Tag Archives: Chester

[POLL] Which team will stay up

After 17 games in we have an idea of who is likely to finish where. Although not 100% of certain most of the teams down near the bottom are more then likely to end up down here.

So who will stay up? You can chose who do you think will beat the drop into Step 2 of Non-league Football.

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Skrill Premier review 19th October

league trophy review
We are now over two months into the Skrill Premier season and the table is starting to take shape as team who are going to be battling it out for the title and who is going to be in for a long season battling relegation Saturday’s round of fixtures saw a total of 45 goals being scored with seven fixtures having four or more goals being scored.

Hyde fc are still yet to win a game this season as they went down 4-3 to Dartford at the Princes Park stadium. Matt Gooden put the Arrowmen 2-0 up before Scott Spencer scored two goals of his own on 34 minutes (from the spot) and 43 minutes. Before Chris Almond put the Tigers 3-2 as they looked to be taking their first win of the season. But, with seven minutes left George Monger made it 3-3 before Gooden completed his hat-trick with just three minutes to go leaving the Tigers win out a win this season.

Another 4-3 game was at the Lamb and it went the way of the visitors as Luton over turned Tamworth in Staffordshire. Tamworth went 1-0 up thanks to Daune Courtney opening the scoring on 13 minutes but Jonathan Smith made it 1-1 on 31 minutes before Andy Parry made it 2-1 just before the interval. In the second half the Hatters were quick out of the box as just a minute in Paul Benson made it 3-1 on 46 minutes then just moments later 4-1 on 54 minutes. Tamworth did pull back two goals thanks to Lateef Elford-Alliyu from the spot and a second for Courtney but they couldn’t do enough to win the game.

Kidderminster are still looking towards promotion this season as they beat Lincoln City 4-1 at Aggborough Michael Gash gave the Harriers the lead just 3 minutes before half time. Before Andrew Boyce doubled the hosts lead 10 minutes into the second half when he put through his own net. Harriers skipper Kyle Storer made it 3-0 before Nick Wright made it 3-1. But right on full time Anthony Malbon made it 4-1 to the Harriers.

Gateshead also ran out 4-1 winners as they won by that score line away at Nuneaton. James Marwood put Heed 1-0 up on 15 minutes before the lead was doubled that to Jordan Hugill on 20 minutes. In the second half ColinLarkin made it 3-0 from the penalty spot before Robert Ramshaw made it 4-0 just before the hour mark. Louis Moult pulled on back for Nuneaton on 73 minutes but the damage was already done.

Alfreton claimed another great win as they beat Aldershot 3-2 at The Rec. In a fast 10 minute spell the visitors went 2-1 up thanks to Shaw opening the scoring on 23 before Jaydon Gibbs made it 1-1 on 28 minutes but Tom Law restored the visitors lead on 31 minutes to go into the break 2-1 up. The shots drew level just two minutes into the second half thanks to Brett Willams but Jake Speight won the game for Alfreton just before the hour mark.

Newly promoted Halifax Town are enjoying life back in the Conference Premier as they beat Welling United 3-0 at the Shay. This was thanks to a first half hat-trick from Lee Gregory who netted on the 7th 24th and 36th minutes to keep the Shaymen riding high in the Conference.

Halifax were promoted from the Blue Square North a long side Chester and the Deva were beaten 3-0 at Braintree. A early double from Charlie Strutton (6 and 7 minutes) put Braintree 2-0 up before Dean Wells added a 3rd on 28 minutes. The results leaves the Deva in third from bottom in the Skrill Premier, while Braintree sit in 4th place.

Cambridge United remain the only unbeaten side in the Skrill Premier as they beat Salisbury 2-0 to remain top of the league. The U’s won the game thanks a 5 minute double from sub Kwesi Appiah in the second on 49 and 56 minutes.

Grimsby are 5th in the league after they came from behind to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Forest Green at Blundell Park 3-1. FGR went 1-0 thanks to Klukowski on 24 minutes. Before a double from Ross Hannah 34 and a 64 minute penatly. Before Alex Rodman sealed the win for the Mariners with 6 minutes to go.

Wrexham are slowly climbing up the Skrill Premier table after they beat Woking 2-0 at Racecourse ground. Dean Keates put the Reds Dragons 1-0 up on 21 minutes before Joe Clarke secured the win for the North Wales side when he netted on 90 minutes.

