Posts Tagged ‘AFC Wimbledon’

Chester City old boy Daryl Clare has expressed his sadness at the demise of his former club – but is delighted current club Gateshead will be the main beneficiaries.

Clare scored a superb 48 goals in 60 league games during a successful two year stay at the Deva Stadium, helping the club back into the Football League in his second season.

That saw the former Grimsby Town striker claim the Conference Golden Boot in 2003/4, but Chester are now on the brink of extinction.

The 125 year old club have been voted out of the Blue Square Premier by the member clubs causing their results this season to be expunged.

Gateshead were the only side to lose twice against Chester while Cambridge United and Tamworth will lose their six points for doing the double over the former Football League club.

Both are now in the thick of the relegation battle along with Salisbury City who will have four points deducted while struggling Ebbsfleet and Forest Green each lose three points.

Clare said: “Chester’s expulsion has given us a real leg up as there are now eight clubs involved in the battle to avoid the last two relegation places.

“I believe we would have stayed up anyway and I’ve played in sides that have pushed for the top six who weren’t as good as the current Gateshead side.

“But I am very sad at what has happened at Chester. They are a club close to my heart and I played the best football of my career there.

“The only saving grace is that the supporters want to form a new club and work their way through the leagues like AFC Wimbledon have done.”

“I wish them all the success in the future but I am now at Gateshead and we have a big two months ahead of us.”

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Jim Harvey believes his Chester City players will get a huge psychological lift if they take seven points from their next three matches – as it will haul the Blues up to the magical zero-point mark.
A trio of away days await City in the next eight days and if they return from the trips to Grays Athletic, York City and Tamworth with two victories and a draw, they will have wiped out the debilitating 25-point penalty incurred for the club’s off-the-field problems.
While Chester’s future remains far from clear, impressive boss Harvey is going about his business as usual and he reckons the Blues will have the chance of survival if they are within 12 points of safety come the New Year.
“It will be undoubtedly be a lift once we get to zero as you’re then in the same street as the other teams,” said Harvey, whose rock-bottom side make their way to fourth-from-bottom Grays Athletic on Saturday (3pm) and play-off chasing York City on Tuesday (7.45pm). “Just to see that 25 points wiped off will be a boost.
“We were seven wins behind but Saturday’s win over Wimbledon probably means we’re down to about 6.1 wins! But in all seriousness, if we can get that down by the end of Christmas and be about 12 points behind, then that would not be something we couldn’t achieve.
“That’s the focus and we’ve just got to keep showing the same focus and belief we showed on Saturday.”
The 3-1 victory over an AFC Wimbledon team boasting a seven-match unbeaten away record was the first time City had recorded back-to-back league wins in 99 games.
Harvey said: “The lads have set the standard and now they have to try and maintain that level of performance.
“Grays is a six-pointer and it would be nice to think we will be going down there with a little bit more confidence following the Wimbledon win and go there expecting to get a result.”
The Blues have not lost on the road in eight but with seven of those matches ending in draws, Harvey said: “Although the results have been good away from home, we haven’t scored many goals. If we can keep that dogged resilience and keep getting draws that would be great, but it would be even better if we can get a few away wins because then we really would be back in business as I’m sure the home form will improve because of our style of play.”
Michael Lea and Anthony Barry have not trained this week and so are major doubts for the Grays clash.
City have until a week on Monday to settle their football-related debts or face being kicked out of the Conference, but Harvey prefers to stay focused on on-the-field matters. He said: “We’ve got to forgot about that and just to concentrate on what we can influence – and that’s players and results.

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City made it back-to-back league wins for the first time in 99 games.

Nick Chadwick and Gregg Blundell strikes sandwiched between a Steven Gregory own goal brought Jim Harvey’s men a well-deserved victory which not only banished the record that has undermined their battle for Blue Square Premier survival, but also acted as the perfect response to their FA Cup humbling by Barrow.

The Blues made two changes to the side that went down so disappointingly in midweek with Glenn Rule and Chadwick returning from suspension to replace the injured Michael Lea and Anthony Barry.

Harvey also altered the way his team lined-up as he utilised a midfield diamond, with Mark Beesley at its tip and Kevin Roberts at its base, in a bid to combat the similar formation favoured by the Dons.

And City certainly responded well to the tactical switch as they made a start every bit as bright as the blazing sun drenching the ground. So it was no surprise when top-scorer Chadwick, having earlier wasted a decent opening, put Chester in front in the 10th minute as he stroked in his fifth goal of the campaign after being picked out by strike-partner Michael Coulson.

And one became two four minutes later when Beesley’s cross was turned into his own net by Gregory. The double salvo stunned a visiting side who made the trip north on the back of a seven-match unbeaten away run.

But Wimbledon gradually began to get a foothold in what was a highly-entertaining contest and, after the ever-impressive Neil Ashton cleared a Ricky Wellard effort off the line, they reduced the deficit in first-half injury-time when Jon Main expertly fired in after a free kick was not fully cleared.

Blues supporters’ spirits were lifted at the break by the appearance of Grenville Millington, who was promoting the newly-formed Chester City Former Players Association. And the greatest goalkeeper in the City’s history would have been proud of the save John Danby made shortly after the restart as the club’s current number one brilliantly turned aside Main’s explosive drive.

The Dons, roared on by a large travelling support, were now penning their hosts back and Luke Moore blasted over before Danby made another tremendous stop, this time with his feet, to deny Main. Chester soaked up the pressure, though, and the excellent Clark Keltie came close to scoring one of the goals of the season when his 30-yard thunderbolt came back off the bar and post.

The attempt spurred the Blues on and Beesley had the chance to make the game safe when he was teed up by the lively Blundell. But with the goal at his mercy, the on-loan Cambridge United man dragged his shot horribly wide. Beesley’s blushes were spared moments later, though, when James Owen escaped down the right and crossed for fellow substitute Blundell to send a crisp strike past the despairing dive of James Pullen.

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Save Our SealsCity Fans United, the name given to the new supporters’ group for Chester City FC, have announced plans to amass a ‘War Chest’ to ensure the future of professional football in the City of Chester.

This would give the potential opportunity for all fans of Chester City to collectively own the club and would mean the club being owned by the fans for the first time in its 125-year history.

Following recent public meetings, fans of Chester City football club have called for contingency plans to be made should the football club face future financial difficulties. While City Fans United wish to see the club go from strength to strength, the fans realise that they must have a Plan B in place.

Chairman of City Fans United, Michael Poole, says: “While we do hope for the best, we must also plan for the worst. The club means just too much to the supporters, the kids and the community that we can’t tolerate any risk of it going under.

Poole continued: “We need contingency funds. We need to build a War Chest. To that end City Fans United are announcing an immediate campaign to amass this War Chest and provide a safety net for our local club. All of the fans of Chester will have the opportunity to potentially have a stake in the football club by purchasing loan notes from City Fans United. The precedent has already been set – clubs already owned by the fans include Brentford, Exeter, AFC Wimbledon and, most famously, Barcelona.”

City Fans United are seeking to raise donations, increase its membership and sell ‘loan notes’ to supporters. These loan notes will be sold at £100 and will give the purchaser a stake, should CFU ever purchase the club. As loans, each £100 note would be fully refundable to the purchaser.

“We believe that donations, fund-raising events, monthly subscriptions, sponsorship and the issue of loan notes are the best ways for us to amass the contingency fund the fans are calling for. We need to raise this fund very quickly, certainly within the next 6 to 12 months as the future of the club looks more and more precarious by the week.”

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