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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2022

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FEBRUARY
24 February 2022
DUO RETURN TO TAKE THE POINTS
Chester fell to a second successive home defeat as former manager’s Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley brought their Spennymoor Town side to Deva Stadium and went away back to the north east with a 2-0 victory. Moors took the lead as early as the sixth minute through Rob Ramshaw following a through ball from Jordan Thewlis. Wyll Stanway in the Blues goal produced a fine save to deny Glen Taylor from doubling the lead from the penalty spot after referee Ben Wyatt awarded a dubious spot-kick following a foul on Thewlis.

Rob Apter was unfortunate to see a fine effort hit the inside of the post and roll along the goal line before being cleared as the Blues looked to start the second period strongly. However, just ten minutes into the second period Spennymoor doubled their lead to seal the three points through Thewlis.


Picture © Rick Matthews


League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

21 February 2022
BLUES LET LEAD SLIP AGAIN
It was another frustrating pointless weekend for Chester who once again let a lead slip as they were beaten 3-2 by promotion chasing Hereford at Deva Stadium. Harrison Burke headed the Blues in front from a Rob Apter corner on 24 minutes, a lead they held until 20 seconds from the end of the half when Jared Hodgkiss, totally unmarked at the far post, had the simplest of tasks to draw The Bulls level.

Apter again provided the goal assist as Matty Williams headed Chester in front from another corner on 64 minutes, but as we’ve seen so often before, the lead lasted just a couple of minutes before Maziar Kouhyar sent a left wing shot across Wyll Stanway to equalise once again.

The game was lost eight minutes form time as substitute Okera Simmonds was penalised for a push on Hodgkiss in the box and Tom Owen-Evan stepped up to send Stanway the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick to seal the points.

Manager Steve Watson told the Chester Chronicle: “Hereford are a good side and they are going to have a spell, we are not going to dominate for the whole game. But how we manage those spells has been so disappointing.”

“It is not just this game, it is since I have got here. I have said it a number of times, I have heard the previous manager say the same thing and we are now 30 odd games in, and we have not learned from Day One by the looks of things.”

“That is alarming and it is really disappointing because no doubt I will be doing completely different things to whoever was here before me. But we don’t seem to be learning the lessons. That is what you have to question.”

“I am going to say the goals are terrible and, as much as they were, but also for how many chances we created and how many good moves we had into the box, we have relied on two young lads to go and head the ball into the back of the net.”

“So, we have to take collective responsibility about putting the game to bed.”

“They had one chance in the first half where the keeper made a good save up close, but we had four or five. We could have been going in 4-1 up after the first half if people had taken their chances properly and with more quality and composure. Then it is a different story again.”

Chester are back at home on Tuesday night with the visit of Spennymoor Town, kick-off 19.45hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews

League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

17 February 2022
LOANS EXTENDED
Forward Lloyd Marsh-Hughes has had his loan at Runcorn Linnets extended until the end of the season, while midfielder Drew Lowe has had his loan spell at Glossop North End also extended until the end of the season.

15 February 2022
LACEY LEAVES CHESTER
Midfielder Paddy Lacey has left Chester to join a Northern Premier League club. In his time at Deva Stadium Lacey made 12+1 appearances, scoring three goals. Paddy Lacey has since joined Warrington Rylands FC until the end of the season.

NEW DEAL FOR YOUNG DEFENDER
The club have announced that 19-year-old defender Harrison Burke has had his contract extended until 2024. Following a successful loan spell at Clitheroe, the academy graduate has so far made 2+2 appearances for the first team this season, scoring a memorable goal on his full debut against Southport recently.

Picture © Rick Matthews

DACKERS LOAN EXTENDED
Marcus Dackers’ loan deal from Salford City has been extended by another month. The 19-year-old forward has made 4+1 appearances scoring two goals in his stay at Deva Stadium so far.

Picture © Rick Matthews

BLUES LOSE LEAD AT DARLINGTON
Despite taking an early lead through on-loan striker Marcus Dackers, Chester suffered a 2-1 defeat at a windswept Blackwell Meadows on Saturday. Dackers opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a composed finish after Declan Weeks’ effort had been parried by home ‘keeper Tommy Taylor.

