The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


Chester Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 22/02/2005

THE Mariners will be hoping for some home joy this Tuesday night after three straight defeats at Blundell Park as they welcome Chester City and Ashley Sestanovich to Cleethorpes.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Chester (h)

The Opposition

Chester’s season began with chaos as former boss Mark Wright quit just days before their opening game and months after winning the Conference Championship for City last season. This meant that Ray Mathias was put in temporary charge until former Chester legend Ian Rush was appointed as the new manager. Rush took over at the end of August with the Blues having picked up just two points from their opening six league games. Since then he has led the team to relative stability, sitting just below Town in the table.

Their Squad
Richard Hope (left) was brought to the club in the summer to provide solidarity and experience at the back having played at this level with Darlington, York and Northampton. Comfortable at centre back or full back, Hope has struggled for injury this season but will hope to remain fit for the rest of the season. Stuart Drummond is an exciting winger who was also snapped in the summer on a free from Morecambe while Paul Carden is a midfielder who was picked up for a bargain £4,000 in 2001 when he rejoined Chester from Doncaster Rovers after a previous spell a year previous to that. Robbie Foy joined the club on loan from Liverpool last week on the same day that ex Mariner Ashley Sestanovich agreed terms with the club. Foy made his professional debut on Saturday in the home defeat to Yeovil. Sestanovich of course, needs little introduction after having his season long loan with Town cut last month after a fall out with Russell Slade.

Key Player
Taiwo Atieno. Lively young forward who is one of five players on loan at the Deva Stadium at present. Atieno enjoyed a loan spell at Rochdale earlier this season where he netted a few goals. The 19 year old began his loan spell from Walsall at the start of the month and scored in the Blues 3-1 win over Rushden.

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Team News


  • The Mariners will certainly be without long-serving captain John McDermott who has a hamstring problem that could see him sidelined for a few weeks.

  • Russell Slade will have to check on the fitness of several players before naming his side. Jason Crowe was initially meant to be on the bench for the Swansea game, but started after McDermott was deemed unfit. He has sore thighs, but will hope to start. If he fails to make it, Terry Fleming could be shifted to right wing back as Slade sticks with the 3-4-1-2 formation.

  • Justin Whittle and Ronnie Bull will also need fitness tests. Whittle has a foot injury whilst Bull is nursing a sore calf.

  • Graham Hockless has a sore calf which means that Andy Parkinson or Thomas Pinault could replace the 22-year-old midfielder.
  • Darren Edmondson will miss out for Chester after seeing red in Saturday’s defeat to leaders Yeovil. Phil Bolland will also miss out after hobbling off with an ankle injury in the same game. 18 year old Chester defender George Elokobi and Steven Vaughan stand by to replace them.

  • Another blow for Ian Rush is the loss of Captain Paul Carden who has a neck injury. This could pave way for a first start in Chester colours for ex Town bad boy Ashley Sestanovich

  • Former Everton man Michael Branch has a hamstring problem so will miss out. Robbie Foy, on loan from Liverpool, had a lively debut at the weekend so will lead the line again.
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    8Jason Crowe
    4Simon Ramsden
    6Terrell Forbes
    28Justin Whittle
    16Ronnie Bull
    15Terry Fleming
    11Stacy Coldicott
    17Thomas Pinault
    9Michael Reddy
    26Martin Gritton
    1Wayne Brown
    2Steven Vaughan
    3George Elokobi
    16Richard Hope
    15Sean Hessey
    7Stewart Drummond
    32Michael Brown
    14Ben Davies
    11Ashley Sestanovich
    9Robbie Foy
    10Taiwo Atieno



    10Andy Parkinson
    5Tony Crane
    26Greg Downey
    18Rob Jones
    12Graham Hockless
    26Joe O’Neil
    21Chris MacKenzie
    29Robbie Booth
    30Shaun Whalley
    34Mike Walsh

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have a reasonable record against Chester, particularly at Blundell Park where they have lost just twice in 15 meetings. The first time that happened was back in an FA Cup tie in 1977, and then the Blues did the same in the old division three just three years later in the 1979/80 season.

    P 30 W 15 D 5 L 10 F 45 A 37

    Chester Head-to-Head (13th on The Opposition Ladder)


  • Former Town striker Daryl Clare (left) was an integral part of the Chester side that won the Conference title last season. Clare netted a staggering 48 goals in 53 appearances until he decided to return to Boston United in November, where he has struggled to be quite so prolific, netting just once in eight starts.

  • Former Town legend Paul Futcher started his long illustrious career with Chester, making a handful of appearances until a move to Luton in 1974. Futcher enjoyed spells at Man City, Oldham, Barnsley, Derby and Halifax before a four year stop at Blundell Park where he made 146 appearances.

  • Mark Quayle had a trial with Town under Alan Buckley when he was at Notts County and made 6 appearances for Chester when on loan from Nuneaton in 2003. It was rumoured that Russell Slade wanted Quayle at Blundell Park in the summer, having managed him at Scarborough.

  • Last Meeting

    Slack defending in three minutes of madness cost Town dear at the Saunders Honda Stadium back in October. Four minutes before half time Michael Branch struck two goals for Chester which looked to have given them all three points. However, a goal in added time of the first half from debutant Jon Daly gave Town hope of salvaging a point. In the second half, Town dominated much of the proceedings but were unable to grab a point.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, McDermott, Whittle, Forbes, Gordon, Parkinson, Fleming (Coldicott, 79), Pinault, Sestanovich, Cramb (Reddy, 77), Daly
    Subs: (not used) Bull,Jones,Marcelle

    Chester Team: MacKenzie, Edmondson, Bolland, Hope, Hessey, Drummond, Carden, Davies (Harris, 86), Ellison, Belle (Rapley, 89), Branch (Clare, 82)
    Subs: (not used) Vaughan,Doyle

    Attendance: 3,233    Report


    I’m feeling positive - 3-1 to Town.


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