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With no FA Cup or FA Trophy (but probably a bout in the Cheshire Senior Cup) action to occupy the Blues next season due to FA rules, the only cup competitions that Neil Young’s side can compete in are the Evo-Stik League’s Challenge Cup and Presidents Cup which has seen Chester drawn to play against Leek Town.

The game will be played at Leek’s Harrison Park stadium in Staffordshire on Tuesday 21st September.

Leek’s best ever league finish was a 19th place finish in Conference National  in 1997–98, the first of two seasons the team played at that level. The Blues have only twice progressed as far as the rounds proper of the FA Cup, reaching the first round in 1993–94 and the second round in 1990–91, when they held Chester City to a draw at home but lost 4–0 in the replay.

Leek reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1989–90 but lost 3–0 to Barrow at Wembley Stadium.

The highest attendance figure recorded at Harrison Park came when the club played near-neighbours Macclesfield Town in an FA Cup 2nd qualifying round match in the 1973–74 season in front of a crowd of 3,512.

Harrison Park

I managed to get down to the Deva Stadium earlier today.  Please visit my Flickr site for a new snaps of the ground and surroundings.  The link is on the right pane.

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llanellian road - colwyn bay ground

10th July 2010

The first ever game in Chester FC’s history finally arrived at 15:10 on the 10th July, but by 17:00, it had turned into a day that many will want to forget thanks to a few mindless idiots.

Over 1300 Chester fans made the journey to Llanelian road to witness their re-birth of their beloved club, only to have their day marred by a small group of the travelling support.

On the field, Neil Young appears to have put a squad together that would certainly be in the upper half of the first division, while once again Dave Challinor got his tactics right as he got one over on his ex-boss with a 2-0 victory. 

Speaking before the game Challinor said "I know I’ve said results don’t really matter in pre-season, but after one or two things which have happened over the summer, I think Colwyn Bay supporters will be more than keen to see us put on a good show this afternoon, personally, I’m looking forward to a good test against a strong side."

With no less than six ex-Bay players in the Chester line-up, the game had a reunion feeling to it as the players ran out, but the game soon settled into a typical pre-season friendly, with neither team going in as hard as they would under normal league or cup conditions.

Chester had the better of the early minutes and very nearly took the lead when Mark Connolly delivered a precision free-kick. Michael Wilde directed the ball goal bound with an excellent header, but with the keeper beaten, Colwyn Bay were saved by the post.

Colwyn Bay grew stronger as the half went on, but both teams cancelled each other out as they went in at half time 0-0

Like last week, Dave Challinor once again made wholesale substitutions to have a look at the full squad.  It didn’t take the Bay’s new line-up long to open the scoring after Lee Davey ran onto a cross that looked like it had just gone out of play, but Lee Davey played to the whistle and delivered a pinpoint cross for Ben Jones to head home.

Five minutes later Lee Davey drove in a low cross for Joe O’Sullivan to collect, swivel and fire home inside the far post. 

Colwyn Bay continued to dominate, but neither team could create any further goal scoring opportunities and as the game entered the last fifteen minutes no one could be blamed for losing their concentration as events off the field took the focus off the game.

Overall, Colwyn Bay looked the more energetic and although had made more substitutions to give all the trialists a run, looked the more settled team.

Chester FC’s new manager, Neil Young, admitted after the game that his side will need to improve: “I thought we lost our way a bit in the last 10 minutes of the first half and in the second half we never really got a foothold in the game as their midfield began to dominate.”

wayne brown in action

The arch enemy, the red dragons of Wrexham AFC, are planning to swoop for former Chester City shot-stopper Wayne Brown, according to reports today.

Brown, a free agent having been released from Bury at the end of last season, has held talks with Saunders, although he feels the 33-year-old, who has also played for Chester City and Hereford United, might be out of Wrexham’s price range.

