Posts Tagged ‘FA Cup’

THE Football Conference today confirmed Chester City have not appealed against the decision that led to them being expelled from the competition.

It was Chester’s fellow Conference clubs who ultimately voted to kick the troubled Blues out, but only after the league’s board recommend that they do so – and it was against that recommendation that City had until midnight on Friday to appeal. That deadline has now passed and Chester’s record in the Blue Square Premier will be expunged as a result.

A Conference statement said: “The Football Conference announce Chester City (2004) FC, having not lodged any appeal in respect of their removal from the competition, have had their playing record expunged with immediate effect.

“A new calculated table is being circulated via the Press Association this afternoon as the official record to be used by all the media and member clubs from this date.

“Due to the fact that all goals involved in those matches played to date are also expunged, it means that those players having scored goals in matches against Chester City in the Blue Square Premier also see them expunged from the record books.

“This is to maintain fairness and consistency in relation to the player winning the ‘Golden Boot’ award at the end of the season in the Blue Square Premier. Goals scored in FA Cup or FA Trophy ties are not so affected and will remain in those competitions.

“The debt-ridden company behind the Blues, Chester City FC 2004 Ltd, face a winding up order on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill of £26,125.

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The Barrow AFC supporter who threw a bottle into the Chester supporters section at Holker Street earlier this season has been given a football banning order. Shaun Taylor Nightingale, 20, is banned from every football ground in England and Wales for three years by Furness magistrates.

The court heard Nightingale was arrested after throwing a glass bottle from outside the ground into the Holker Street end of Barrow’s home ground during the Bluebirds’ home tie against Chester City on October 24. The bottle narrowly missing Chester supporters.

He had been inside the ground earlier that evening but left with another fan who was ejected for drinking alcohol on the terraces.  Nightingale, of Oxford Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty to a section five public order offence at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

He was given a three-year football banning order, fined £100 and ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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Chester City travel to face York City  at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday night (kick off 7.45) just days after the conference side overcame our Cheshire rivals, Crewe Alexandra, last weekend in the FA Cup.

Martin Foyle’s men will be looking to extend their season-long unbeaten home run as well as reduce the four point gap between themselves and the Play Off places. 

Struggling Chester are resurgent since the vastly experienced Jim Harvey took over as manager after the sacking of former Scarborough chief Mick Wadsworth little over a month ago.

In fact, the Blues’ only defeat on the road this season was a 4-0 thrashing at runaway leaders Oxford way back in August and Harvey has also led his new side to wins in each of their last three games.

Weighed down by a 25 point deduction, the Blues are still on minus four points even with their good run of form after a poor start to the campaign and remain a hefty nineteen points from safety.

Chester City will be without highly rated defender Johnny Flynn, who had been on loan from Blackburn Rovers, after he was called up to the Northern Ireland under 21s squad and recalled by the Premiership side.

Former Scarborough prospect Michael Coulson recently joined Chester on loan from Barnsley and is likely to start in an advanced role alongside seven-goal top scorer Nick Chadwick.

Mark Beesley should also be involved after extending his loan spell from Cambridge United which means midfielder Ben Wilkinson, released by the Minstermen last season, is expected to warm the bench for the Blues.


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The opportunity of making a few quid with a lucrative cup run has passed cash strapped Chester City by for another season.

Careless and naive – Chester’s defending in last night’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay was a perfect reflection of their off-the-field problems.

Three goals in four minutes blew apart this tie after the Blues had begun to make a decent fist of an even game. Fewer than 1,000 Chester fans turned up to see their side as the game swung one way then the other in the first half.

Barrow had a clutch of chances in the opening 10 minutes before Clark Keltie, Mark Beesley and Michael Coulson began to create some opportunities for the Blues.

A free kick on the half-hour mark saw Anthony Barry, who had earlier passed a fitness test, gather up a half-clearance and feed Neil Ashton.

He crossed to the back post where Jonathan Flynn rose to head at goal, but his effort was saved by Stuart Tomlinson in the Barrow goal.

A minute later, Keltie and Beesley linked up to create a chance which full-back Kevin Roberts blasted towards goal but again, Tomlinson was on hand to thwart his effort.

Two minutes before half-time, Barry was replaced by young Lloyd Ellams as his thigh problem resurfaced. And at half time boss Jim Harvey was forced into another change as Michael Lea succumbed to a knock and was replaced by the hard-working James Owen.

A minute after the restart, Mark Beesley fired in a shot that Tomlinson could only parry into the path of Ellams but with the goal at his mercy the forward could only place the ball back into the keeper’s grateful arms.

Frustration began to creep in for the Blues and Coulson was booked for a foul on Barrow winger Malvin Kamara on the hour before just 60 seconds later James Owen also received a yellow card for fouling the same player. It was this inability to deal with Kamara’s skill of winning free-kicks that eventually sparked Chester’s downfall.