The lead lasted only five minutes through before Junior Mondal chipped over Wyll Stanway to draw Darlo level. The home side took the lead just before the hour mark through a run and shot from George Smith. Chester pressed for an equaliser with both substitute Okera Simmonds and Matty Williams forcing saves from Taylor but it was to prove another fruitless trip to the north east for the Blues.

Chester are back at home on Saturday with the visit of Hereford, kick-off 15.00hrs. This is followed on Tuesday by the return of former managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley as they bring their Spennymoor Town side to Deva Stadium, kick-off 19.45hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews

League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]


8 February 2022
CFU APPOINT NEW CHAIRMAN
Following on from yesterday’s resignation of Andrew Morris, City Fans United have acted quickly to appoint Kieron Shiel as his replacement as club chairman. Jim Green will continue as vice chairman.

A CFU statement said: “Kieron has served on the board since 2019 and during that time has overseen improvements to the club’s retail provision, significantly increasing profits from merchandise sales. As well as being a qualified football coach and scout, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in leadership, project delivery management, people management and technology.”

ASKEW JOINS ALFRETON
Defender Josh Askew has left Chester signed for Alfreton Town. Askew made 23+6 appearances for the Blues, scoring 2 goals.

7 February 2022
CFU CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN
City Fans United chairman Andrew Morris has stepped down from the board of directors and his role as chairman after five years of dedicated service to the club. Vice chairman Jim Green is expected to fulfill the role of chairman until a new appointment is made, the board intend to meet to discuss this this week.

The club issued the following statement: “Andrew was elected to the board in October 2017 and has served as chairman since April 2020, helping guide the club through a period of unprecedented challenges.”

“Andrew tendered his resignation on Saturday evening and the board wishes to place on record its collective gratitude and appreciation for his significant contribution. We thank him for agreeing to a handover period to ensure an orderly transition, and wish Andrew the very best for the future.”

Andrew Morris, who played a pivotal role in helping steer the club through the pandemic said: “The decision to step down now has been a difficult one. However, the planning cycle and process for the 2022/23 season needs to commence imminently and it is only right that this is led by a chairman, and board, who have time to fully commit to the club and will deliver the objectives set.”

“The last four years have seen me commit dozens of hours a week to the club and whilst I don’t regret one minute of this time, balancing this with other aspects of my life has become increasingly difficult.”

“Unfortunately, it is not something I can continue to do for the next 18 months of my tenure.”

“Similarly, I would not wish to do the club a disservice by not fully committing to working for the club whilst being on the board. With that said, I will continue to support the board through a period of handover.”

“I have been fortunate to meet some fantastic individuals since volunteering for the club and without doubt it is the people that make this club so special.”

“I do wish the board, and all associated with the club, every success and best wishes. It has been a privilege to lead the CFU And I thank you wholeheartedly for providing me with the opportunity.”

HARRISON LEADS THE WAY
A fantastic goal from Harrison Burke on his full debut sent Chester on their way to a convincing 5-0 victory over sixth placed Southport at Deva Stadium on Saturday. The introduction of Burke, for James Horsfield, was the only change to the side that held Brackley Town in midweek, and the young blue had a composed debut capping it off with the opening goal from long range on 31 minutes.

The game was wrapped up early in the second period as goals by Marcus Dackers, his first for the club, and the much improved Darren Stephenson (pictured) saw the Blues race into a 3-0 lead on 55 minutes. Man of the Match Declan Weeks added a fourth on 70 minutes before the impressive winger Rob Apter wrapped up the scoring six minutes later.

The victory lifted Chester one place to 15th in the table. They will be looking to take the momentum they’ve built at home this week on the road with them on Saturday when they travel to Darlington who sit one place below them. Kick-off 15.00hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews


League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

6 February 2022
STEVE FINNEY 1973-2022
Former Chester City striker Steve Finney has sadly passed away at the age of 48 after a short illness. Steve was playing part-time football for Barrow when he was given an opportunity to return to the Football League by Terry Smith who signed him for Chester in October 1999. He went on to make 13 Football League appearances, including 9 from the bench, and was one of the players retained by Graham Barrow for the first season in the Conference. Alongside Paul Carden he was the only player to start the last game in the Football League, against Peterborough, and the first fixture in the Conference, against Rushden and Diamonds, and he made a further four starts and five substitute appearances before being released in late 2000.

