side added two more after the break to run out comfortable winners and in doing so complete the double over Chester.

Manager Bobby Williamson described the performance as one of the worst he’s ever had, he said: “It’s probably as bad a defeat as I have ever suffered as a manager, especially at this club, and I am very disappointed for everyone concerned. The fans who came along in good numbers. We met them in the morning and I am very disappointed for them. I’m disappointed for the club directors who were here and I’m disappointed for the players as they can do better than that.”

I had a lot of problems before the match with injured players, but there are no excuses. All the players selected feel they are part of the squad and they feel they are good enough to be playing. But a lot of the players proved at Brentford that they are not good enough to be playing in regular places.

But I have still got faith in them and I know they can provide better performances. And the same squad will be named for tomorrow's home match against Grimsby.

There are players out there who I would like to bring to Chester, but the chairman can’t provide any money. We are salary-capped, so players have got to leave the club before I can bring any new players in. We have a lot of players out on loan who I would like to see moving on to clear up some money to get rid of the salary cap so we can strengthen the squad, but if that doesn’t materialise there is not a lot I can do.”

The City cause wasn’t helped by the loss of targetman John Murphy who was one of five players out through injury. Many of those on the pitch were also playing out of their normal position, but there was a distinct lack of fight and passion which will have disappointed the traveling fans the most.

City have an immediate chance to put the defeat behind them when they host Grimsby Town on New Year’s Day (15:00).

Picture © Evening Leader
28 December 2007

Chester have had their £50,000 bid for Paul Taylor rejected by Vauxhall Motors. Vauxhall chairman Alan Bartlam told the Chronicle: “Chester’s bid fell some way short of our expectations. Paul should clearly be playing at a higher level and we are sure he will, but we will not accept the first bid that comes along. We would be happy to keep him if we do not get an acceptable bid, but if someone makes an offer that is suitable for Paul and ourselves then we will let him go. The bid made by Chester, however, did not come close to the valuation we have in mind.”

The Blues have injury problems ahead of tomorrow’s League Two match at Brentford. John Murphy, Nathan Lowndes and Simon Yeo are all doubtful starters after picking up injuries against Bury and Morecambe, that would leave youngsters Chris Holroyd and Paul McManus as the only fit forwards.

Chester will be hoping to put the Boxing Day defeat behind them as they travel to a side who are currently being managed by caretaker boss Andy Scott. Scott took over four games ago following the sacking of his predecessor Terry Butcher and have picked up four points from the last nine which included an away draw at leaders MK Dons. Scott must do without Ben Starosta who is suspended for the match.

Goals from Lee Thorpe and Sammy Moore gave the Bees a 2-0 win the last time the sides met at Deva Stadium in September.

Ashley Westwood, Sean Hessey, Phil Bolland, Dean Bennett, and Kevin Sandwith have been told they can all leave Chester. Westwood has just returned from a loan spell at Port Vale, Hessey is currently on loan at Macclesfield Town, Bolland has had trials at Wrexham and Bennett is currently on loan at Kidderminster Harriers.

27 December 2007

City suffered their heaviest defeat of the season at Morecambe losing 5-3 after a poor first half performance saw the Blues trail 4-1, conceding three of the goals from corners taken by ex-City striker Michael Twiss. The defeat drops City to eighth place in League Two. It had looked a different story early on as Kevin Ellison had given Chester a fifth minute lead but three goals in six minutes midway through the half completely turned the game round and a fourth on the strike of half-time ended the game as a contest. The Shrimps made it five on 70 minutes before Ellison scored his second and Chris Holroyd added a third to reduce the deficit.

Manager Bobby Williamson said after seeing his heaviest defeat since taking over at Chester: “I found it really disappointing that we couldn’t defend from set-pieces at Morecambe. We know we’re organised and we know who should be picking up who, and who should be inside the six yard box and dealing with certain situations. Certain players did relinquish their duties, but I’ll take responsibility for that because I delegate who goes into those areas and, obviously I delegated wrongly, so I’ll have a look at that and make sure I get the players to defend those areas in the proper manner.”

Williamson handed a full debut to youth team player Glenn Rule at Morecambe, the youngster started in a three-man central midfield role alongside fellow teenager Kevin Roberts and Mark Hughes. Nathan Lowndes had been unavailable for selection at Christie Park through injury. Both John Murphy and Simon Yeo have picked up injuries in yesterday’s defeat.

