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30 September 2004

City turned in a great second half performance to come from behind to beat League One side Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough last night in the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy.

Manager Ian Rush gave full debuts to three players, Chris MacKenzie in goal, youngster Robbie Booth from the youth team and Richard Hope who signalled City’s fightback with a second half equaliser.

Kevin Ellison with a terrific 25-yarder, two minutes after Hope’s effort, proved to be the match winner as City completed their comeback after Steve MacLean had opened the scoring for the Owls on 29 minutes.

29 September 2004

Chester travel to League One side Sheffield Wednesday tonight for a first round LDV Vans Trophy game (kick-off 19:45hrs). It’s not clear whether Kevin McIntyre or Michael Branch will feature in the side. Manager Ian Rush was basing his decision on whether to include them or not after yesterday’s training session. Cortez Belle sits out the last game of his three match suspension.

Citys recent record in the competition is poor and weve only passed the first round stage on one occasion in the last eight years, in 2000/01 when Paul Cardens goal defeated Hull City. Chesters best performance came in 1986/87 when they reached the Northern Final before losing 2-1 on aggregate to Mansfield Town.

Home side Wednesday will be parading new manager Paul Sturrock, appointed last week, and are expected be unchanged folowing their 3-0 win at Wrexham on Saturday.
27 September 2004

A second goal of the season for Kevin Ellison brought City a point from a hard fought contest at Lincoln City. Ellison’s equaliser, against a club he played 13 games for last season, came in controversial circumstances as he fired home an indirect free-kick in the penalty area with Lincoln players claiming the ball hit no one on its way into the net. Once again the Blues were without the services of both Michael Branch and Kevin McIntyre and gave a place on the bench to 19-year-old youth team player Robbie Booth. The game also marked the debut of Richard Hope. Hope, signed from York City in the summer, surprisingly played up front as a lone striker for the final 25 minutes.
Kevin Ellison picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday (for celebrating his goal) and is now due a one match suspension from 2/10/04 which would mean him missing Saturday’s home game against Swansea City.
24 September 2004

Both Kevin McIntyre (eye infection) and Michael Branch (hamstring) are doubtful for tomorrow’s trip to Lincoln City. Blues boss Ian Rush will also be without the suspended Cortez Belle, Daryl Clare who continues to recover from his hernia operation, and Andy watson who is yet to pull on a City shirt since his summer signing.

After a poor start to the season, City under Rush are looking to extend their unbeaten run to four games agains The Imps who currently lie just above them in League Two. Like bottom club Notts County, Lincoln are without a home victory to their name this season. Former City player Michael Blackwood misses the game for the home side with a stomach strain.

23 September 2004

Former goalkeeper Bill Shortt died recently in Plymouth aged 83. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Read an obituary to Bill here.
22 September 2004

City’s reserves lost 2-1 at home to Shrewsbury Town reserves in their Pontins League Holiday Cup Group Six game this afternoon. Ian Lathom scored for the Blues. City may still progress though, they have one fixture to play in the group of three at Wrexham. The game will take place on Wednesday 19 January 2005.

Reserve team fixtures.

Midfielder Alan Navarro has returned to Prenton Park following his one month loan spell from Tranmere Rovers.
21 September 2004

Chester’s home match with Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday 19 October has been put back seven days to the 26th, kick-off 19:45hrs. This is to allow Ian Rush and Mark Aizlewood to take charge of the Wales U17 side who play the Netherlands two days after the original date in a UEFA U17 Championship Qualifier.
Entrance to Hillsborough for next Wednesday’s LDV Vans Trophy first round game against Sheffield Wednesday will be £10.00 for adults, and £5.00 for juniors. Anyone wishing to travel on the official supporters’ coach should call Barrie Hipkiss as soon as possible on 01244 379011 (between 19:00hrs and 21:00hrs). The coach leaves Delamere Street at 16:00hrs and costs £10.00 per seat.
There’s just ten days left now to get you entry in for the popular Exiles Prediction Competition. There’s a guaranteed £100 first prize to be had with cash prizes for second and third place as well. More details here.
19 September 2004

City and Cambridge United fought out a 0-0 draw at Deva Stadium yesterday. The Blues had plenty of the possession but it was the visitors who were twice denied by the woodwork in a hard-fought draw that saw City slip to 21st, one place above their opponents in League Two.

Striker Darryn Stamp started his first senor game of the season, and, with Michael Branch still recovering from a hamstring injury, and Daryl Clare his hernia operation, was partnered up front by Kevin Rapley. Shaun Whalley, a 17-year-old striker who has played for the Youth and Reserve teams this season, made his first-team debut coming on from the bench with ten minutes remaining to replace Stamp.

