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Archived News from August 2004

14th August 2004 22:00

report from http://www.chestercityfc.net

Report by Rob Ashcroft.

Chester City went into this game determined to make amends after the disappointment of defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in midweek. The Blues kicked off in commanding form, but a second half collapse sees them languishing at the wrong end of the league table with one point on the board. An entertaining start saw the Blues pushing forward from the first whistle. Kevin McIntyre sent a great ball forward to Michael Branch on the 7th minute. Branch did well to get around Dave Artell near the corner flag, however he couldn't make anything of it losing the ball to a defender just inside the Mansfield area. The Blues continued to pile on the pressure, captain Andy Harris delivered a good cross forcing Dave Artell to head the ball over his own cross bar for a goal kick. Seconds later, Paul Carden set Stewart Drummond up on the left who shot narrowly wide of the left post.

At the other end Colin Larkin tried his luck from a counter attack but Phil Bolland was on hand to block the advancing Mansfield striker. Almost immediately former Manchester United goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington was forced into pulling off a fine acrobatic save on 14 minutes after Kevin Ellison unleashed a ferocious shot from at least thirty yards out. Chester never relented, Ellison, Rapley and Branch saw attempts fall wide of the target. The Stags began to get back into the game as Chester dropped down a gear. Derek Asamoah shot across the face of goal with just Wayne Brown to beat.

Paul Carden responded with a brilliant individual display. He twisted around Neil MacKenzie to fire a right footed shot agonisingly close to the left post. City were awared an indirect free kick adjacent the penalty spot for an obstruction on 35 minutes. Stewart Drummond chose to take the kick but his shot was blocked by the Mansfield wall and cleared for a corner. Kevin McIntyre followed up bt delivering a perfect corner kick, Kevin Pilkington managed to get his fingertips to it but the ball landed at the feet of Kevin Rapley at the far post. Rapley could only manage to shoot into the side netting from close range.

Half Time: 0-0

Disaster. Less than 80 seconds into the second half and Mansfield had silenced the City supporters by taking the lead. Almost right away, Kevin Pilkington's long goal kick found Colin Larkin on the right wing. He beat off Stephen Vaughan in a sleepy City defence to cross the ball into the area for the unmarked Derek Asamoah to blast his effort home past a stranded Wayne Brown. Mansfield had the advantage but City forced a corner in the 53rd minute. Kevin McIntyre's kick found Kevin Ellison just outside the box. Centrally placed, his right footed shot was blocked by Dave Artell in a crowded box.

Mansfield broke on the counter attack and City's jittery back line allowed Asamoah through. One on one with Wayne Brown, Asamoah should have done better than direct his shot into the arms of the grateful shot-stopper. Mansfield continued to hold the initiative and Wayne Brown was forced into an outstanding acrobatic dive to tip the ball away from a dangerous Jake Buxton volley. In an period of total domination by the visitors, a second goal seemed inevitable. It came on 62 when Dave Artell crossed into the area from the right channel. Defender Jake Buxton was on hand to blast the ball home from close range past a static looking Wayne Brown.

Substitute Daryl Clare showed a glimmer of hope on the 76th minute. Branch flicked the ball on to Clare, he rounded Jake Buxton but shot into the side netting. Seconds later and Mansfield Town had found a third goal, and what a goal it was too, to signal City's collapse. Colin Larkin's effort should be an early contender for goal of the season. It put paid to City's hopes of a revival as he drove a subline shot into the top left hand corner from about 30 yards out. Keith Curle celebrated on the Mansfield bench as City's faithful supporters began to slowly drift out of the stadium.

Full Time: 0-3

Attendance : 2,648
Man of the Match: Paul Carden


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