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Chester City 0, Dagenham & Redbridge 1

WITH Chester's off-the-field problems continuing to mount, on the field the Blues failed to pick up maximum points for the seventh consecutive game.

Chester's David Kerr, right, attempts to wrestle the ball off a Dagenham rival in Saturday's defeat at the Deva Stadium

WITH Chester's off-the-field problems continuing to mount, on the field the Blues failed to pick up maximum points for the seventh consecutive game.

Yet again the fans stayed away ­ just 643 turned up ­ and there were a number of higher attendances in the UniBond League, which is where Chester will be playing next season if the club is still in existence and their current form continues.

What fans did turn up were left wondering what might have been, because there can be little doubt last season's City side, under Graham Barrow, would have taken apart a Dagenham outfit which now tops the Conference.

During the first half Wayne Brown produced two top-class saves to thwart first Stein and Janner to keep Chester in the game.

At the other end Chris Blackburn should have done better after being set free by the hard-working Mark Beesley, but his surging run ended with a weak shot that was easily collected by Tony Roberts in the Dagenham goal.

And Carl Ruffer also headed over from 10 yards when he should have at least forced a save from Roberts.

But Dagenham really should have gone in at half-time one goal to the good.

Brown flapped at a cross from Jones and it took a superb tackle from Linighan to stop Danny Ship from shooting the loose ball home.

The second half saw Brown again called upon with a fantastic save to keep a Mark Stein effort out of the City net.

But he could do little to stop the former Chelsea hitman after 70 minutes.

Steve Heffer and Mark Janner linked well down the right before setting Stein free to drive home an angled shot from 15 yards.

Chester pushed forward to try and salvage something from the game and Roberts saved well from Beesley ­- Chester's busiest and best player ­- despite missing a sitter from six yards in injury time.

Chester fans again told Blues manager Gordon Hill exactly what they thought and jeered his son Sam Hill who again looked out of depth at this level.

After the game Hill claimed he did not look at Chester's record of seven games without a win.

He said: 'I don't bother about that. Are you telling me we couldn't get points today? We created chances but that's why some players are worth five million and some are worth five quid. That's the bottom line, we create chances and we play football, but if you don't put the ball in the back of the net you don't win.

'We weren't beaten by Dagenham, we beat ourselves again today. That's what's frustrating, if we don't score we won't win. Our midfield won't score in a million years. But this league won't be decided by today's game.

'I have to work with the hand I'm dealt with, Dagenham will go through a patch when they won't win and that's when we will start winning. There's a long way to go yet.'

On the abuse his son suffered, he said: 'That's typical, fans are very fickle. Last week he played very well. In fact, for the past few games he's played very well. He's contributing to the game, he's up and down that line the whole game. On the other side Michael Rose didn't do anything that special.'

'I know nothing about the sale of the club. I've been told I have to cut my budget and that means my senior players. It's the financial people who decide where we go. I wish it would be sorted out because it's having an effect.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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