Saturday, 31 October 2009

Blues see off the Wombles of Wimbledon

Chester City produced an impressive display to beat AFC Wimbledon 3-1 at the Deva Stadium to record their second successive league win for the first time in over 2 years.

City fielded three strikers to begin with and that gamble paid off with Nick Chadwick getting City off the mark on 10 minutes with a simple finish following good work from fellow striker, Michael Coulson.

Adam Kay then fired a low cross in from the right, which deflected off defender Steven Gregory and into the far corner to double Chester's lead just five minutes later.

City were on fire, and could have had more, but it was Wimbledon who hit back on the stroke of half time with a scrappy goal from John Main, following a twice taken free kick.

Chester fans were expecting the worst at the beginning of the second half, as Wimbledon chased an equalizer, but a mixture of poor finishing, and world class saves from John Danby, as well as a clearance off the line from Neil Ashton ensured City kept their lead intact.

Mark Beesley was then guilty of a terrible miss when substitute Gregg Blundell had gifted him the perfect chance, but Beesley - on loan from Cambridge - shot horribly wide.

Blundell then found himself in exactly the same position as Beesley, but this time made no mistake, and fired the Blues 3-1 ahead.

Wimbledon never gave up though, and continued to press, but City stood firm, and could even have had another one from a Clark Keltie shout which cannoned off the woodwork.

So, three points for the Blues, and Jimmy Harvey's men move to within 7 points of wiping out their 25 point deduction.

Next up for City, three away games, starting off at Grays, the game that should of course have been City's first of the season.

A pleasing day for City fans then, and all Blues fans across the land will be sitting back, enjoying a drink to celebrate the win over the Wombles.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Blues dumped out of FA Cup by Barrow

Chester City bowed out of the FA Cup in spectacular style on Tuesday night at the Deva Stadium, as Barrow turned in a performance that yielded four second half goals without reply.

In all honesty, it was no more than the visitors deserved, who looked hungrier for the First Round tie against Eastleigh, but at half time there was no indication that the scoreline was about to be so flattering.

City had a couple of chances in the first half, but were unable to take advantage, and were punished in to the second half, with a controversial decision for the first goal.

The referee deemed a touch back to Danby was classed as a back pass, when really it didn't look anything of the sort, but feelings were that the ref was balancing things up after two similar claims were waved away much to Barrow's annoyance.

From the resulting free kick, Andy Bond smashed home to send the 291 away fans mad, and they didn't have to wait long for the next one, as Kamara was brought down inside the penalty area and the referee pointed straight to the spot, from which Jason Walker made no mistake.

If we thought that was bad, worse was to follow as City totally crumbled just a minute later, as Andy Bond headed home to make it 3-0 in off the bar, to make it a miserable four minute spell that turned the game on its head.

Substitute Andy Cooke, then made it 4-0 to complete the rout, and send City spinning out of the FA Cup.

The fact that City miss out on funds from the FA Cup could prove fatal to it's survival hopes as Stephen Vaughan, will no doubt have been banking on that money to pay off the football creditors that are due monies under the Administration rules, and City have to face the Conference on November 16th, and face possible expulsion from the League.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Blues given extension to November 16th

Chester City Football Club have bought more time in it's bid to satisfy the demands of the Football Conference, and have had their request to extend the deadline to November 16th.

Here's the statement just released by the Football Conference (at 6.45pm, Monday 26th October):

The Football Conference has issued the following statement on the current situation at Chester City FC...

Following a notice issued to Chester City FC by the Football Conference on Monday, 19th October 2009 relating to the Club’s failure to comply with a compromise agreement containing the Club’s conditions of membership, and a subsequent statement referring to the non-payment of football creditors, a further statement is issued as follows:-

Discussions between the Football Conference, the Football League, the Professional Footballers Association and Chester City FC have taken place during the past seven days, and are on-going.

In the light of the wish of all parties to seek a satisfactory resolution the Football Conference has agreed to defer any decision on the Club’s future membership until Monday, 16th November 2009, enabling the Football League to discuss certain issues which have been referred to its Board of Directors.

All parties are working together in an attempt to preserve the future of Chester City FC. The club has, however, been duly informed that unless it complies in full with the conditions of membership it agreed with the Football Conference, the Competition will move to consider the club’s expulsion, in accordance with the said agreement with the Football Conference.