Barnet were in the winners in the battle of the Bulls and Bees at they won 1-0 at Edger Street the home of Hereford United. The only game came 9 minutes before half time when Ahmed Abdulla netted for the visitors. Who now have Carl Fletcher, who has previously played for West Ham and the Wales National team.

On Thursday night Macclesfield and Southport played out a 2-2 draw. Conor Jennings put Macc 1-0 up on 10 minutes before Danny Hattersley leveled up on 61. Conor Jennings got his second as he made it 2-1 on 77 minutes. But Southport leveled in the final minute when Jamie Milligan made it 2-2 from the penalty spot on penalty.

You can view the Skrill Premier league table here.

Five top signings to the Conference

Yesterday saw the transfer window shutting in the Football League and the Premier League. But the window was also slammed shut in the Skrill Premier League. At Non-league scene we have picked out our five top signings in the summer transfer window for Skrill Premier teams.

1 Michael Gash

Michael Gash was an early singing for Kidderminster Harriers (C) KHFC

Michael Gash was an early singing for Kidderminster Harriers (C) KHFC

One of the early one done was Michael Gash joining Kidderminster Harriers from Cambridge United. Gash, who has an eye for goal and has played for a number of Conference Premier teams, made the move to Aggborough following a successful loan spell at the Worcestershire club, which began in March. Gashes formed an instant partnership with strike partner Anthony Malbon and the pair led the charge toward the title last season but was unable to dislodge Mansfield off top spot.

The Harriers were so impressed by Gash that they had completed a move for him
Just days after the season ended for them with a loss to Wrexham in the play off semi-final. Steve Burr and everyone else at Kidderminster will be hoping that Gash can continue his fine form he showed while on loan to take Kiddy up to the next level.

2 Adam Cunnington

Adam Cunnington scored against his former club Tamworth at the weekend. (C) Cambridge United fc

Adam Cunnington scored against his former club Tamworth at the weekend. (C) Cambridge United fc

Despite Tamworth fighting relegation forward Adam Cunnington was among the leading marksmen in the Blue Square premier last season as the Lambs beat the drop and it was no surprise to see him pack his bags and move on to a side in the Skrill Premier that will be up at the top competing for honors come April time.

Cunnington has bedded into the Cambridge side well and in fact he was on target at the weekend as he opened the scoring against his former club Tamworth from the spot as they ran out 3-0 winners over the Staffordshire side.

3 Danny Higginbotham

From the Premier League to the Skrill Premier for Higginbotham (c) Eurorivals.net

From the Premier League to the Skrill Premier for Higginbotham (c) Eurorivals.net

With a football CV that includes Manchester United and Stoke City it may come a bit of a shock to many to see Danny Higginbotham pull on a Chester shirt. But that is what the former Old Trafford youngster be doing after he moved to the Deva Stadium last week.

Higginbotham had asked for a free transfer from League one Sheffield United and was to end up at newly promoted Chester FC under manager Neil Young who had been reportedly been chasing the signature of Danny for three weeks. Chester fans will be hoping that the former Blades player can inspire them to climb the table after losing their first five games.

4 Matthew Barnes-Homer

Now of FGR Matthew Barnes-Homer celebrates scoring against Cardiff in the FA Cup for Macclesfield Town (C) Football 365

Now of FGR Matthew Barnes-Homer celebrates scoring against Cardiff in the FA Cup for Macclesfield Town (C) Football 365

Matthew Barnes-Homer will always be known for the two goals he scored on the 5th January when his brace helped Macclesfield Town overcome Championship title winners Cardiff City to advance to the 4th round of the FA Cup at Moss Road.

The former England C team international will be key for Forest Green Rovers as they look to use their spending power to attract on field talent to the New Lawn in a bid to get them promoted out of Non-league football.

5 Louis Almond

Blackpool youngester Louis Almond returns to Hyde FC. (C) Empics/BBC

Blackpool youngester Louis Almond returns to Hyde FC. (C) Empics/BBC

Louis Almond joined Hyde on another season long loan from Blackpool after a really impressive loan spell. Almond had joined the Tigers toward the back end of the 2012-2013 season and was in fact made player of the month for March.

His tricky pace can see him run at defenders which can frighten the life out of them in a bid for Scott McNiven’s side to get back to winning ways for them to push themselves back up the Skrill Premier table.