Picture © Evening Leader
23 December 2007

City completed their first double of the season on Saturday when they came from a goal down to beat ten-man Bury 2-1 at Deva Stadium. Andy Bishop had given the Shakers an early start and they were playing the better football and heading for an interval lead before Mark Hughes leveled for City. Bishop was shown a red card for a second bookable offence after the break and City, who improved on their poor first half performance, struck the winner eleven minutes from time as Kevin Ellison (pictured) headed home at the far post.

After the game Blues manager Bobby Williamson said: “It’s a great three points for us, we knew it was going to be difficult and that certainly proved to be the case, Bury came here and got themselves in front and it took us a while to get back into it. We managed to get a goal at half time, this helped us tremendously and gave us something to build on for the second half, and thankfully young Kevin Roberts had a desire to get to the by-line and he put a great ball in to Ellison, a left winger playing on the right who also showed a great desire and he has got us a winning goal.”

City remain in sixth place in League Two and will be in action next on Boxing Day when they make the trip to Morecambe. Kick-off at Christie Park is 15:00hrs.

Picture © Evening Leader

21 December 2007

Chester have tabled a reported £50,000 for Vauxhall Motors’ 22-year-old striker Paul Taylor.

The Blues entertain Bury at Deva Stadium tomorrow (15:00hrs). The Shakers currently lie 15th in League Two and have won just one of their last five league games. However, during recent weeks they have progressed well in cup competitions having beaten both Workington and Exeter City in the FA Cup to set up a third round tie at Norwich City, and chalked up a great 2-1 victory at Leeds United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Bobby Williamson welcomes back Richie Partridge to the squad following injury, while both Tony Dinning and Tony Grant are still ruled out. Laurence Wilson, injured in the last game against Peterborough United remains a doubt.

Bury’s only injury doubt is defender Dave Challinor who resumed training this week.

Chester will be looking for their first double of the season having won 2-0 at Gigg Lane in mid September thanks to goals from Paul Butler and Mark Hughes.

The last time we met

20 December 2007

City’s away game in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup against Tottenham Hotspur will take place on Tuesday 8 January at White Hart Lane. Kick-off 19:00hrs. The tie will be settled on the night by, if required, extra time and penalties. Details of admission prices are to be announced soon.

Defender Ashley Westwood’s loan spell at Port Vale has ended due to injury. Westwood made 13 appearances for the Valiants since joining them at the end of August. He lost his place recently and has also picked up an Achilles tendon injury.
He has now returned to Chester.
18 December 2007

The date has been set for the rearranged game at Darlington and this will now take place on Tuesday 19 January, kick-off 19:30.

17 December 2007

City manager Bobby Williamson was unhappy that his side and supporters had made a wasted journey to the north east on Saturday. The game was called off by referee Rob Shoebridge after a 13:20 pitch inspection, there had already been inspections at 10:00 and 12:00. Despite a valiant effort from the ground staff Williamson believes the game should have been called off much earlier that it was.

He said: “The decision to postpone the match should have been made on Saturday morning and that would have saved anyone from traveling. The weather was only going to deteriorate as the day wore on and the sun was certainly not going to come out, so the temperature wasn’t going to improve. I feel the decision to postpone the match should have been made at the first inspection on Saturday morning, rather than have everyone travel up to Darlington.”

Picture © Evening Leader
15 December 2007

Today’s League Two game at Darlington has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. Despite the postponement City remain sixth after this afternoon’s other matches.

Pictures © Evening Leader

14 December 2007

Richie Partridge is expected to be fit for tomorrow’s game at third placed Darlington. The tricky winger missed last Saturday’s home defeat by Peterborough thought injury but has resumed training with the squad this week. Ruled out tomorrow is Laurence Wilson whose calf injury will keep him ut until at least Boxing Day. Both Tony Dinning and Tony Grant are still ruled out.

The Quakers have an excellent unbeaten nine game home record in which they have conceded just four goals. Darlington will be without former City loan player Ricky Ravenhill who is suspended, another ex-Blue Gregg Blundell is expected to play.

Ahead of the game Williamson said: "Darlington have done well with 13 clean sheets this season, so we know that we have got to take our chances in front of goal. It's up to us to stay solid at the back and take our chances in attack so hopefully we can take the points we need. The Darlington match will give me an indication of how we are competing in this league.”

