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MARCH 2003

30 March 2003
Dave Cameron celebratesCity’s 2-1 win at Farnborough Town on Saturday keeps them well on course for an end-of-season play-off spot. Leading striker Daryl Clare was missing from the starting line-up, suffering with a knee injury picked up last week, which left the way open for Mark Beesley to start his eighth game of the season and he gave a good account of himself throughout the game, as did Danny Collins who seems to get better with every match.

The Blues fell behind to an early Joff Vansittart goal after the defence failed to clear a far post corner. Ben Davies equalised for City midway thought the half after converting a Mark Beesley cross. City had to weather some home pressure after the break and the game looked to be heading for a draw until Dave Cameron converted a last minute penalty, in front of the City fans, after Ben Davies’ free-kick was adjudged to have been handled in the box by Christian Lee.

City’s victory lifted then up to third place, a point behind Doncaster Rovers in second, and nine clear of Hereford United who occupy sixth spot (one below the play-off mark). Four points from the remaining six games should be enough to guarantee a play-off spot.
28 March 2003
The club are to give a trail next week to 19-year-old Liverpool central defender Stephen McNulty. He’s being released by the Anfield club in the summer and is keen to stay in the north west. City chairman Stephen Vaughan said: “I have spoken to Mark Wright about the player, and he is keen to take a closer look at him, so the youngster is coming in on Monday. Stephen is a big strong defender, so if all goes well during the trial period, it could be a development that suits all parties.”

He Should Do Well: Steve McNulty by Paul Grech and Andy Phillip

Meanwhile, City have no injury problems for the match at Farnborough Town tomorrow (kick-off 13:00hrs). New loan signing Ian Joy is expected to be in the squad and skipper Phil Bolland returns after suspension.

27 March 2003

Today is transfer deadline day and there’s been plenty of action in the transfer market here are the details of transfers IN affecting clubs near the top of the league at present:

Doncaster Rovers: Gregg Blundell (Northwich Victoria), Tyrone Thompson (Sheffied United, loan)
Halifax Town: Neil Tolson (Kettering Town)
Hereford United: Karl Hawley (Walsall, loan), Albano Correia (Bristol City), Mark Gayle (Solihull Borough)
Morecambe: Lee Collins (Blackpool)

26 March 2003
Ian Joy Chester City have signed 21-year-old ex-Montrose and Kidderminster Harriers midfielder Ian Joy on loan until the end of the season. City boss Mark Wright said: “Ian has been training with us recently, and he has impressed. He is a left-sided defender or midfielder, and he extends the options I have in that department, it’s up to him to prove to us in this short period that he’s worth a longer contract.”

Joy, born in San Diego USA, appeared in the same Kidderminster side last season as Ben Davies and goes straight into the squad for the match at Farnborough Town on Saturday.

All three of City’s players in the England National Game X1 squad featured in last night’s 0-0 draw in Holland. Scott Guyett captained the side and played the full 90 minutes along with Danny Collins. Wayne Brown played the opening 59 minutes before being replaced.

England: Wayne Brown (Chris Weale 59), John Kennedy, Scott Guyett (Captain), Danny Collins, Michael Rose, Mark Janney (Jimmy Jackson 69), Richard Norris (Lee Johnson 82), Stewart Drummond, Lee Elam, Gregg Blundell (Adriano Rigoglioso 59), Junior Agogo (Roscoe d'Sane 74).

Match report (FA website)

25 March 2003
England PlayersThree of City’s players, Danny Collins, Wayne Brown and Scott Guyett will be hoping they feature in tonight’s National Game X1 match in Beek en Donk on the outskirts of Eindhoven, against Holland (kick-off 19:30hrs). All were selected in the squad last week and set off following Saturday’s match against Southport to join up with the rest of the squad.

Goalkeeper Wayne Brown has been capped six times before for England while Scott Guyett was selected while he was playing at Southport.

It’s Chester-born Collins’ first involvement with the national side, and comes after a series of impressive performances at the heart of the City defence and a successful loan spell at Vauxhall Motors earlier in the season, where the ex-Buckley Town striker took on a new role of defender and was a key player in their tremendous FA Cup run that saw the UniBond Premier League side knock-out Queens Park Rangers.