There are many more signings that I could have chosen and a different person writing this could have chosen a different five signings that has really caught the eye but for me- Gash, Cunnington, Higginbotham, Barnes-Homer and Almond could be the five to impress fans and pundits this season.

Skrill Conference Premier review 31st August

league trophy review
There was 34 goals in match day 6 of the Skrill Premier as we start to get a look at how the league is going to shape up for the new season. We also had a massive derby which saw a team win their first game of the season.
There is only one place to start and that is the Racecourse ground as Wrexham entertained winless Chester. The Blues upset the odds coming away from their rivals with a 2-0 win as goals from Paul Linwood on five minutes put the visitors ahead on five minutes. Before Nathan Turner double the lead on 17 minutes put them 2-0 up and the Blues held out till the end to give their first win of the season in the Skrill Premier. The result also sees Chester jump to 22nd in the league.
Another 2-0 away win came at Aggborough as two late penalties from Jakes Howells on 70 and 81 minutes gave Luton all three points as the Hatters as they moved above the Harriers to go 11 place with Kidderminster sitting 12th in the league. John Still and his team will be hoping for Luton to have turned the corner from last season disappointment.
Salisbury won the battle of promoted teams against Halifax Town as they had two more men sent off. In two moments of madness the Shay men had Kevin Holsgrove and Josh Wilson sent off for the visitors.
On the pitch the hosts went into a 3-0 lead with goals from Elliott Frear (29), Luke Ruddick (69) and Ben Wright (81 minutes). Before Halifax pulled one through an own goal thanks to Ryan Brett with three minutes to go but it wasn’t enough for the Shay man as it was the second time already in the season that they have been reduced to nine men.
Cambridge took over top spot on goal difference as they beat Tamworth 3-0 at the Abbey Stadium. The Us went ahead just before half time as one of last season’s leading Marksmen Adam Cunnington scored from the spot against his former club. Before a second half double from Luke Berry on 58 minutes and 66 minutes to return to the summit of the table.
Barnet relinquished top spot despite being involved in an entertaining game as they beat Hyde FC 3-2. The Bees went 2-0 up with goals from Keanu Marsh-Brown (on 5 minutes) and Mark Byrne (40 minutes). Before the Tigers roared back with two goals from Liam Tomsett on 46 and 78 minutes. But the travelling Hyde fans dreams of taking a point were shattered on 84 minutes when substitute Harry Crawford netted the winner for the Bees.
Nuneaton stayed third in the league table as they beat Grimsby 2-1, who dropped to 8th in league table. Gavin Cowan put Nuneaton ahead on 26 minutes before Andy Brown doubled the lead on 33 minutes and the Warickshire side held on despite the hosts pulling one back on 86 minutes through Andy Cook.
Another team winning 2-1 on the road was Lincoln, who are having a great start after last season poor time, away at Dartford who have not had a great start like last season. The Imps went ahead on 21 minutes through Ben Tomlinson and just 12 minutes later Andrew Boyce double the visitors lead. The Darts pulled one back through Elliot Bradbrook on 59 minutes but it wasn’t enough for the Darts who sit 16th in the league.
Completing a small set of 2-1 wins is Hereford who triumphed over Welling by that score line. Chris Sharp put the hosts ahead just after half-time. Before they doubled the lead just before the end when Michael Rankine made it 2-0 on 84 minutes. Welling made it an interesting end when Ross Lafayette made it 2-1 on 90 minutes but it was too little too late for Welling.
Braintree got a 1-0 win away at Macclesfeild, who are still yet to win a game this season. The visitors went ahead just two minutes after half time when Liam Enver-Marum put the visitors ahead but neither team were able to find the net again during the game.
Aldershot are still on minus points as they went down to a 1-0 loss against Southport. The Shots could have moved onto 0 points with a win. But, a first half goal from Osayamen Osawe on 27 minutes saw the Sandgrounders return to the top five as Alan Wright’s men continue to upset the odds.
Big spending money Forest Green Rovers got another win as they beat Alfreton Town 3-1 at the New Lawn. A first half double from James Norwood on 7 and twenty three minutes put FGR 2-0 before Danny Wright made it 3-0 ten minutes before half time. But with 10 minutes to go till full time Alfreton were to pull one back through Dan Bradley.
Gateshead got their first win of the season with a 2-1 away at Woking. Heed went 2-0 with goals from James Brown on 20 minutes and Jamie Chandler on 30 minutes. Before a last minute penalty from Gavin Williams on 90 minutes.