Obituary

2 February 2022
BLUES DENIED BY LATE OWN GOAL
Chester were denied victory over promotion chasing Brackley Town on Tuesday night when a freak own goal by Simon Grand handed The Saints a last minute equaliser.

Grand, along with the rest of the Blues defence, had kept their high-flying opponents quiet all night and looked to be heading for three points after Declan Weeks had given them a 54th minute lead. However a late inswinging corner saw the Chester defender hook the ball into his own net when attempting to clear the danger at the far post.

Manager Steve Watson gave debuts to goalkeeper Wyll Stanway and midfielder Rowan Roache, who were two of five changes to the starting X1, and both played their part in a much improved performance from the 4-0 drubbing at Boston United on Saturday.

Manager Steve Watson told the Chester Chronicle: “I thought the lads who came in did great. I thought Will did very well and didn’t put a foot wrong really.”

“I thought Rowan Roache had some really good moments to say that he is a really good, clever footballer. He played some great passes in the first half and I thought Marcus got better as the game went on again.”

“It was tough for him up there on his own. You wanted Rowan to be in and around him but, because of the way they play, it is difficult to throw another man that far forward when you are under quite a lot of pressure with the ball.”

“He ran himself into the ground. I think the two of them gave us everything they got. For both of them, I think it is a tempo of football that they are still getting used to.”

Chester are back at Deva Stadium on Saturday for the visit of Southport, kick-off 15.00hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews


League table after this match | Match photgraphs | Match highlights [YouTube]
1 February 2022
DEFENDER SIGNS ON LOAN
The Blues have signed Stoke City defender David Okagbue on an initial one month work experience loan.

Squad numbers

CLARKE LOANED OUT
Forward Zack Clarke has joined Atherton Collieries on a one month loan. He spent a successful loan spell at the Northern Premier League side during last December.

APTER DEAL EXTENDED
Chester have extended the loan deal of Blackpool winger Rob Apter until the end of the season.
MIDFIELDER SIGNS
The Blues have completed the signing of 20-year-old midfielder Rowan Roache on a short term contract. Roache began his career at Blackpool and played a part in the Tangerine’s successful Youth Team. This season has seen him plying his trade at Northern Premier League side Atherton Collieries.

WATSON EMBARRASSED BY LATEST DEFEAT
Chester were thrashed 4-0 at Boston United on Saturday, their third successive away defeat. Manager Steve Watson made four changes to the side beaten at Curzon Ashton seven days before, Declan Weeks and Danny Livesey missed out through injury, whole Josh Askew and Marcus Dackers started on the bench. Replacing them in the starting X1 were Simon Grand, Paddy Lacey, George Waring and David Fitzpatrick.

The Pilgrims took the lead on 15 minutes with the simplest of goals, Luke Shiels given a free header to despatch a right wing corner from Joe Leesley past Louis Gray. Two minutes later they doubled their lead as former-Blue Danny Elliott crossed from the left, Grand and Gray got in each others way leaving Fraser Preston the simplest of chances from a yard out.

Preston scored his second to gave Boston a 3-0 lead on 33 minutes finding himself in acres of space to fire past Gray with ease. The rout was completed eight minutes into the second period with Elliott beating Gray from the penalty spot, the kick awarded following a foul by Kevin Roberts on Preston.

Manager Steve Watson told the club website what he thought of the performance: “Embarrassed to be honest. Embarrassed about the first half performance – and the players should be. The fans again came down in numbers and have every right to be disgusted at what they saw in the first half, as I was.”

“You know how Boston are going to play. They are going to be dynamic and direct. Most of Tuesday night was working on defending the box, defending second balls. One v one individual defending.”

“And it is if it just fell on deaf ears to them the way we defended in the first half. But for the first time since I have been here, we didn’t pose a threat at the other end either. That was as disappointing.”

“But you can’t give teams in this league three goals head start and expect to get anything out of the game. So, the second half was all about trying to win the second half and seeing if we could get the first goal.”

“But again another individual error led to their goal. Of course, we did more in the second half but it is easy to play well when you are 4-0 down. It is easy because the game is lost.”

Chester are back in action on Tuesday night when they have a home game against second placed Brackley Town, kick-off 19.45hrs.


Picture © Rick Matthews


League table after this match | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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