“ They are a good set of lads there and I enjoyed my time with Vauxhall. I was just going there to see if I could improve as a player, so I didn't expect to do as well as we did in the Cup. It was a fantastic time though and beating QPR was probably the biggest game in my career so far. I’ll always remember it.” said Collins.

Manager Paul Fairclough said: “Danny Collins has done exceptionally well, keeping more experienced players out of the first team. And after speaking to Mark Wright we agreed that the trip would also add to Danny’s learning curve.”

The game in Beek en Donk, home to BV Sparta 25, is being used for preparation towards the home internationals in Wales at the end of May.

List of Chester’s International players

City manager Mark Wright has told the Evening Leader that he’s looking to bring in a midfielder on loan, hopefully in time for Saturday’s game at Farnborough Town. He said: “I looked at John Doolan from Barnet, and we just couldn’t afford what he wanted. He would have been good for us short-term, but he wanted a lot of money from us this year, and two more, and I wasn’t prepared to do that. If I can find someone who is influential and mobile, I would look to bring them into the midfield area, especially if it was a big man – a six-foot midfielder who is prepared to roll his sleeves up, dictates, pushes people in, and pushes people around would be good.”

24 March 2003
Paul CardenCity’s 2-0 victory over Southport on Saturday lifted them to fourth place in the Nationwide Conference. It took a slice of luck in the form of a flying header into his own net from Southport’s Chris Lane to open City’s account but man of the match Paul Carden (pictured) sealed matters with a fine individual effort five minutes from time for his second goal of the season, his other being against the same opposition at Haig Avenue back in November.

Manager Mark Wright rang the changes from Monday’s team by starting with Michael Twiss and Mark Beesley though they were replaced at half-time by Shaun Carey and Mark Quayle as City looked to lift the game after a first-half stalemate.

Manager Mark Wright said after the win: “I thought we dominated for for long spells. We started well and finished well too. There’s no doubt that the two substitutions at the break game us a little more impetus and I thought Paul Carden’s goal was a little gem and thoroughly deserved.”

Chester’s second win in a week lifted them to fourth place, overtaking Morecambe who went down to a last minute goal in a 3-2 defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet.
21 March 2003
Chester will go into tomorrow’s home match against Southport (kick-off 15:00hrs) with no fresh injury worries following Monday night’s physical clash with Doncaster Rovers. Defender Phil Bolland misses the game as he serves the second game of his two match ban. The players have enjoyed a couple of days off this week to rest and recover from Monday’s game. City beat the Sandgrounders 3-1 back in November in a game that saw Daryl Clare controversially sent off, only to have the red card rescinded a week later. The visitors currently lie in 14th spot, five points above a relegation spot, and were beaten 3-1 by manager-less Barnet on Tuesday night. They’ve had five wins on their travels this season.
18 March 2003
Michael TwissA single goal from substitute Michael Twiss (pictured) on 61 minutes was enough to bring City their first live televised win and all three points against promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers in a scrappy, bad tempered game at Deva Stadium. Twiss finished in style following a great lay off from Dave Cameron who had been introduced seconds before. The game will be remembered though for three sending’s off; Rovers’ Jason Blunt and Dave Morley both for second bookable offences, and, in the dying minutes, City manager Mark Wright was ordered to sit in the stand following a touchline incident with Doncaster’s Chris Beech.

Coach Steve Bleasdale said after the game: “This result gives us a great incentive, but we’ve got to build on this scoreline, and I believe that four more wins will secure us a play-off place. If we reach the play-offs it will be a fantastic achievement for the gaffer and me. The truth is that nobody wants to play us because they’re frightened of playing us.”

City will be looking to build on this win for Saturday’s visit of 14th placed Southport. Skipper Phil Bolland will once again miss out through suspension.

Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that the players are now wearing the ISA Final Countdown t-shirts for their pre-match warm-ups. These are still on sale at Corals, Bridge Street and also at the ground on match days, and the club Open Day. Price £5.00. Colours: royal blue and a few navy blue. If anyone wants one by post, email Les Smith or send a cheque to ISA address (add 50p postage). Sizes are M, L, XL.