What's next then for the Blues?

Find out on November 16th!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

City to face Eastleigh if they beat Barrow

Chester will face Blue Square South side Eastleigh in the FA Cup First Round, if they can knock out Barrow in Tuesday night's replay at the Deva Stadium.

Chester City failed to kill off fellow Conference team Barrow, and face a replay at the Deva Stadium, as the two sides drew 1-1 at Holker Street.

Defender Jonathan Flynn put City 1-0 up after just 16 minutes, but were pegged back thanks to ex-Blue, Paul Rutherford 20 minutes into the second half.

The replay will now take place on Tuesday night at the Deva.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

City Fans United launches as Blues prepare for FA Cup tie at Barrow

It's been a busy last few days for followers of Chester City, as first, they have seen the club threatened with expulsion from the Conference, after the club had failed to pay its football creditors - with Stephen Vaughan claiming he is owed money first - and then just 24 hours later the new Chester fans group, City Fans United, was formally launched.

Today of course, the Blues face Barrow in the FA Cup, hoping to make it into the draw for the 1st Round Proper, and maybe face pulling the likes of Leeds.

First though they must conquer the club who were the last team to knock City out of the Cup at the 4th Qualifying Round stage, in a controversial tie that saw new Chester owner Steohen Vaughan sell his shares that he had in Barrow, to a local painter & decorator, only to then buy them back just a few days later!

Fingers crossed City can progress to the next stage.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chester City ISA vote to join CFU

Last night, at the United Services Club, the Chester City Independent Supporters Association, voted to dissolve the ISA and join forces with the Supporters Trust, in the new City Fans United group.

This is the final step prior to the formal launch, which takes place on Thursday 22nd October, at the Divas Show Bar.

The vote was unaminous by those present at the USC, and Chairman, Pete Mitchell was saddened to close the group, but declared that "times have changed, and this move is necessary" to help the fans fight to keep the club alive.

Former ISA Chairmen, Mark Howell, Les Evans, George Rogers, joined Pete Mitchell on the final night of the Association that was started up at the Cross Keys pub 11 years ago.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Blues secure away win at last!

Chester City finally got their first win away from the Deva Stadium, as they overcame a Gateshead side that included former Blue, Daryl Clare.

City's two new signings, Michael Coulson & Jonny Flynn both started the game, and Coulson went close to scoring on his debut, whilst Flynn will be happy to get off the mark with a clean sheet in his first game.

City's goal came through recent signing, Mark Beesley, who scored just over 10 minutes into the second half.

Despite plenty of shots coming in from Gateshead, the Blues held on for the first away win of the season, and completed the double over the Conference new boys, having beaten them 2-1 at the Deva in September.

City now lie 21 points from safety, as two of the other bottom four teams lost, Forest Green going down 5-2 at histon, and Ebbsfleet lost 2-0 at Chester's FA Cup opponents Barrow.

Hayes & Yeading surprised everyone with a 3-0 home win over promotion hopefuls Cambridge, and pull level on points with Grays, who lost 2-1 at Wrexham.

City will now turn their attentions to the FA Cup with Jimmy Harvey's men in action at Barrow, in the 4th Qualifying Round, where there will hope to come back with a result different to that of 2001, where Chester lost 1-0 to the Holker Street side.

But for now, let's celebrate Chester's win, which stretches their unbeaten away run to 7 games, just wish they could reproduce that kind of sequence at the Deva!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

City Fans United announce Launch Event

City Fans United, the name given to the new fans’ group for Chester City FC, will be holding its formal launch on 22nd October at 8 pm at Divas Showbar (formerly the Royal Mail Club) Station Road Chester.

The CFU launch night will be hosted by Radio 5 Live sports commentator Charlie Lambert.

Following recent public meetings, fans of Chester City Football Club have called for all of the fans’ groups to unite under one banner. The new unified fans group, City Fans United, has formed from the merger of the two largest fans’ groups, Chester City Supporters Trust and the Chester City Independent Supporters Association, with the full support of the other supporters’ groups. City Fans United is formally launching on 22nd October.