Picture © Evening Leader

Former director and lifelong Chester City fan Paul Baker has confirmed that he has lodged his interest to buy the club. Baker’s company, UK Sameday, have been the club sponsor for two seasons and Paul is a popular figure with the City fans.

Baker is up against two other interested parties trying to take control of the club, overseas management company ISM and Liverpool-based sports marketing agency Sport-6.

Baker informed the Chester Chronicle: “In order for me to proceed to make an indicative offer as quickly as possible, I have requested some key information ahead of any final offer that would be subject to full due diligence. I can confirm that I have had several meetings with Stephen Vaughan over the last few days and continue to have ongoing communication with him on a daily basis. As a result of my discussions with Stephen, I can now confirm that I have lodged an interest to buy his majority shareholding.”

13 December 2007

Goals from James Gregory, Paul McManus and Lloyd Ellams gave the youth team a 3-0 victory over York City last night to set up an away tie at Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the competition after they won 1-0 at Southampton. Ironically the two sides met in the same round in last year’s competition, with the Blues coming out on top 1-0 at the Deva Stadium. City boss Bobby Williamson and assistant Jimmy Bone both attended the game.

Chester City: Dorman, Robson, Feliceiello, Rowlands, Vickers, Owen, Rule (Morrin 82), Gregory, Ellams, McManus, Mitchell (Thorpe 72). Subs not used: Newman, Williams, Williams.

12 December 2007

The youth team host York City in the third round of the FA Youth Cup at Deva Stadium tonight, kick-off 19:00hrs. Admission is �3.00 for adults and �1.00 for children. The winners of tonight’s match are away in the next round at either Tottenham Hotspur or Southampton in the fourth round.

10 December 2007

Manager Bobby Williamson has expressed his concern for the club following the resignation of chairman Steve Vaughan on Saturday.

The City boss, who saw his side lose 2-1 to promotion rivals Peterborough United on Saturday, told the Chester Chronicle: “I’m seriously worried. The only reason I’m here is because we’ve got good people at the club. I was impressed with what the chairman had to say to me in the summer and now, four or fives months down the road, it looks as if it is all going to come apart at the seams. It shouldn�t be like that because I feel we have got something to build on, yet nobody seems to recognise that fact.”

He added: “I’d hate to think he wants to dismantle, but it could be that’s what we’ve got to do and that would mean selling our best players and bringing the kids through and players from other clubs. If that’s the case, I can totally understand where the chairman’s coming from because we’re not getting enough fans through the gates to sustain what we’re trying to achieve. The fans that do come appreciate what Stephen Vaughan has done for this club.”

Meanwhile City fans anxiously wait for further news regarding the running of the club to be released. Former City director, and lifelong supporter, Paul Baker is attempting to hold a meeting with the ex-chairman in the next day or so. Mr Baker commented: “I am fully aware of the situation regarding Stephen Vaughan resigning as chairman and director, but I now want to sit down with him and discuss matters for the well being of the football club.”

Picture © Evening Leader

8 December 2007

Chairman Steve Vaughan announced just before today’s game against Peterborough United that he has resigned as both chairman and as a director of the club. The press conference scheduled for Tuesday morning has now been cancelled. Managing director Bob Gray and secretary Tony Allan will continue to look after the day-to-day running of the club.

Picture © Evening Leader

Two goal in the final ten minutes from Aaron Mclean and Craig Mackail-Smith, the latter a penalty, gave Peterborough United all three points at a wet and windy Deva Stadium on Saturday afternoon. City had opened the scoring in first half stoppage time as Mark Hughes latched on to a John Murphy pass before hitting a 20-yarder past Mark Tyler in the visitors goal. The defeat, the fourth at home so far this season, leaves City still in sixth spot in League Two.

A disappointed Bobby Williamson said after the game: “I didn’t realise we would play as poorly as we did in the second half. We never kept the ball, we never passed the ball at all really. Everything played forward was really a 50/50 ball or more so 60/40 in their favour. They came back on top of us and we’re disappointed about that.”

“I don’t think Peterborough created any chances at all really. Half the time their players got through because of mistakes by out centre-backs and then Danby’s made a save. Apart from that they never troubled us. We dealt with everything after that, but the two we let in are disappointing.”

