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30 September 2005

It promises to be the League Two match of the day tomorrow, as City travel to the Causeway Stadium to play second placed Wycombe Wanderers who sit one place above the Blues.

The Chairboys are the only team unbeaten in the Football League and in Nathan Tyson have the League Two leading scorer with 11 goals, half the 22 total Wycombe have scored so far. In fact Wycombe are the only side to have scored more goals that City this season who themselves have bagged 20 in 11 matches.

City manager Keith Curle should have Phil Bolland (left) back in his squad after the defender picked up an ankle in jury at Notts County though Sean Hessey is still sidelined with a knee injury.

Curle is confident ahead of what will be a tough test tomorrow. “The message coming out from the changing room is ‘bring them on’. This is the type of game where we’ve got nothing to fear. We fancy ourselves because our platform and foundations have been put in place. We’ve got 75% of our play that is organised and disciplined and we’ve got 25% where, in and around their goal, it’s free play. That’s why you find our players have got a smile on their faces.”

This will only be City’s fourth visit to Wycombe a gound where they have lost on all three previous occasions. The last meeting was six months ago when City lost 4-2 in an ill-tempered affair that was watched by an 8,000+ crowd who were all given free admission on the day.

Picture © Evening Leader
Tomorrow morning the youth team have a home game against Wigan Athletic in the North & Midlands West Conference League.

29 September 2005

City fielded mainly a reserve/youth side last night as they were knocked out of the Cheshire Senior Cup 1-0 in the first round at Macclesfield Town. Chester last won this trophy way back in 1931/32.

Chester City: Brookfield, Vaughan, Wilson, (Holroyd 82) Cadwallader, Roberts, Marsh-Evans, Bertos, Rutherford, Dove, Curle, El Khoti. Subs not Used: Wade, Linford.

Match report

A reminder that forms for the annual Exiles Prediction Competition can be downloaded from here. You may enter as many forms as you like.

Once again the cost of entry is a mere £1.00 per form, with a guaranteed £100.00 first prize. Second and third prize money will also also be available.

The deadline for completed forms is Friday 30 September, so you only have a day to get your forms in now. Thanks to all those who’ve so far submitted entries.

Please note that entries will be accepted if they are handed to any of the Exiles committee at Wycombe on Saturday.

Competition rules | Exiles committee

28 September 2005

First half goals from David Artell and Gregg Blundell seales a 2-0 victory for City over Carlisle United in front of their highest gate of the season 3,394 (though the crowd was swelled with a fair following from Cumbria).

The victory lifts the Blues to third place in League Two, one point behind Saturday’s opponents Wycombe Wanderers who beat Wrexham 4-1 last night. Grimsby Town remain top after a 4-0 home victory over Notts County.

A reserve side will be in action tonight as Chester travel to Moss Rose to play Macclesfield Town in their re-arranged first round Cheshire Senior Cup match. Admission prices are £5 (adults) and £3 (concessions).

Latest League Two table

Picture © Evening Leader

27 September 2005
The Blues are back in action tonight when they entertain Carlisle United in a League Two match (kick-off 19:45hrs). Phil Bolland and Sean Hessey are still sidelined and Stewart Drummmond (left) is doubful after picking up a knock in the 0-0 draw at Stockport County on Saturday. That point on Saturday lifted City above tonight’s opponents on goal difference after the Cumbrians were beaten at home 3-2 by Leyton Orient.

Picture © Evening Leader

25 September 2005
First half goals from Nick Linford and Chris Holroyd helped the youth team to a 2-1 victory at Grimsby Town in the first round of the Youth Alliance Cup yesterday morning.

Match report | Youth stats

The Blues remain in fourth place following yesterday’s 0-0 draw at Stockport County, in front of nearly 1200 Blues fans who’d made the trip to Edgeley Park. Manager Keith Curle was happy with the point: “I’m very pleased with the performance. It was a very good advert for League Two football. Their keeper made a couple of exceptional saves, and overall I thought we deserved to just shade it.”