Two goals from Ian Lathom and one from Gavin Lynch helped City’s Youth team to a 3-2 home win over Mansfield Town Youth in the Youth Alliance North Central Conference. Chester City: Brookfield, Owens, Lathom, Ventre, Jones, Scales, Rutherford, Salkeld, Lynch (Morgan (McCoy)), Walsh (Rollinson), Wade.

Youth team fixtures and current table.
Two players from the Chester City youth squad were members of the Great Britain team at the World Catholic games in Malta recently. James Scales and David McCoy made significant contributions to the British side and won silver medals as the British Under 17 team finished runners-up to hosts Malta.

En route to the final the British team beat Holland 4-0, with McCoy scoring one of the goals, and Spain ‘B’ 1-0. In the semi-finals they again defeated Spain ‘A’ but lost 1-0 to Malta in the final. Congratulations to both youngsters.

Seven team took part in the tournament played at the St Aloysius Football Pitch, Malta. The final results were:

Group 1
Netherlands ‘A’ 0 Spain ‘A’ 0
Flanders 1 Malta 1
Netherlands ‘A’ 1 Flanders 4
Spain ‘A’ 0 Malta 0
Spain ‘A’ 2 Flanders 1
Netherlands ‘A’ 0 Malta 2
Group 2  
Netherlands ‘B’ 0 Great Britain 4
Netherlands ‘B’ 1 Spain ‘B’ 5
Great Britain 1 Spain ‘B’ 0
Malta 2 Spain ‘B’ 1 (aet)
Great Britain 2 Spain ‘A’ 0
Malta 1 Great Britain 0

The club have announced two new appointments. Clive Goodyear is the new physiotherapist and will start his duties tomorrow. Goodyear, a qualified sports scientist, is an ex-Luton Town, Cardiff City and Wimbledon player and was part of the Dons famous 1988 FA Cup winning side. Former England and Manchester City keeper Joe Corrigan has been appointed a goalkeeping coach at the club, he has previously performed a similar role at Liverpool.
17 September 2004

Michael Branch is recovering from a hamstring strain and is expected to be in tomorrow’s squad that faces Cambridge United at Deva Stadium. Fellow striker Darryn Stamp looks set to return to the side after his recovery from an achilles injury picked up in the pre-season.

Stamp came on for the final few minutes at Glanford Park last Saturday and started, and scored, in City’s 1-0 Cheshire Cup win at Witton Albion on Monday. Two players missing tomorrow are Kevin McIntyre who is suffering from an eye infection and Cortez Belle who begins a three match ban following his red card last week.

Just two weeks after taking charge at City, manager Ian Rush is being linked with the soon-to-be-vacated managerial post with Wales.

Despite his lack of managerial experience, Rush is many peoples choice to take over from Mark Hughes who vacates the post in two matches time. Other candidates for the post are expected to include Sir Bobby Robson, Bryan Flynn, John Toshack and Gary Speed.

City chairman Steve Vaughan says the club won’t stand in Rush’s way should he be offered the position, he said: “It would be typical of Chester City if Ian was to leave, just when we were getting things on an even keel again. But we wouldn’t stand in his way if he was offered the job and decided he wanted it. I suppose he could do both jobs, but we would have to see how it panned out.”

15 September 2004

Chairman Steve Vaughan has received two firm offers for defender Danny Collins, and had an enquiry about his services from a third. Both Sheffield United and Sunderland have tabled bids for the promising defender who was signed by Steve Mungall from Buckley Town in December 2001. Collins, initially signed as a striker, spent a successful loan spell at Vauxhall Motors two years ago in the heart of their defence that went on to famously knock QPR out of the FA Cup. He returned to City and has been a virtual ever-present since, missing only one game last season through injury. Danny has made 70+5 appearances for the Blues.

Vaughan said: “I am not prepared to divulge how much those bids were, but we are trying to build a squad at this club and not dismantle it. We are backing Ian Rush. If he wishes to sell a player we will back him, and if he wants to buy players we will also back him. We have a top young manager at Chester City and any decision regarding transfers in or out of players will be left totally up to him.”

14 September 2004

A first minute goal from Darryn Stamp gave Chester a 1-0 victory at Witton Albion last night in the first round of the Cheshire Senior Cup. The side consisted mainly of reserve and youth team players and was played in front of a crowd of 245. Joining City in round 2 are: Hyde United, Altrincham, Alsager Town, Vauxhall Motors, Stalybridge Celtic, Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers.