A crowd of 2,928 (coincidentally the same gate as the previous home game!) turned out last night, though over 4,000 would have been expected for a Saturday fixture between the sides.

Earlier in the day, two goals from Dean Buckley gave Iain Jenkins’ youth team a 2-0 home win over Doncaster Rovers in the Youth Merit League Division Two North.
17 March 2003
Ben DaviesChester must overcome their small screen jinx tonight if they are to claw back three points on visitors Doncaster Rovers. The Blues will go into the clash against the division’s second placed side without suspended skipper Phil Bolland and will anxiously wait on the fitness of fellow defender Scott Guyett before attempting to gain their first ever win in a live televised game. Midfielder Ben Davies (pictured) is expected to return from injury while striker Dave Cameron, recalled from a loan spell at Telford United in midweek should also feature.

Ahead of the game manager Mark Wright said: “The media have termed Monday’s match against Doncaster as a big game, but it’s no bigger to me than a home or away match against Farnborough Town. Every game we play is big, but if we play as well as I know we can I think we can beat Doncaster. I’m pleased the match is being televised because it raises the profile of the club. We’re without our central defender, Phil Bolland, who is serving the first of his two-game suspension, but Scott Guyett is back for us.”

Wright continued: “The game against Doncaster, of course, is important but so are the matches against Southport, Farnborough Town, Woking and the rest. When you are in a challenging position like ourselves, all the games take on an equal importance. We are ambitious and totally focused on the job in hand, and that is achieving a play-off placing at the end of the season.”

Doncaster are expected to give a debut to experienced striker Don Goodman who has signed on loan from Exeter City until the end of the season.

Results on Saturday partially went in City’s favour, Hereford United and Halifax Town below both lost but Dagenham & Redbridge above won and gained three points on City while Morecambe drew and gained one point leaving the Blues still in fifth place. The Daggers eleventh successive league win created a Conference record in the process. Tomorrow’s game kick’s-off at 20:00hrs.

The Exiles have once again reserved an area in the ‘Famous Three Kings’ pub at 171 North End Road, London W14, to view tonight’s crucial City v Doncaster Rovers game. The pub can be found right next door to West Kensington tube station. Despite the disappointment of the result, we had a great night there for our last televised match against Barnet, and we shall once again be utilising the upstairs area. All City fans and friends in the area who can’t make the game are welcome to come along. Note that the pub has a strict over-18’s only policy. The Famous Three Kings telephone number is: (020) 7603 6071.

Goals by Dean Buckley and Matt Cook gave the Youth Team a 2-0 away win at Burnley on Saturday in the Youth Merit League Division Two North.
The National Game X1 squad to play in Beek En Donk, Holland, on 25 March has been announced by manager Paul Fairclough and includes three City players: Wayne Brown, Danny Collins and Scott Guyett. Unlike the last two games this squad is not restricted to U-23s.

This is a first, and thoroughly deserved, call up for youngster Collins; Fairclough said: “Danny Collins has done exceptionally well, keeping more experienced players out of the first team. And after speaking to Mark Wright we agreed that the trip would also add to Danny’s learning curve.”

The full squad for the game is:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Brown (Chester City), Chris Weale (Yeovil Town).
Defenders: John Kennedy (Canvey Island), Terry Skiverton (Yeovil Town), Scott Guyett (Chester City), Danny Collins (Chester City), Michael Rose (Hereford United).
Midfielders: Mark Janney (Dagenham & Redbridge), Darren Way (Yeovil Town), Richard Norris (Northwich Victoria), Stewart Drummond (Morecambe), Lee Elam (Morecambe), Adriano Rigoglioso (Morecambe).
Forwards: Junior Agogo (Barnet), Junior McDougald (Dagenham & Redbridge), Gregg Blundell (Northwich Victoria).

13 March 2003
England Under-17s kicked off their opening Group 6 European Championship Qualification match with a 2-0 victory over a Czech side who never really threatened the scoreline. A crowd of 1,682 at the Deva Stadium, saw Martin Cranie open the scoring on ten minutes and a Ryan Jarvis penalty in the second half of a match that should have had more goals, but sent England top Group 6 after one game following Scotland and Slovakia’s 0-0 draw earlier in the day. Chester-based youngster, Tom Heaton, a former Upton High School pupil, was England’s goalkeeper for the match.