The next round of Skrill Premier Fixtures is this Saturday on the 7th September on what is Non-league day. A full preview round up will be up on Friday.

Interview with Richard Bellis? Co-editor of the Chester’s fanzine

Chester fc celebrate promotion from the Evo-stik Premier division in 2012 (c) BBC

Chester fc celebrate promotion from the Evo-stik Premier division in 2012 (c) BBC

It has been three years since Chester City went and were forced into reforming and became Chester FC and were place into the Northern Premier League. After three consecutive promotions they have returned to the Conference Premier.

The Blues haven’t made the best of starts to life back in the Conference Premier and after five games the sit 23rd in the league table. We spoke to the co-editor of the Blue and White fanzine Richard Bellis to discuss Chester fc goings on.

The main thing for Chester fans was there return to the Conference Premier and it has delighted the Blues faithful as Bellis explained: Good! “Well, the poor start isn’t good, but it’s great to be back in the division where the previous incarnation of the club folded.

“It’s been a brilliant three years getting promoted through the divisions but now it’s back to normal I suppose – not being the best team in the league, having to scrap for every point and so on. It’s fun still, but in a different way.

“The goals and the results mean more – we can’t expect to tonk anybody like we have over the last few years.”

The league table shows Chester haven’t had the best of start to life back in the Conference which read five games played no wins, no draws and 5 losses. Results were 3-0 against Barnet, 2-0 against Hereford, 2-0 against Woking, 3-1 against Kidderminster and 2-1 against Forest Green Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday.

Bellis explains why this is the case: “Basically, it’s a steep learning curve. Defensively we can’t defend corners and something like nine of the twelve goals we’ve conceded have been from set-pieces.

“Up top we’re creating few chances and not putting away enough, but we have the makings of a good team in there. We’ve also had an extremely difficult start, playing five full-time clubs in our first six matches was never going to be easy.

“Though we were unlucky not to nick a point against Forest Green I thought.”

The Blues have signed a number of players and last season they had a team full of match winners as the made the charge to the Blue Square North title.

So who will be the key men for The Seals?

“It’s been quite mixed. Some have slotted in very well: Kevin McIntyre, Michael Kay and the Turner twins (on loan) look good. Others have looked decent: Lee Pugh, Danny Harrison, Alex Titchener.

“Then others have looked pretty bad, but let’s not name names.

“In terms of key men Ben Mills played well last match and grabbed a goal, Jamie Reed is supposed to be good, though he hasn’t played too much.

“Alex Titchener looks a good bet for a partnership up front with Mills, but I think this year will be a team effort, unless we can get another Antoni Sarcevic like player who can be our creative hub in midfield. We have a team of grafters at the minute.”

A number of teams in the Skrill Premier are full time. But one of the teams that are not full time is Chester. So will Chester become a full time team in the near future: “No. We can’t afford full-time football so we certainly shouldn’t go full-time.

“Otherwise we’d be back down the divisions after going bankrupt again. To be fair I don’t think many people seriously think we should go full-time yet as we all have a good idea about the state of the club’s finances – one of the benefits of being fan owned.”

This Saturday sees the return of the much anticipated Cross Boarder Derby as Chester visit the Racecourse ground, the home of Wrexham FC. The game has been made a bubble game, which mean away fans have to travel into the ground on official transport only. The game has also been a 1pm kick off.

“It’s the first fixture we all looked for and everyone is really excited about the match, though the ridiculous restrictions put in place by the police has taken some of the shine off the day.

“Why a non-league fixture that is going to attract about 6,000 fans needs to be a ‘bubble’ match is beyond me. If anything it’ll encourage trouble as Chester fans living in Wrexham will just risk it and go in the home end.

The racecourse ground will welcome the first Cross Boarder derby of the season.  photo by Steve Pic

The racecourse ground will welcome the first Cross Boarder derby of the season.
photo by Steve Pic

“North Wales Police will then use that as an excuse to bubble all future derbies for us. It’s incompetence of the highest order. The match will be good though.”

“It’s our biggest game since we reformed, so it’d be our biggest win. But the three league titles in a row obviously stand out in terms of achievements.

“On the day one team can upset the form book, but to win any league you have to be the best team. Being the best team in three divisions of increasing difficulty – and making them look increasingly easy – is something that can’t be matched by one game of football. Would still love to see us win though! But it’s got 0-0 written all over it.”