Barrow’s opening came on 73 minutes when, having rejected two previous appeals from the visitors for backpasses, referee Ross Joyce gave a decision against Tim Ryan, the ball coming off his shin as he shepherded it back to John Danby.

Despite packing the box with blue shirts, Jason Walker rolled the ball to Andy Bond and he blasted through the defences to make it 1-0.

This sparked huge celebrations from former Chester City player Dave Bayliss, now manager of Barrow, after he took stick from the Blues fans throughout the game, and the throwing of blue smoke bombs onto the pitch which delayed the restart. When play resumed, the ball was only in play for two minutes when Barrow had a penalty.

Ashton brought down Kamara inside the box and the referee, who had a good position, didn’t hesitate to point to the spot. Walker stepped up and smashed home to double the lead. By this time Chester had imploded and on 77 minutes they were all over the place, allowing Bond to steal in and head home his second of the match.

Ellams had a shot tipped over on 78 minutes as Chester desperately strived for anything positive, but with 10 minutes to go skipper Ryan was booked for petulantly kicking the ball away after Joyce had awarded a free-kick. A late rally two minutes from time saw a Beesley effort cleared by Barrow but in injury time substitute Andy Cook took full advantage of some poor defending to turn last-man Ryan on the halfway line and speed away.

He had plenty of time to come inside on his stronger right foot and slip the ball past Danby to end the Blues’ hopes of a lucrative run in this competition.

Chester City: Danby, Roberts, Ryan, Barry (Ellams 43), Lea (Owen 45), Ashton, Keltie, Coulson, Beesley, Flynn, Kay. Subs: Murphy, Meynell, Wilkinson, Kelly, Blundell.

Barrow: Tomlinson, Spender, Jelleyman, Jones, Pearson, Kamara (Logan 88), Bond, Sheridan (Boyd 94), Walker (Cook 88), Shaw, Rutherford. Subs: Deasy, Bayliss, Dugdale, Morris. Goalscorers: Bond (2), Walker (Pen), Cook.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).

Attendance: 996 Chester City fans- 291 Barrow fans.

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jim harvey - Chester City's latest man at the helm

jim harvey - Chester City's latest man at the helm

Former Morecambe and Forest Green Rovers manager Jim Harvey has today been appointed as the latest manager of struggling Chester City Football Club.   Caretaker boss and club captain Tim Ryan will be Harvey’s Assistant as Chester prepare to claw back a 25 point deficit and attempt to perform a great escape and survive in the Blue Square Premier League.

Jim Harvey in profile

Born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Signed for Arsenal in 1974, sadly his 1st team opportunities were somewhat restricted with only making 3 league appearances. In 1980 Jim had a free transfer to Hereford United where he became a favourite with the fans with 278 leagues games.  

In 1987 Jim left Hereford on a £25,000 transfer to Bristol City but only made 2 league appearances before he went on loan to Wrexham making 6 appearances in league games. He was once again transferred for £25,000 to Tranmere Rovers in late 1987. He quickly made Captain, making 121 league appearances, 12 League Cup and 8 F.A. Cup appearances , scoring 15 goals. 

Upon leaving Tranmere Jim spent a season at Crew Alexandra, under Dario Gardi as a player and on the coaching staff. At the beginning of the 1993-94 Jim signed for Vauxhall Conference side Southport, in their 1st year in the Conference. He made 12 appearances for Southport before signing with Chester City as a non-contract player, Reserve Team Coach and Director of the School of Excellence.  

In early 1994 Jim was appointed by Morecambe Football Club as Assistant Player – Manager to Leighton James. He also has F.A. qualifications in management and injury treatment. On 7th June 1994, he became Manager after the sacking of the former manager. 

In his first season 1994-95, as manager, Jim gained Morecambe F.C promotion to the GM Vauxhall Conference as Runners-up in the Northern Premier League. Within the Conference League Jim has become well respected as a manager, winning Morecambe’s second national trophy in 1997/98 when the team won the Bob Lord (Spalding) Trophy, beating Woking in a exciting 2 leg final. He has also taken the club to several Lancashire (ATS) Junior Cup finals, winning in 1995/96 and 1998/99 and Runner-up in 1997/98.  

It can only be a short time before Jim Harvey once again brings back some silverware to Christie Park, home of Morecambe Football Club.  Already at the beginning of the 2001/02 season Jim was the longest serving manager of any team in the Nationwide Conference, as well as the longest ever serving Morecambe boss and furthermore, in November 2001, Jim signed a new contract tying him to Christie Park until at least 2004.  Season 2004/05 saw Jim and the team saddly missing a play-off place on the last game of the season.

Sadly before the Cambridge United game on November 12 2005, Jim suffered a heart attack before the game and was taken to the local hospital at Lancaster.  On doctor’ advice Jim took time off his duties  recover. Whislt recoving his personal friend Sammy McIlroy will be in charge for the first team.  However on 16 May 2006, the board announced they had released Jim Harvey from his contact as manager. With this announcement came the end of the longest era of a manager at the club. A manager that supporters’ will alway remember as the the man who changed the fortunes of the club by taking then into the Football Conference and raising the profile of the club both on and off the pitch.