Preliminary round
Nantwich Town 1 Congleton Town 0
Winsford United 1 Cammell laird 3
Cheadle Town 2 Alsager Town 3

First round
Witton Albion 0 Chester City 1
Altrincham 3 Cammell Laird 2
Macclesfield Town 1 Hyde United 2
Woodley Sports 2 Vauxhall Motors 4
Nantwich Town 0 Stalybridge Celtic 4
Northwich Victoria 3 Crewe Alexandra 5
Warrington Town 3 Tranmere Rovers 3*
*Tranmere won 6-5 on penalties.
13 September 2004

The FA website confirms that following his straight red card at Scunthorpe United, Marvin Cortez Belle has been suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 FIRST TEAM matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 11/09/2004. Start date: 11/09/2004.
Ellison celebratesA superb first half performance at Glanford Park laid the foundation for City’s second win in a week that lifts them from the foot of League Two.

Goals by Kevin Ellison (left) and Phil Bolland gave City a two-goal half-time lead, and in truth, they could have doubled that advantage with Cortez Belle guilty of missing two clear chances. After the break Ben Davies hit the bar before the expected pressure from the league leaders arrived.

Andy Butler headed home for The Iron and minutes later Belle was given a straight red card after referee Webster adjudged that he’d made contact with his arm on ex-City player Andy Crosby. The Blues held out for a last agonising nine minutes and an extra five minutes added-on time to record their first away victory of the season.

Yesterday’s victory was also achieved without two regulars in Kevin McIntyre who has an eye infection and Michael Branch who has a hamstring strain. Darryn Stamp started on the bench and replaced Kevin Rapley for the last two minutes. With Belle now looking at a possible three match ban, Stamp may well start Saturday’s home game against Cambridge United.
City send a side to Witton Albion tonight for a first round game in the Cheshire Senior Cup. The Blues last won the competition back in 1931/32. Kick-off is 19:45hrs.
10 September 2004

Striker Darryn Stamp (left) started back on his road to recovery after picking up an achilles injury in the pre-season game against Cardiff City in mid-July and played for the full 90 minutes of City’s reserve game on Wednesday.

Manager Ian Rush said: “Darryn’s return has given everybody at the club a massive boost – it’s nice to see him back. He’s worked hard to get himself back into a competitive game and he played this afternoon with Richard Hope who also needs games. It’s always a headache for any manager when players are sidelined with injuries, but to have players like Darryn Stamp and Richard Hope available in my squad will be a big lift for everyone at the club, including my assistant Mark Aizlewood and me.”

Stamp may be in line for a surprise recall tomorrow at one of his former clubs Scunthorpe United though Monday’s Cheshire Cup game at Witton Albion may well be the striker's next outing. Manager Ian Rush looks set to name an unchanged side for tomorrow's clash at Glanford park.

The Iron are unbeaten this season and their manager Brian Laws has backed his opposite number tomorrow. He told the BBC: “He (Rush) is getting his hands dirty and that is I believe the only way a manager should start," Laws told BBC Sport. The grounding it gives you, learning in the lower divisions, is tremendous and you have to muck in. When Ian played his game plan was based on hard work and he will bring that to Chester. I believe he will instill that into his players.”
The club have created a new post of Football Liaison Officer and appointed Mark McMillan to it. The role is to act as a bridge between the players and the board.

9 September 2004

City’s Reserve side beat Burnley Reserves 1-0 at Deva Stadium this afternoon to record their first win in the Pontins Holiday League Division One West, Kevin Rapley scored the winner.

6 September 2004

Manager Ian Rush took his place in the Deva Stadium dug-out for the first time on Saturday and, with assistant manager Mark Aizlewood, saw City defeat Cheshire neighbours Macclesfield Town by a single goal to register their victory of the 2004/05 campaign.

Danny Collins’ winner could not have been better timed. It was three minutes into added-on time when the defender’s header from Kevin Ellison’s corner was adjudged, by the assistant referee, to have crossed the goal line to give City the three points.

Rush had the players in for extra training last week following their poor start to the campaign, and it showed. Right from the start City displayed an urgency and passion that had been missing this season until now. The team reverted to a flat back four and Paul Carden returned to captain the side from midfield. Darren Edmondson, with over 400 league games under his belt, replaced young defender Stephen Vaughan, and with Ben Davies retained in midfield alongside Stewart Drummond the side had a lot more shape to it.

After the win Rush said: “The extra training isn’t as bad as it sounds. Besides the obvious fitness training, we’ve been working on the fundamentals of the side like passing and keeping our shape. Macclesfield are always a tough side to play against, but it’s good to see all the hard work we’ve been putting in paying off. There’s a long way to go and I know there’s still a lot of hard work to be done.”