Chairman of the City Fans United working party, Michael Poole, says: “The CFU working party welcome the challenge of bringing all the fans together in this way. All of the fans need to speak with one voice to better represent the interest of the fans of Chester City Football Club and to help the club to move forward.”

Mr. Poole continued: “Our launch night will give people the opportunity to hear about City Fans United; its aims and objectives; the Junior Blues, our youth organisation, and most importantly it will give fans the opportunity to let City Fans United know what their priorities are. We will also be accepting membership applications on the night.

Everyone is welcome – in some respects this is the most important meeting of Chester City supporters for a decade and we would encourage everyone who has an interest in Chester City Football Club to attend.”

For Chester City fans reading this, it's your chance to make yourselves heard and help steer CFU in the future, so make sure you're there at the meeting on the 22nd October.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Chester travel to Barrow in FA Cup draw

Chester City have again attracted one of the harder draws in the FA Cup, this time facing a difficult away trip to AFC Barrow.

Barrow of course, were previously owned by Stephen Vaughan, and taken into liquidation by the current Chester owner, thanks to a shortfall of £200,000 which is a lot less than the projected loss of £660,000 that appeared on the profit & loss forecast of the Blues last week.

Barrow were removed from the Football Conference following Vaughan taking the step to liquidate them, and the history appears to be on the verge of repeating itself with Chester City.

It's not the first time of course that Chester have met Barrow in the FA Cup, the other occasion being after vaughan had bought Chester but still had shares in Barrow, and soon followed a quick transfer to a close friend, and local painter & decorator to avoid a conflict of interests.

Following the game, the shares were transferred back, showing what a dodgy character Vaughan actually was. However, a few days later following this controversial move, the new Barrow chairman Brian Keen bought back the shares off Vaughan, and the Holker Street outfit were finally rid of Vaughan.

So, the Blues must travel to Barrow once again, and will be perhaps more confident of getting a result away from home, where they have drawn their last six games, rather than at home where they have now lost six this season.

One thing is for sure, the majority of Holker Street will be against the Chester City owner.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Chester City 0 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Chester City lost their sixth home game of the season at the Deva Stadium on Saturday as Lee Tomlin's early strike for Rushden & Diamonds secured a valuable away win for the side chasing promotion to the Football League.

That of course, is in stark contrast to City's horrendous demise and probable relegation to the Blue Square North later this season.

City once again, failed to deliver at home, as they hardly came out of the blocks during a game dominated by poor refereeing, which saw two Chester players receive straight red cards.

City fell behind to Tomlin's 4th minute strike from the edge of the City area, and Gregg Blundell will be rueing more missed opportunities, having found himself in great positions in either half of the game, but failed to find a shot on target.

City did have efforts saved from a couple of chances, but just couldn't find a way past a stubborn and resolute Diamonds defence.

Their cause wasn't helped by the two sending offs, Glenn Rule was the first to see red, as he was accused quite rightly of stamping, just 15 minutes into the second half.

Worse was to follow after substitute Nick Chadwick, who had been dropped to the bench in favour of City debutant Mark Beesley, was guilty of a high foot on the Rushden keeper, although the referee's actions were deemed as harsh from most within the press area.

City were still in with a chance, but in all reality, the Blues didn't manage to get a decent effort on goal, and set pieces turned out to be rather poor, and just not good enough, in Jimmy Harvey's first game in charge.

Harvey, watching from the stands due to a touchline ban, of which this was the last game, considered Chester to be unlucky to take anything out of the game.

Rushden manager Justin Edinburgh, was however delighted with his sides win, despite claiming that the performance was one of their worst of the season, and that Chester were going into the game full of confidence - work that one out!!

The Blues have again let the fans down with another poor performance, and will have to hope that they can secure a win at Gateshead on Saturday

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Local businessmen interested in buying Blues

A report in today's Daily Post suggests that three local businessmen are interested in buying Chester City, but have so far been unable to meet the current owner Stephen Vaughan.

One of the businessmen, who does not want to be named publicly said “Obviously I will not conduct negotiations via the media, but we have been trying to contact the club to arrange a meeting, however, we currently aren’t receiving any responses.

“The weekend reports of the projected financial loss are extremely concerning, and something needs to happen if the club is to survive.

“Hopefully we can get round a table with the owner in the next few days.”

