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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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Gateshead Football Club

Gateshead Football Club

Chester City striker Mark Beesley scored his first goal since his return to the club to earn the Blue Square Premier’s bottom club their first away win of the season.

The on-loan Cambridge United front man latched onto Kevin Roberts’ cross to hit a close-range winner 11 minutes into the second half.

And, although City old boy Daryl Clare came close to a Gateshead equaliser on his debut, the visitors hung on for three valuable points in their struggle for survival in the Blue Square Premier League.

 Gateshead: Farman, Williams, Curtis, Swailes, Cave (Mackay 80), Phillips (Baxter 62), Gate, Francis, Winn (One 61), Clare, Armstrong.
Subs Not Used: Provett, McDermott.

Chester: Danby, Roberts, Flynn, Ryan, Ashton, Coulson (Ellams 92), Keltie, Barry, Lea, Blundell (Wilkinson 50), Beesley. Other Sub: Kay (for Wilkinson, 91).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Kay, Owen.

Scorer: Beesley 56.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth).

Attendance: 631.

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Gateshead Football Club

Gateshead Football Club

Today’s opponents, Gateshead have signed experienced Mansfield Town striker Daryl Clare on an emergency loan and the 31 year old goes straight into the tynesiders squad.

The former Republic of Ireland B international has twice won the Conference Premier Golden Boot and has been a prolific goalscorer throughout his career.

After 79 appearances for Grimsby Town, where he was part of the Mariners promotion squad in 1997/98, he had a productive season at Boston United where he scored 25 goals in 47 games.

 

 

 

Clare scored 48 goals in 65 games during a golden period at Chester City, helping the Deva Stadium club to promotion back to the Football League five years ago.

The 31 year old Irishman will now attempt to put one over his former club on his first appearance in a Gateshead shirt.

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Gateshead Football Club

Gateshead Football Club

Chester City have signed three three new players in time for today’s match with Gateshead. The clash at the International Stadium pits bottom of the table City against the Blue Square Premier new boys.

Ian Bogie’s Gateshead are finding life in the top tier of non-league football tough at present having won just three of their 15 games so far.

Chester boss Jim Harvey will be hoping the addition of three new faces to the Deva Stadium squad will heap more misery on Bogie’s men whilst aiding their own fight for survival.

New Chester chairman Ian Anderson said: “There is a centre-half from Blackburn, a winger from Blackburn and a winger from Barnsley. We’ve done the deals as far as I understand and hopefully all three will be signed in time for the weekend.” The three players are believed to be Blackburn Rovers’ Andy Howarth and Johnny Flynn, and Michael Coulson from Barnsley.

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Chester City return to action tonight with a long journey south, making their first ever visit to the Ray Mac Stadium in their latest Blue Square Premier match.

The Whites will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats on their travels – they lost 2-0 at Tamworth on Saturday having been beaten 2-1 at Gateshead a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Chester City will be hoping to return to winning ways after being comprehensively beaten by Stevenage Borough at the Deva Stadium last weekend.

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Gateshead Football Club

Gateshead Football Club

A last gasp header from Nick Chadwick helped earn struggling Chester City their second league win of the season.

Striker Gregg Blundell was twice involved in the night’s key incident, being brought down in the box by Gateshead defender James Curtis, who was sent off.

He then fired home from the spot, only for on-loan striker Mike Mackay to drill home Gateshead’s equaliser.

But Chadwick won the points for City, nodding home Neil Ashton’s cross.

The victory will give Chester’s young side confidence in their thankless task of trying to beat the drop to the Blue Square North.

However the attendance of 994 will be very much worrying for the Chester City management team as supporters begin to turn their back on the club.

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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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