The side are next in action on Tuesday night when they entertain sixth placed Carlisle United at Deva Stadium, kick-off 19:45hrs.

23 September 2005

City manager Keith Curle has the luxury of picking from a fully fit squad ahead of tomorrow’s Cheshire derby at Stockport County.

The Blues should be backed by a good following, as they go into the match sitting in fourth place in League Two, and will be renewing rivalries with the east Cheshire side for the first time in a decade. Stockport, relegated from League One last season, occupy 18th spot in the table and have drawn all four of their home league matches at Edgeley Park this season.

Curle told the Evening Leader: “Every player is fit and available for selection so I’ve got a big headache before I decide to select the team to face Stockport. But as everybody as the club should know by now I do pick a team to win a football match. I will identify the strengths and weaknesses of Stockport County and I will then select a team to beat them.”

The youth team travel to Grimsby Town tomorrow for a first round game in the Youth Alliance Cup.
Former Burnley player Tony Grant who has been training with Chester recently has left. Assistant manager John Gannon said: “He’s not been with us this week, I don’t know if he’s been offered something by another club but we just heard from one of the players that he wouldn’t be coming in.”
21 September 2005
The reserves, fielding six first-teamers, were beaten 2-0 by Burnley this afternoon at Deva Stadium in their latest Pontins Holiday League Division One West match.

The City line up was: Brookfield, Regan, El Kholti, Cadwallader, Roberts, Vaughan (Linford 82), Bertos, Walker (Noon 82), Rutherford, Holroyd (Marsh-Evans 45), Dove. Subs not used: Wilson, Wade.

Match report | Reserve fixtures | Reserve table | Reserve stats

Their is a chance for fans to meet the management soon as they club hold a Fans Forum at 19:00hrs on Monday 3 October at the ground. In attendance will be chairman Steve Vaughan, manager Keith Curle and commercial manager Bob Grey.
The Annual General Meeting will take place in London tonight at the Knights Templar, 95 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DT. Start 19:30hrs. More details here.
19 September 2005
City’s first round Cheshire Senior Cup match at Macclesfield Town has been rearranged for Wednesday 28 September, kick-off 19:45hrs.  
Goals from Ryan Lowe, David Artell, Marcus Richardson and Gregg Blundell gave City a comprehensive 4-0 vistory over Bristol Rovers on Saturday. A delighted manager Keith Curle said after the win: “We’ve set the standard now. Our expectations will not be lowered whether we win or lose. My last words to the players before the game were ‘Entertain us and they certainly did that. I wanted them to express themselves and they gave a sparkling performance. Everybody did well today, but I thought Stewart Drummond in particular had an outstanding game.”
The youth team lost 2-1 at Carlisle United in their latest North & Midlands West Conference League on Saturday morning. On the scoresheet for City was Karl Noon, equalising from the penalty spot on his debut.

Match report
| Youth fixtures | Youth stats
| Youth table
17 September 2005
City have been given an away tie at Nationwide Conference side Cambridge United in today’s draw for the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy. The match will take place at the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday 18 October.
16 September 2005
The Blues will have a couple of players missing tomorrow from the side that battled for a point at Notts County. Defender Phil Bolland has ankle ligament trouble and will be out for a possible further two weeks while Michael Branch is suffering from a slight groin injury and looks set to miss the Deva Stadium clash with Bristol Rovers (kick-off 15:00hrs). Craig Dove who is recovering from a pre-season knee injury was due to play in the Cheshire Cup match in midweek before it was postponed and Abdou El Kholti is also now back training.

The Pirates, managed by ex-City boss Ian Atkins, have had a slow start to the season and urrently lie in 17th place with nine points from eight games. Seven of those points have come away frm home where they have beaten Torquay United (3-2), Leyton Orient (3-2) and picked up a 1-1 draw at Barnet.