An FA spokesperson said the international had proved a big hit: �Everyone representing England at the match thought the night had been a big success. We were obviously delighted to see England win 2-0, but Chester did another very good job in hosting the match. We�re now looking forward to tomorrow�s international involving Scotland and the Czech Republic.�

England U-17 match report (FA website)

CFC Juniors Ball Boys Juniors
Some of the CCFC Juniors who were ball boys at the match. Adam Howell and Timmy Newman from the U-8s side with England U-17 goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence after the international.

The Deva Stadium will host the Scotland against Czech Republic U-17 international tomorrow, (16:00hrs kick-off). Admission will be £1 for adults, and under 16s and senior citizens will be admitted free.
Goals by Mike Simpson and Dean Buckley gave the City youth team a 2-1 home victory over Carlisle United in the Youth Merit League Division Two North yesterday.

The club have recalled striker Dave Cameron from his loan spell at Telford United. Cameron played six games on loan at the Bucks Head outfit without scoring a goal. “It's shame. He was just starting to give his best performances for us and he had done well. But that’s life,” Telford manager Jake King told the BBC website. City boss Mark Wright said: “Dave has been recalled to give us extra options, the spell at Telford has proved to be a positive period for him.”

12 March 2003
There’s a chance for the Chester public to see some possible international stars of the future tonight as England play the Czech Republic in an UEFA Under-17 Championship second qualifying match at Deva Stadium, kick-off 19:00hrs. Admission is by pay on the gate and prices are £5 adults and £1 concessions.

City manager and former England player Mark Wright said: “It is great that England’s stars of the future are coming to the Deva Stadium and I hope that Chester fans will give them a big welcome and create great atmosphere for them. Representing England at any level is a great honour and I am sure that the lads will enjoy playing here, I hope that a big crowd will turn out and cheer them on.”

England U-17 Pen Pics (FA website)

On Friday the Deva will host the Scotland v Czech Republic match that will kick-off at the earlier time of 16:00hrs. Admission for that game is pay at the gate, £1 for adults and free for children.

10 March 2003
More than 500 fans took advantage of Chester City’s successful Open Day yesterday. Players and staff put Saturday’s disappointment behind them as they chatted with fans, posed for pictures and signed autographs. They also took part in a public training session on the pitch. There was complete access to the stadium facilities from the Board Room to the Physio Room where Joe Hinnigan was giving treatment to injured duo Scott Guyett and Ben Davies. The club shop, now stocked with replica shirts of all sizes and polo shirts seemed to be doing good trade as well.

Weather conditions, namely a very blustery wind, prevented the helicopter rides from taking place, however there were bouncy castles, face painting and Tyson the rescued Shetland pony to amuse the youngsters. You could even practice your penalty skills against Wayne Brown.

The ISA and the Supporters Trust both had stands and the Exiles even signed up two new members in Stephen Vaughan and Ian Knox.

Commercial manager Ian Knox commented: “Sunday was a day for the fans and gave all our loyal supporters over the years, over the months, and definitely during this season, a chance to look behind the scenes. Fans were encouraged to watch a training session on the pitch, have a drink in our supporters lounge, have a look in the boardroom, have a look in the changing rooms, and do all the things they can’t normally do.

The open day was a great opportunity for the fans to come along and have their photograph taken with their favourite players, talk to the players, and hopefully the players assured the fans that they were doing their best. The day was a really good public relations initiative, and we were trying to instill the feel-good factor at the club.

We hope the fans had a really good time, and I now hope they can come down to the club more often. And in the pre-season we’re keen to run another open day. Mark Wright and his players embark on weekly visits to local schools, and I’d like to think we are approachable, and my door is always open, and that’s the key, and I want that to continue.”

