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League Two Table

  PGDPts
1Portsmouth463987
2Plymouth462587
3Doncaster463085

4Luton462777
5Exeter461971
6Carlisle46171
7Blackpool462370

8Colchester461069
9Wycombe46569
10Stevenage46467
11Cambridge Utd46866
12Mansfield46466
13Accrington Stanley46365
14Grimsby46-462
15Barnet46-757
16Notts County46-2256
17Crewe46-955
18Morecambe46-2052
19Crawley Town46-1851
20Yeovil46-1550
21Cheltenham46-2050
22Newport County46-2248

23Hartlepool46-2146
24Leyton Orient46-4036

Full League Two Table
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SPL|SC|S1|S2



Question of the Week

Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

All of them
All home games
The odd game
Knock out games
Final only
Total boycott


Deva Stadium
Deva Stadium

Chester Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 11/08/2005

ALPHABETICAL order is the only thing that places Chester ahead of Grimsby in the League Two table when the two sides meet at the Saunders Honda Stadium on Saturday.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Chester (a)


Like the Mariners, Chester have started the season with a home draw and an away win, with exactly the same amount of goals scored and conceded. This is stark contrast to last season, when it took the Blues seven games to record their first victory following their promotion back into the Football League. They finished the season in 20th place, accumulating 52 points from their 46 league games. Chester actually amassed a poorer goal difference than bottom-of-the-table Cambridge, generating a deficit of -26 over the course of the season.

The Manager

Keith Curle Much has been said and written about Keith Curle's (left) time as manager of Mansfield Town, but he was appointed boss of Chester back in May following the departure of Ian Rush. A relative new-comer to the managerial merry-go-round, Curle did a satisfactory job at Field Mill and Blues fans will be hoping he can go one step further with his new team and push them up the table - with a playoff place an outside possibility. Curle's aggressive nature is obviously one of the main attributes the Chester fans will be hoping he puts to good use in the coming season.

The Squad

Michael Branch The manager and fans would have been happy with the way their side came from 2-0 down at home to Lincoln to snatch a point at the death. The resilience shown in that game could be an indication of Chester's character for Grimsby to deal with on Saturday. Last season's meeting was a bruising encounter and with Curle at the helm, it could be more of the same. Michael Branch (left) will offer good work rate up front, ably supported by Marcus Richardson, signed from Lincoln City. Midfielder Tom Curtis, a summer signing from Mansfield, is one of three additions from the manager's old club. Cortez Belle, the 'Sunday League' player from last year's encounter, was released in May and is still looking for a new club.

Current Form

CityTown
Peterborough 0-1 Chester
Chester 2-2 Lincoln
Grimsby 1-1 Oxford
Bristol Rovers 1-2 Grimsby

Top Scorers

CityTown
Michael Branch 1
Ben Davies 1
Stewart Drummond 1
Martin Gritton 1
Rob Jones 1
Tony Crane 1

Team News

Russell Slade is keen to name the same starting line-up for the third game running, which means those players nearing fitness will have to work hard for a place in the side. Ciaran Toner and JP Kamudimba Kalala have been recovering well from their respective injuries, as has Justin Whittle. Tom Newey looks to have overcome the niggling injury that forced him to take a fitness test before travelling down to Bristol Rovers in midweek, and although Michael Reddy was taken off before time on Tuesday it looks as if he'll be risked again seeing as the players will have a week's rest beyond the game on Saturday.

Likely starting line-ups

TownCity
1. Steve Mildenhall
2. John McDermott
3. Tom Newey
12. Rob Jones
4. Simon Ramsden
5. Tony Crane
20. Gary Croft
8. Paul Bolland
11. Andy Parkinson
9. Michael Reddy
10. Martin Gritton
6. Justin Whittle
17. Glen Downey
19. Gary Jones
15. Gary Cohen
22. Calvin Andrew
1 Chris MacKenzie
22 Scott McNiven
3 Carl Regan
5 Phil Bolland
6 Luke Dimech
7 Stewart Drummond
10 Ryan Lowe
14 Ben Davies
11 Tom Curtis
23 Marcus Richardson
8 Michael Branch
2 Stephen Vaughan
4 Shaun Hessey
21 Abdelhalim El Kholti
30 Justin Walker
15 David Artell

Past meetings

The two sides have met a total of 31 times, Town winning on 16 of those occasions. Beyond last season you'd have to go back to season 90/91 when Town last played Chester in the league. The Mariners were victorious on their travels, winning 2-1 after an own goal from Bennett and a Neil Woods strike settled the issue in front of 1,875 fans. The return game later that season - in front of a crowd toppling 6,000 - also saw a Grimsby victory, this time 2-0 with Woods again on the mark, joined by Tommy Watson. Grimsby finished third that campaign and was their second successive promotion under Alan Buckley. Full Stats

Prediction

Chester struggled somewhat in their opening home game of the season, so it would be to Town's advantage if they could sneak an early goal. Chester's home form was what kept them safe last season, but with Town recording an away win at their first attempt on Tuesday night the squad will surely be buoyant going into this match. 1-1.

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