Man of the Match Kevin Ellison | Picture Sue Choularton

7 December 2007

Fourth placed Peterborough United visit Deva Stadium tomorrow for what should prove a tough League Two encounter.

City turned in one of their best home performances of the season on Tuesday night to defeat Barnet, and will be looking to carry on where they left off then against a Posh side who have won six of their last seven matches including a 7-0 mauling of Brentford. Manager Darren Ferguson is expected to name an unchanged side from the one that won 1-0 on Tuesday night at Notts County.

Tony Dinning and Tony Grant are still out injured and, like his counterpart, manager Williamson may name an unchanged starting line-up from midweek. A win for City tomorrow would lift them above their opponents.

The two sides last met at the end of April, drawing 1-1 at Deva Stadium in what was to be Mark Wright’s last game in charge at Chester against his former club who just missed out on a play-off spot.

Bobby Williamson has named Jimmy Bone as his new assistant who takes over from Malcolm Thomson who left the club earlier in the week. Bone is an experienced ex-forward who in his day played for Partick Thistle, Norwich City, Sheffield United, Celtic, Arbroath, St Mirren, Toronto Blizzard, Hong Kong Rangers and Heart of Midlothian during his career. Both Williamson and Bone have worked together before on Scottish FA coaching courses.

Williamson said: “Jimmy has been here, there and everywhere. I worked with him on the Scottish FA coaching courses at Inverclyde Sports Centre in Largs and I know he’ll get a response from the players. He is looking forward to working with them. Jimmy’s vastly experienced, Malcolm leaving may be a blessing in disguise. He will be missed and we thank him for all he’s done and wish him all the best but a change of face may lift us again. It is a good time to make a change.”

Bone is relishing the chance to work at Chester having watched a tape of Tuesday night’s win over Barnet and seen the reserves win at Tranmere the following night. Ahead of his first match in the post on Saturday Bone said: “You don’t get involved in football if you don’t want to win things and be the best you can. The play-offs would be good, winning promotion would be good, so we have to look to achieve something.”

Picture © Evening Leader

The club have announced that there will be a press conference on Tuesday morning at 11:30 when a statement concerning the future of the club, investment and ownership will be announced.
6 December 2007

A goal five minutes from time by Paul Rutherford gave the reserves a 1-0 at Tranmere Rovers last night in the Pontins Holiday League Division One West.

Picture © Evening Leader

5 December 2007

An early goal from Richie Partridge along with two strikes from Kevin Ellison gave City a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Barnet in an entertaining game at Deva Stadium last night. The Blues registered their first win in four matches to move sixth in League Two. John Murphy returned after injury to lead the line as the Blues go off to the best possible start with an opening goal after just six minutes before doubling their lead just before the interval.

Manager Bobby Williamson was delighted after this latest victory and said: “It was good to see Richie Partridge opening our account with our first visit up the park. But all three of our goals were good goals and it was good to see them hitting the back of the net. But another pleasing aspect from the game was that we managed to keep a clean sheet. I try and encourage the players to get the ball down and play and we certainly did that, but all credit to Barnet who knocked the ball around well also and troubled us at times – I’m sure they’ll win more games than they lose this season.”

City are next in action on Saturday when fourth placed Peterborough United visit Deva Stadium. Before then manager Williamson is expected to name his new assistant following the departure on Malcolm Thomson earlier in the week with Jimmy Bone one of the main candidates.

Picture © Evening Leader

4 December 2007

Chester will be looking to get back to winning ways tonight when they entertain Barnet at Deva Stadium (19:45). Like City, the Bees have had a solid start to the season and currently lie in 10th place, five points behind the Blues. Chester have suffered two defeats and a draw in their last three outings and will be hoping to have striker John Murphy back in contention after he missed the last two games through injury. Definitely ruled out are both Tony Dinning and Tony Grant.

Barnet defender Sagi Burton is expected to be ruled out with a knee injury, while Joe O’Cearuill is likely to return to the side.

3 December 2007

Bobby Williamson’s assistant manager Malcolm ‘Malky’ Thomson has left Chester after eight months in the post. It is believed he will be moving back to Scotland, to be nearer home and his family, and to possibly take on a similar position at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The club have already announced that they will speak to Chester City will this week speak to former Dumbarton manager, Gerry McCabe to fill the vacancy. McCabe was Williamson’s assistant at Kilmarnock.

Picture © Evening Leader
































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