As promised, for those of you who like poring over dull statistics, here is the complete record at the Deva Stadium following the 2-1 victory against Mickleover Sports on Saturday. The row and column headers should be self-evident.
It is noticeable how poor the home record is for the old City side with almost as many games ending in defeat (165) as in victory (168). Perhaps this is unsurprising when you consider that four of the 18 seasons ended in relegation and the figures also include the disastrous 2009/10 season. In comparison there were two promotion seasons and two seasons where City reached the play-offs.
Inevitably the highest number of victories for City were chalked up in the promotion seasons of 1993/94 and 2003/04 as well as the 2000/01 season when they won seven games in cup competitions reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup, FA Trophy Semi-Final and Nationwide Variety Trophy Final. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that most goals were scored in the 1995/96 season when Kevin Ratcliffe was manager although there was the bonus of having Cyrille Regis leading the attack for two-thirds of the campaign.
The statistics for Chester FC put the previous 18 seasons to shame. The club have already scored 109 goals in total and suffered only four defeats compared to 29 victories.
There are a couple of anniversaries that should be reached before the end of the season. Chester FC need 6 more goals to reach 100 league goals while three more wins will see the 200th victory at the ground. In addition another 5 goals will see the 600th goal conceded but with a bit of luck this will be avoided until next season.
This Saturday’s game against Mickleover Sports will be the 500th game played at the Deva Stadium.
It’s 20 years in August since the first game was played at the ground, when Stockport County were the visitors. The grand total takes into account all first team league and cup matches played by Chester City and Chester FC.
I thought I would use my first proper post to briefly explain how I came to this figure and after Saturday’s game I will publish the full statistical breakdown. There will also be some more detail in Friday’s Leader article.
The games for Chester FC are easily accounted for and the Hednesford defeat was the 41st match at the ground. Although I have included last season’s Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Congleton Town I have excluded the county cup ties played when the Blues were in the Conference between 2000 and 2004. Although the competition was technically meant for non-league teams the old City never treated it as such and invariably played a second eleven. I used the same principle for first team matches in On The Borderline.
The pre-2010 Chester played 458 games at the Deva Stadium. This figure excludes the three abandoned games against Worksop Town in 2003, Stockport County in 2008 and Eastbourne Borough in 2009. However I believe it is valid to include all the games from the truncated 2009/10 season even though they were technically expunged from the record books.
While putting together these figures a couple of other recent landmarks came to light. First of all Chris Clements opening goal for Hednesford last Saturday was the 500th league goal conceded at the ground. Somehow it seems a lot more. Secondly Michael Powell’s second goal against Worksop Town was the 700th goal league and cup strike from the Blues.
Welcome to my first blog. I have finally decided to plunge into the world of blogging by writing some self-indulgent historical and statistical articles on aspects of Chester Football Club that interest me. Hopefully fellow supporters will find these articles of interest as well.
I already write a weekly column in the Leader newspaper every Friday as well as an article in the current programme but I wanted to use this blog to cover other aspects of the history in more detail. Over the years I have come across some interesting stories that I have struggled to find an outlet for and this seems an ideal opportunity for some more informal ramblings and features.
By the very nature of a history blog it will mainly concentrate on the old Chester City that was liquidated in 2010 but there will be coverage of the new Chester FC from a statistical point of view and I also intend to write something on the early clubs in Chester that I touched on in the early chapters of 125 Years On the Borderline.
If you are looking for my thoughts on Neil Young’s team selection or why Hednesford are a bigger threat to Chester’s promotion chances than Northwich then I’m afraid this is not the blog for you. The current team is already widely covered elsewhere on websites, forums, Facebook, blogs, twitter and probably lots of other outlets that I haven’t even heard of. I feel that other people are in a much better position to write about the current goings-on than I am. However if you like a bit of nostalgia, obscure stories, pieces of memorabilia, dull statistics and memories of players who played one game in the 1960s then this may peek your interest. Hope you enjoy my postings.