City manager Keith Curle becan his football league career with Rovers (and scored on his debut at Sealand Road) and he was back down in the west country in midweek to watch then draw 1-1 with Oxford United. Despite their poor start to the season Curle is expecting a tough game tomorrow: “Name-wise you’d probably say they’re one of the strongest squads in this division. They’re a team that play well on the counterattack. Will it be a stalemate with both teams canceling each other out? I don’t think so. Do I think there will be goals in the game? Yes.” – he told the Chronicle.

Picture © Evening Leader
The youth team have an away fixture at Carlisle United tomorrow morning in the North & Midlands West Conference League, kick-off is 11:00hrs.
15 September 2005
The transfer embargo imposed on Chester City has been lifted following payment of monies owed to the PFA. Should they need to, the Blues are now able to bring in loan players since the transfer deadline has passed. Arrangements have now also been made with both the Inland Revenue and the City Council over unpaid tax and rent bills.

“Our partners have brokered a deal and arranged an installed arrangement which the Inland Revenue has agreed to. We will still be going to court but it will be a formality with an agreed adjournment.”

Chairman Steve Vaughan told the Daily Post: “We have paid all the outstanding monies that were claimed by the PFA, and thankfully we have now received notification from the PFA that the embargo has been lifted. This development means that if we need to, we can utilise the emergency loan system like other Football League clubs, which has commenced this season.”
13 September 2005
The club has a date in the High Court in London next week after the Inland Revenue issued a winding-up petition following the non-payment of £180,000 tax. The hearing will take place on Wednesday 21 September. Chairman Steve Vaughan has told the Daily Post that his accountants have been instructed to pay the debt by Friday.

In an effort to increase revenue, Vaughan will ask for Board approval this week to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting, and at it he proposes to issue four million £1.00 shares. This is an effort to recoup the £4m he has loaned to the club since he took over in October 2001.

Vaughan stated: “We are in something of a financial straitjacket at the club currently, in as much as we are restricted in what we can do at the Deva Stadium complex because of the terms of the lease. There are a number of initiatives that we would like to undertake in and around the stadium, which would be beneficial to the club and its finances. We have been chasing arrears since the day I walked into the club. We were £3m in debt when I took it over and I loaned the club that amount plus about another million. What I’m doing now is balancing the books. The 21 September hearing won’t be an issue because arrangements have been brokered.”

Meanwhile the BBC website states that Chester City Council have issued proceedings to recover over £46,000 in rent arrears that covers the last two years.

Picture © Evening Leader

12 September 2005
The Cheshire Senior Cup match on Wednesday night at Macclesfield Town has been postponed after an outbreak of mumps amongst the YTS players at Moss Rose. No new date has yet been arranged.
The youth team lost by a late goal at home 1-0 to Stockport County in their latest North & Midlands West Conference League on Friday night. The game was played at the Airbus UK ground with Keith Curle, Dave Bell and Clive Goodyear all in attendance.

Match report
| Youth fixtures | Youth stats | Youth table

11 September 2005
A goal 20 minutes from time by Ben Davies ensured that City came away from Meadow Lane with a point against League Two leaders Notts County who played the second half with ten men.

Once again manager Keith Curle opted to rotate his attacking options with Marcus Richardson and Ryan Lowe starting up front and Justin Walker replacing Ben Davies in midfield, who, along with Gregg Blundell started on the bench.

City were dealt a blow on 18 minutes when defender Phil Bolland landed awkwardly and suffered an injury to his left ankle. After lengthy attention from physio Clive Goodyear, Bolland attempted to play on but had to limp off to be replaced by Luke Dimech. Bolland is expected to be out for up to three weeks. As well as Bolland, on the treatment table this week will be Michael Branch who appeared to suffer more hamstring trouble.

County had Steve Scoffham red-carded on the stroke of half-time after an off-the-ball clash with David Artell. Sean Hessey hit the post immediately after the break before the ten-men opened the scoring through Glyn Hurst who was quickest to react after Chris MacKenzie had failed to hold a long-range effort from Matthew Gill.