He added: “I couldn’t have asked anything more. It was good that the crowd got behind the team as well. For me this is really my first game as I’ve had five sessions with them and we’ve had to get them organised as maybe they weren’t organised before.”

Despite the victory, City still remain bottom of League Two, and will face a tough challenge in their next game on Saturday when they visit League leaders Scunthorpe United.
City’s youth team picked up their first win of the season as well on Saturday. They won 1-0 at Chesterfield earlier in the day in the Youth Alliance North Central Conference, Shaun Whalley scoring the goal.

Youth Fixtures | Table

Chester will play their first round Cheshire Cup match at Witton Albion next Monday 13 September, kick-off is 19:45hrs.

3 September 2004

Chester entertain Cheshire neighbours Macclesfield Town at Deva Stadium tomorrow for Ian Rush’s first home game in charge of the side. Team selection remains uncertain with Paul Carden, Richard Hope and Chris MacKenzine all given a run out, and performing well, in the reserves during midweek and may feature tomorrow. “The weekend game against Macclesfield is going to be a big match for us. We need to record a victory. At the moment we have a hill to climb, but if we don’t start winning soon it will become a mountain.” said Rush, looking forward to tomorrow’s home clash.

The Silkmen have started the season well with just one defeat, at Southend United 2-1 last Saturday. They lie in sixth spot with four victories from six games and are expected to field Jassim Fayadh who could become the first Iraqi to play English League Football. Goalkeeper Alan Fettis may miss the game after suffering a cut knee at Roots Hall, defender’s Stephen Payne and Matthew Carragher are also doubtful.
2 September 2004
Goals from Andy Harris (left) and Kevin Rapley earned Chester Reserves a 2-2 draw at Stockport County last night. City came from a goal down to take the lead but were denied the win through a last minute equaliser from County’s Adam Le Fondre. Harris equalised for City on the half-hour with a direct free-kick and Rapley gave City the lead on the hour mark.

Manager Ian Rush used the game to take a look at his squad. He said: “I’m currently looking at all players in my squad and I’ve got no plans at the moment to bring in anyone on loan. I’ll be looking at the reserves’ match tonight and I’ll be hoping to name four or five first team players in their line-up. Richard Hope is one player I’m looking forward to seeing in action for the reserves and I’m planning to see us get on with what we’ve got in the squad. Both Darryn Stamp and Andy Watson are both still away at Lilleshall receiving treatment for injuries and I’m still waiting for them to get back.

The reserve side last night was: – MacKenzie, Edmondson, Wade, Ventre (Walsh), Hope, Harris (Salkeld), Rutherford, Carden, Rapley (Lynch), McCoy, Booth.

The manager and club have reacted angrily to Mark Lawrenson’s comments on BBC Football Focus last Saturday afternoon when he laughed off Ian Rush’s appointment to the manager’s role at Chester.

Rush said: “I have to say, the comments made be my ex-Liverpool team-mate Mark Lawrenson on TV last weekend really disappointed me. Mark seemed to mock my appointment. He suggested I wasn’t management material. Perhaps Mark has forgotten all the hard work I’ve put into coaching for the last five years. Maybe he thinks it’s helpful to suggest the image of Ian Rush the player, who I admit never thought of becoming a manager, is still the same person I am today. If Mark spoke to me now, I’m sure I could give him a much more realistic impression of my coaching qualities. What he said was an insult not only to me, but to those running Chester who I know interviewed many outstanding candidates before they appointed me. Does he not think they closely examined the credentials of everyone who wanted the job? If Mark doesn’t think I’ve earned this chance, I’d like to hear why.”

Chairman Steve Vaughan wasn’t too impressed with the comments either. He said: “I find the remarks and the attitude of Lawrenson quite offensive. How on earth can a failed football manager like Mark Lawrenson sit in judgment on somebody who is just embarking on his managerial career? I interviewed a number of well respected managers, and Ian was given the job ahead of them because of the ideas he had, so in a way, Lawrenson’s comments were critical of my decision and thats disturbing.”

According to the stats on Lawrensons managerial record reads:

Peterborough United 6/9/89—9/11/90 P64 W25 L16 D23
Oxford United 24/3/88—25/10/88 P24 W4 L11 D9

Of course this isn’t the first time Lawrenson’s upset the club. Back in November 1998 as supporters were rallying round to save their club whilst in Administration, organising bucket collections at matches, trips to lobby Parliament etc Lawrenson used his role on the same programme to proclaim that the Football League wouldn’t really miss Chester as “well, it’s not a football city.”




























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