Let's all hope for the sake of Chester City, that Stephen Vaughan finally sees some sense and meets the three, with the intention of walking away from the club that he has spectacularly wrecked systematically in the last few years.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Jimmy Harvey new Chester Manager

Jimmy Harvey has been confirmed as the new Chester City Manager, and takes the hot seat that has seen 10 others depart in less than 8 years, a shocking statistic if ever there was one!

Harvey comes in to the Deva, with Chester staring relegation to the Blue Square North in the face, and will have a job to steer the club to positive points, never mind safety in the league.

The Northern Irish born Harvey will be no stranger to Stephen Vaughan, as the two had a bust up during the time when Harvey was manager of Morecambe a few years back.

During his playing career, he made 3 appearances for Arsenal, before making over 270 appearances for Hereford in the 1980s, he even had a loan spell at rivals Wrexham, before moving on to Tranmere Rovers, where he fell just short of 200 appearances.

Harvey finished off his playing career at Morecambe, and he stayed their as Manager, leading them to a 3-2 win over City in the FA Cup, with a side that included the likes of Stuart Drummond. 11 years were spent at Christie Park, before leaving The Shrimpers with a bitter taste in his mouth, and moved on to Forest green Rovers, where he spent 3 years, before being sacked on the grounds of applying for another job.

So, with Harvey at the helm, what difference can he make to Chester's ailing season on the pitch, well very little if he is not backed up with finances by the Blues owners, the Vaughan Family, whichever members are in charge!

The first game for the new manager is at home to Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if a Vaughan is in the line up, if there is, expect a mass walk out by supporters.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Hayes & Yeading 0 Chester City 0

The Blues wasted a great chance to get 3 points from this encounter, and completed a week which could have left their survival hopes in tatters as Chester had to settle for their sixth successive away draw at Hayes & Yeading.

To make matters worse, Tim Ryan's side were unable to take advantage of Hayes being not just one one player down, but two, with 16 minutes still to play in the game, but Chester found themselves on the back foot rather than pressing for a much needed victory.

The table does not paint a pretty picture now, what with City still 24 points away from safety, and 12 points from the first 14 games of the season is a poor poor showing, and the matches are drifting away from the Blues, with only a maximum of 96 points now available.

Anthony Barry had Chester's best chance but that smacked against the crossbar, and that was pretty much it, but it could have been worse, as City conceded a penalty on 30 minutes, after Kevin Roberts was adjudged to have fouled Sean Canham, who picked himself up but blazed over the bar to let City off the hook.

Five minutes later and the hosts were down to 10 men, thanks to Rambir Marwa's straight red card following a challenge on loanee Clark Keltie.

City should have taken a grip on the game here, and moreso when Scott Fitzgerald was booked for the second time in the game and received his marching orders, with still 16 minutes left on the clock.

But City were unable to conjure up a winner, and left Hayes & Yeading knowing that they had blown their chance to get to -11 points in the table.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Ryan gets ready to rally the troops!

In a week where Chester City fans have yet again been put through the pain of another defeat, and another sacking of a manager – the 11th in 7 years, and the club heading for a nightmare relegation season – the 3rd in the last decade, the players get ready for tomorrow’s match at Conference newcomers Hayes & Yeading.

Tim Ryan is in place as caretaker manager for tomorrow, and we will see just what impact he can have on the team, which under Mick Wadsworth achieved only 2 wins during his 94 day reign, and most of that was in the summer outside of Chester’s notorious start to this season.
City will be even more depleted for tomorrow’s game, as Ryan himself serves a suspension for accruing 5 yellow cards so soon in the season. Rhys Meynell could have stepped in to cover, but he suffered ankle ligament damage in his brief spell on the pitch against Forest Green the other night.
City are going to be stretched defensively of course, having seen Chris Lynch return to Burnley following the moment in the Wrexham derby where he sustained cruciate ligament damage and consequently missed the rest of the season.

Chester need goals and tomorrow they are likely to have Gregg Blundell alongside Nick Chadwick, but it’s in midfield where problems lie, as City lack creativity, something they have missed since the days of Alex Smith.

Let’s hope for a win tomorrow as Chester’s immediate target must be to get into single minus figures, something they are currently 5 points off doing.

Come on you blues!!