Curle introduced Davies and Blundell at the expense of Stewart Drummond and Richardson and City immediately began to step up a gear in attack. The equaliser came on 70 minutes with Davies scoring from close range after a neat through ball in the goalmouth from Blundell. Ryan Lowe headed wide and Davies saw a great effort hit the woodwork as the Blues ended the stronger of the two sides.

Despite the good point from Saturday’s clash, City drop a place to fifth.

Latest League Two table
The draw for the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy will take place live next Saturday morning in the SKY Soccer AM programme. The first round games will take place in the week commencing 17 October. City will compete in the Northern section and will play one of the following League or Conference sides.

Accrington Stanley, Barnsley, Blackpool, Boston United, Bradford City, Bury, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Chesterfield, Darlington, Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Halifax Town, Hartlepool United, Hereford United, Huddersfield Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town, Morecambe, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Rochdale, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, Stockport County, Tranmere Rovers, Wrexham.

8 September 2005
Chester will be looking for a bit of bouncebackability as they travel to play League Two leaders Notts County at Meadow Lane tomorrow (kick-off 15:00hrs).

Manager Keith Curle has no fresh injury worries as his side looks to put Tuesday’s defeat to the back of their minds as City look for their third away victory of the season following on from successes at Peterborough and Torquay.

Notts County have won all three home fixtures this term against Wrexham (1-0), Lincoln City (2-1), and Bristol Rovers (2-0) which led to boss Gudjon Thordarson being named League Two Manager of the Month last week.

There should be a good following of Chester fans tomorrow who will be housed in the Kop Stand behind the goal. Admission prices are £16 (adult), £10 (senior citizen), £9 (student/young adult) and £6 (junior/under 16).

Tomorrow’s referee will be Neil Swarbrick from Lancashire who will be refereeing only his third Football League match.

7 September 2005
The Blues suffered their first league defeat of the season last night when they were beaten by away-day specialists Grimsby Town at Deva Stadium. City missed out on the opportunity to top League Two after gifting the Mariners a winning goal eleven minutes from time following a slip by Luke Dimech.

After a first-half stalemate it was the visitors who took the lead on 50 minutes after Phil Bolland was adjudged to have fouled Jones in the penalty area, referee Singh pointing for a spot-kick that was duly converted. City came straight back and Ryan Lowe leveled things three minutes later latching onto a near post Branch cross. He should have given City the lead minutes later when he shot straight at Mildenhall in the visitors goal.

The winner came out of the blue as Dimech stumbled on half-way allowing Michael Reddy to run through on goal, MacKenzie came out to narrow the angle but the Grimsby played slipped the ball past him for the winner.

Manager Keith Curle said following the defeat: “I’m not apportioning blame to any one player. We are a team here, and we take the wins as a team, and also the defeats. We can now take stock and prepare for Saturday’s match against Notts County, and what better game to bounce back into and that is against the league leaders.”

As mentioned City are next in action on Saturday when they make the trip to Meadow Lane, kick-off 15:00hrs.

6 September 2005
Chester City go into tonight’s rearranged home game with Grimsby Town knowing that a victory will lift them to the top of League Two. City, unbeaten so far this season, have no fresh injury worries and manager Keith Curle looks set to name the same side that started Friday’s home match against Mansfield Town.

The Mariners have an immaculate away record having won in the league at Bristol Rovers (2-1) and Barnet (1-0), they also pulled off one of the shocks in the first round of the Carling Cup with a 1-0 win at Championship side Derby County.

Manager Curle is in no doubts about the size of the task tonight. He told the Daily Post: “They are a well organised side, and they have a number of proven players at this level. We must continue with the work-rate and commitment that we have shown in the last couple of matches, and ensure that we don’t make errors defensively. If we can do that then we should be okay.”