“I am still trying to sort out a deal to sign Wayne, but he might be out of our price range," said Saunders. “I thought I had got him and it is still on going, but I may have to look elsewhere.”

‘BiG Deva’ is one of 70 decorative rhinos currently on display across Chester until September 12 in a massive street art project that cements the city’s affinity with its famous zoo.

Chester FC’s rhino has been bought for the club by local businessman Andrew Donaldson, a partner at BiG Storage on Sealand Road.

Andrew is eager to see the revived football club welcomed into the heart of the city.

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For more pictures of BiG Deva, visit my Flickr album… http://www.flickr.com/photos/28478216@N06/ 

bigdevarhino07

The supporters of Chester FC are the guardians of the clubs heritage and believe that our club is a continuation of the original Chester FC which was formed in 1885. Like other supporter owned clubs, we believe that a football club is not simply the legal entity that controls it. This is, and always will be, our city, our community and our club.

Football League

Division 3N Runners-up – 1935/36

Division 4 Runners-up – 1985/86

Division 3 Runners-up – 1993/94

Nationwide Football Conference

Champions – 2003/04

Welsh Cup

Winners – 1907/08, 1932/33, 1946/47

Runners-up – 1908/09, 1909/10, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1957/58. 1965/66, 1969/70

Debenhams Cup

Winners – 1976/77

Division 3N Cup

Winners – 1935/36, 1936/37

Runners-up – 1945/46

Cheshire County League

Winners – 1921/22, 1925/26, 1926/27

Runners-up – 1930/31

The Combination

Winners – 1908/09

Runners-up – 1903/04, 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08

Nationwide Variety Club Trophy

Winners – 2000/01

J.C. Thompson Championship Shield

Runners-up – 2001/02

Cheshire Senior Cup

Winners – 1894/95, 1896/97, 1903/04, 1907/08, 1908/09, 1930/31, 1931/32

Runners-up – 1887/88, 1892/93, 1893/94, 1904/05, 1910/11, 1928/29

Lancashire Cup

Winners – 1956/57

Runners-up – 1952/53

Liverpool Senior Cup

Runners-up – 1895/96

Cheshire League Challenge Cup

Winners – 1923/24 (shared)

Runners-up – 1930/31

Cheshire Senior Medals

Winners – 1926/27

Runners-up – 1931/32

Cheshire Bowl

Winners – 1932/33, 1934/35, 1936/37, 1940/41, 1943/44, 1944/45, 1945/46, 1953/54, 1964/65

Runners-up – 1933/34, 1938/39, 1947/48, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1954/55

Cheshire Premier Cup

Winners – 1977/78, 1978/79, 1980/81

Runners-up – 1970/71, 1972/73, 1976/77, 1979/80, 1981/82 

By the summer of 2009 and after rumbling from one crisis to another, Chester City Football Club was sliding out of the Football League.

Troubles continued off the field as the club entered administration during a depressing summer break.  Financial difficulties grew exponentially and the club’s final demise began when they failed to fulfil a fixture away at Forest Green Rovers in January 2010.  The club soon found themselves inevitably expelled from the Football Conference. 

The club’s league records were expunged and despite a last ditch attempt to apply for a place in the Welsh Premier League, the final nail in the coffin arrived weeks later when the club was officially wound up in the High Court for failing to pay a £26,125 tax bill.

Supporters group City Fans United had already begun preparations to form a phoenix club for the following season and from the ashes of the old club Chester Football Club was officially reborn on Thursday 21st May 2010 and now look’s forward to starting life in the Evo-stik Division 1 North, step four of the National League System. 

The new club received another welcome boost when Cheshire West and Chester Council granted the lease of the Deva Stadium, Chester City’s former ground, to the supporter owned club. 

Neil Young was appointed the club’s first manager with former Tranmere Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Grimsby Town player Gary Jones as his assistant.  Young has acted quickly to assemble a competitive squad of players as the new club looks forward to progressing back up the non-league pyramid.

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