Skrill Premier review 24th August

Chester scored their first goal of the season but are still searching for the first win.

Chester scored their first goal of the season but are still searching for the first win.

Chester FC are still looking for their first win of the Skrill Premier but they did finally manage to find the back of the net. But it wasn’t enough to beat league favorites Kidderminster Harriers as they scored three goals of the own to beat the Blue 3-1 at Aggborough.

The Harriers went 2-0 up with goals from Josh Gowling and Marvin Johnson. Before Danny Harrison pulled one back for Chester on half time. But a Chester fight back was killed off on 90 minutes when Joe Lolley scored his first goal for the Harriers to give them a 3-1 win. The result also promoted Kidderminster into 2nd place where they finished last season.

Another team winning 3-1 was Grimsby at home to Alfreton. Grimsby went ahead on 13 minutes through Liam Hearn before Joe Colbeck made it 2-0 on 39 minutes and Patrick McLauglhin made the game safe for the host on 57 minutes when me made it 3-0 but Nick Fenton pulled one back for Alfreton on 90 minutes.

Cambridge United remain top of the table with a 1-0 win over Lincoln, who fell to their first loss of the season. Luke Berry gave the Us all three points on 41 minutes when he beat visiting keeper Paul Farman. The results see the Imps fall to 10th in the table.

Barnet slipped to 4th place in the Skrill Premier with a 1-1 draw with fellow unbeaten side Nuneaton at the Hive. Despite going ahead on 16 minutes through Jake Hyde. The Warickshire side equalized just before half time through Andy Brown on 43 minutes.

The final team to make up the top four is Southport who enjoyed a 2-1 win over manager less Gateshead at Haig Avenue. A first half double from Karl Ledsham (34, 45) gave the hosts a 2-0 lead but just after the hour mark Richard Brodie pull one back for the visitors.

Woking and Welling shared six goals as Welling ran out 4-2 winners over Woking at the Kingfield stadium. The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead with an own goal from keeper Aaron Howe, before Doug Bergqvist doubled the lead on 19 minutes before Harry Beautyman made it 3-0 ten minutes later. Brett Johnson pulled on back for the hosts on 38 minutes. Before Loick Pires made it 4-1 on 67 minutes. But Joe McNerney grabbed a consolation for the hosts on 69 minutes.

Hyde left it late to take a point against Wrexham. Tom Collins had given the Tigers the lead on 13 minutes from the Penalty spot. Before 2 quick goals from Kevin Thornton and Junior Mtname. Just before the break gave the hosts a 2-1 lead and it looked like all three points were staying in North Wales until Scott Spencer made it 2-2 on 90 minutes again from the spot.

Another game that finished all square at 2-2 was Macclesfield v Halifax at Moss Road. Lee Gregory had given the Shaymen a 1-0 lead on 16 minutes before Holsgrove doubled the lead on 21 minutes for Halifax. But goals from Scott Boden (38 minutes) and Jack MacKreth gave the Macc a spoil of the points who also had Connor Jennings sent off.

Braintree overcame Dartford 2-0 at Princes Park. Both teams enjoyed great seasons last season and it was the visitors who took the lead on 69 minutes when Alan Massey scored before Liam Enver-Marum made it 2 on full time.

Hereford have made a decent start to the second season in the Skrill premier as they beat Tamworth 1-0 at home. The only goal of the game came on 51 minutes when Sam Smith beat Cameron Belford (son of boss Dale Belford) to give the Bulls all three points.

Theo Lewis was Sailsbury City’s hero on Saturday as they beat Aldershot 1-0 at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. The goal from the Whites number ten came on 51 minutes for side which was a whole league away from Aldershot last season who remain on – points.

The only 0-0 draw of the day came at Forest Green Rovers who held fellow big spenders Luton Town.

Teams don’t have to wait too long for the next set of fixtures which are played this bank Holiday Monday. Full fixture list is as follows (Kick offs 3pm unless stated) –
Aldershot v Woking
Alfreton v Hereford
Braintree Town v Barnet
Chester v Forest Green Rovers
Halifax v Southport
Hyde v Grimsby (17.30)
Gateshead v Macclesfield
Lincoln v Wrexham
Luton Town v Cambridge United
Nuneaton v Kidderminster
Ramworth v Dartford
Welling v Sailsbury