City will be looking for a good crowd tonight as well. Just over 3,000 were there on Friday night and all bar the Stags fans will have been delighted with what they saw. The message from the manager is clear “bring a friend along”. Curle said: “The message to the supporters is to go and grab your mate, next door neighbour or mum and dad and drag them to the football club. We’ll look after them. We will provide attacking, attractive, free-flowing football.”
5 September 2005
The reserves lost 3-1 at Preston North End this afternoon in their latest Pontins Holiday League Division One West outing at Deepdale. Chris Holroyd scored City’s consolation goal. Full credit to the Chester team that was made up of youth players, several of which had played on Saturday as well, and were watched by Keith Curle this afternoon.

The reserves are next in action on Wednesday 21 September when they have a home game against Burnley.

Match report | Reserve fixtures

3 September 2005
The youth team lost 4-2 at Walsall this morning in their latest North & Midlands West Conference League match. On the score sheet for City were Robert Marsh-Evans, from the penalty spot and Chris Holroyd. The boys are next in action on Friday night with a home game against Stockport County that will take place at the Airbus UK ground (kick-off 19:00hrs).

Match report | Youth fixtures | Youth stats

Rochdale’s 4-1 home win over Torquay United lifts them above City to second place in League Two. The Blues now lie in third place on goal difference above Darlington. In the other game played today Bristol Rovers won 3-2 at Leyton Orient.

2 September 2005
City moved up to second place in League Two tonight with a 3-1 win over Mansfield Town at Deva Stadium. City took the lead in the second minute, the first time they had scored in the opening period this season, with Gregg Blundell scoring from close range after David Artell had headed goalwards. They extended their lead on the hour with Blundell on the scoresheet again before conceding a goal seven minutes later. The three points were wrapped up ten minutes from time with Ryan Lowe scoring a half-volley from just inside the box.

Other League Two scores tonight were:
Bury 0 Carlisle United 1
Cheltenham Town 1 Barnet 1
Darlington 1 Notts County 1
Grimsby Town 1 Stockport County 3
Rushden & Diamonds 0 Peterborough United 2
Shrewsbury Town 2 Oxford United 0
Wycombe Wanderers 1 Northampton Town 1

As a result, City move into second place, for tonight at least, Rochdale and Leyton Orient could move above the Blues with wins tomorrow.

Chester City host Mansfield Town at Deva Stadium tonight (kick-off 19:45hrs) looking for their first home win of the season to keep them up with the early League Two pace setters. Last minute goals in the previous two home fixtures have brought two draws so manager Keith Curle will be looking to gone one better tonight against his former club.

The Blues will once again be without Abdou El Kholti and Craig Dove through injury, whilst Sean Hessey is rated at only 50/50 after suffering a groin injury at Torquay. The Stags have injury problems themselves with striker Chris Beardsley out with a broken leg whilst Adam Birchall has been called up for the England v Wales u21 international tonight.

Mansfield, managed by Carlton Palmer, currently lie in 18th place with five points from their opening six games. On their travels they have drawn at both Stockport County and Boston United (2-2), and lost at Peterborough (2-0). They have also dumped Stoke City out of the Carling Cup on penalties at home and narrowly lost 3-2 to leaders Notts County at Field Mill on Monday.
The youth team travel to play at fourth placed Walsall tomorrow for their third game of the season in the North & Midlands West Conference.
1 September 2005
Despite receiving eight stitches in a nasty head wound at Torquay on Monday, defender David Artell looks set to be fit to play against his former club Mansfield Town for the League Two clash at Deva Stadium on Friday night (19:45hrs).

Artell, who clashed heads with Torquay’s James Sharp had to leave the Plainmoor pitch for nine minutes of treatment from physio Clive Goodyear but returned with a bandaged head to help City to their three points.

As well as Artell, Friday’s match may also see Luke Dimech, Scott McNiven and Tom Curtis pit their wits against their former club as all joined City from Field Mill in the summer.

One player who may be doubtful for Friday’s clash though is Sean Hessey who has a groin strain.
Forward Rodney Jack has left the club after spending a short time on trial with City. The former Crewe Alexandra player played in two reserve games for Chester.
















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