Wayne signs autographs Ian Knox and Stephen Vaughan
Mark Wright training Scott Guyett and Joe Hinnigan

more pictures ›
City’s U-13 and U-9 sides were in action on Sunday. Read Mark Newman’s match summaries here.
7 March 2003
Midfielder Jimmy Kelly is available again tomorrow after serving a one match suspension last weekend, while defender Wayne Hatswell misses out through a ban. The Blues will be looking for their tenth away victory of the season and return to Eton Park where they were dumped out of the FA Trophy by The Brewers, then a UniBond side, twelve months ago. Lee Woodyatt and Michael Twiss both played in last Saturday’s home win over Halifax Town, and it remains to be seen whether manager Mark Wright will stick to that winning formula tomorrow. The clubs last met in September when two goals from Ryan Sugden gave City a 2-1 home win. Burton Albion currently lie 17th in the Conference with just two home wins so far this season and have struggled since winning the UniBond Premier League last year.
6 March 2003
Both Ben Davies and Chris Blackburn (pictured) are making good progress in their recovery from injury.

City�s first team coach Steve Bleasdale said: �Chris Blackburn came through 70 minutes of the reserves� match last night and looks on course to claim a place in the first team squad on Saturday. And Ben Davies is expecting to have the stitches out on his leg injury today. He will be starting light jogging in training soon, and we are targeting the Doncaster Rovers home match on Monday week for his return.�

Deva StadiumThe football club will be holding an open day this Sunday 9 March, where supporters will be able to view first-hand the refurbishment that has taken place throughout the stadium over the last twelve months, and meet up with the key people involved who help to run the club.

The City playing staff will undergo a public training session on the pitch, and afterwards will be available for photographs and autographs with supporters. There will also be the chance of a helicopter flight over the stadium during the day.

The newly installed stadium gates will be opening at 11.00am for the event and refreshments will be available throughout.

Chester have now taken delivery of club kits which will be on sale on the day and the club shop will be open throughout the open day. Chester City ISA will also be present on the day, selling flags and T-shirts, in a bid to promote the club�s promotion push.

City’s commercial manager Ian Knox said: “It will be a fun day, and we hope all our supporters can make it down to the ground, to be entertained and also see the progress that we have made behind the scenes.”
4 March 2003

Good luck to City forward Mickey Brown who has left to join Conference side Nuneaton Borough and made his debut tonight alongside Steve Brodie in Borough’s home 3-2 win against Southport. Brown signed for City in the summer and in total made 7+21 appearances for the Blues, scoring no goals. It was perhaps inevitable that one or two players would follow chief scout Alan Lewer to Manor Park. Yeovil’s 3-2 win at Halifax Town tonight puts them 14 points clear of City, while Dagenham’s 3-2 home win over lowly Stevenage Borough moves then to fourth, one place below City and on equal points though the Blues’ goal difference is 12 better.
2 March 2003

Phil BollandCity remain in third place in the Nationwide Conference following their 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Halifax Town at Deva Stadium on Saturday. Goals, either side of half-time, by City’s attacking duo Daryl Clare and on-loan Mark Quayle were enough to win a niggly game that saw City captain Phil Bolland dismissed eight minutes from the end of the game following a second yellow card. Bolland (pictured) will receive a two match ban, the home games with Doncaster Rovers and Southport, as it’s his second red of the season.

Manager Mark Wright has said he will appeal against the second booking and ask referee Paul Canadine to look again at a video of the incident. The manager said: “If the video proves it’s in our favour we will definitely appeal against the sending off. Some players don’t admit to what they have done and it’s very hard to see what’s happened in driving rain, but it looked like nothing and to send a man off looked ridiculous.”

Following the victory, manager Mark Wright said: “Ironically I didn’t think we played as well today as we have done in our previous matches at Morecambe and Dagenham. However we came away with the three points and that’s basically what matters. It was a good, gritty performance from the lads, and I’m proud of them for the way they battled. It is frustrating, but the big plusses for us were the performances of Shaun Carey, Paul Carden, Michael Twiss, Danny Collins, and seeing both Mark Quayle and Daryl Clare score. It was good to see Daryl and Mark both score against Halifax, because it’s a partnership that will be a threat to anybody.”

Defender Wayne Hatswell will miss Saturday’s game a Burton Albion as he serves a one match suspension for picking up five bookings.
Three of City’s Junior sides were in action on Sunday. Read Mark Newman’s match summaries here.
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