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As we prepare to visit the Racecourse on Sunday to face Wrexham in the Blue Square Premier League, today we reflect one of Chester best victories over the old enemy.

Wrexham Football Club

Wrexham Football Club

Chester 6 Wrexham 1 – 27th Febuary, 1965


 With some 68 league games and several cup ties played between ourselves and Wrexham the choiced for our memory match were many.  The big temptation was to plump for our FA Cup meeting just a few seasons ago but that might have caused Gary Bennett some embarrassment amongst his current teammates.  Instead the choice is our league meeting at Sealand Road in 1964/65.

The game was played on Feb 27 1965 and came at a time when Chester were looking to extend their unbeaten run to 8 league games and at a time when goals were flying in left right and centre.  In addition we were unbeaten at Sealand Road since our first home match of the campaign and looking to record our 15th home league win.  A crowd of 14,872 were present to watch the drama unfold and they didn’t have to wait too long.

Chester were fielding their famous Humes, Metcalf, Talbot, Ryden, Morris forward line for the 22nd consecutive game with Mike Metcalf and Elfed Morris in particular looking to do well against their former club and both succeeded almost immediately.

In the opening minute Peter Hauser set Gary Talbot up with a half chance but Steve Fleet in the Wrexham goal averted the danger but then in the third minute Talbot turned provider with a fine cross for Metcalf to volley the ball home for his 32nd goal of the season.  Wrexham came back strongly with Arfon Griffiths forcing a fine save from stand in keeper Reg Barton whilst Keith Webber and Sammy McMillan also went close.  Gary Talbot was caught offside a couple of times but then with just 12 minutes gone Chester went 2-0 up when Elfed Morris slid a low cross wide of Steve Fleet.  Back to the other end and Reg Barton again earned his keep saving from Webber, Phythian and King.  Ray Jones cleared another effort but with Metcalf in brilliant form in the middle of the park Chester were not short of attacking ideas either. 

On the half hour the score was 3-0, Metcalf did the spadework feeding the ball out to Morris who crossed for Jimmy Humes to slot the ball home.  Within a minute the Chester fans had a fourth goal to celebrate with Jimmy Humes again on target following good work by Talbot and Ryden.  Back came Wrexham with Barnes hitting the post and then with just two minutes of the half remaining they gained some reward for their efforts when Ernie Phythian netted.  Even then, however, Chester almost scored again before the break only for Morris to be denied by a fine save by Fleet.

The half time scoreline was 4-1 and yet the game had been fairly even, the difference was that Chester took their chances!  No one could really expect the second half to live up to the first but Chester gave it a go nevertheless.  With just three minutes gone Jimmy Humes completed his hat trick, heading home a centre from Morris and then six minutes later Gary Talbot got his name on the scoresheet with another header after fine work from Dave Durie.  That was the end of the scoring and Wrexham were no doubt grateful for that but Gary Talbot who’d been injured in the first half was rapidly consigned to the role of passenger and Chester were happy with their afternoon’s work. 

Not only had we recorded our biggest win of the season but we’d also established ourselves as the Football League’s top goalscorers!

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Gateshead Football Club

Gateshead Football Club

As we prepare to take on Gateshead at the Deva Stadium tonight we reflect on a classic match that portrayed exactly what the FA Cup is all about.

Gateshead and Chester played out a memorable cup tie at a corking pace with quality football from both sides, the outcome a seven goal thriller.

Chester began stronger searching out an opening and the goal their adventurous play deserved came in the 31st minute.  Jepson and Trewick went up when Williams flung a high ball into the middle and it seemed to me that the ball finally went into the net off Trewick’s head from Jepson.

Chester found themselves two up some nine minutes later when Bullock hit Gray on the thigh with a vicious shot which cannoned off him to Mason, who slammed it into the net.

Three minutes to the interval Gateshead pulled one back when Baldridge slashed at a ball just inside the area and Keith Griffiths was groping as it smacked the underside of the ball and came down behind him.  At half time Jack Collender levelled for Gateshead, snatching Chester’s lead so dramatically from them.

This was to become the most stirring game at the Stadium for some time.  Pearson put Chester in front again four minutes after the restart, but Gateshead were not done and levelled again when Ingham came racing inside to ram Brown’s free kick into the net in the 57th minute.

With the minutes ticking away, a replay at Redheugh Park seemed inevitable.  Chester had to start again but they were not getting the breaks.

With just two minutes remaining and with my fellow journalists in the press box already preparing their reports for the Sunday newspapers, Foulkes came in on the inside of Dawson to find the net with a low shot to win it for Chester.

Cheers of celebration engulfed the terrages as the crowd gave the Chester players a well deserved standing ovation at the end.

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