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Just the ticket for buoyant Blues

BACK-to-back victories, a surge in season ticket sales, the promises of free admission to a forthcoming home game and even a lick of paint around the ground ­ things are certainly looking up at Chester City!

BACK-to-back victories, a surge in season ticket sales, the promises of free admission to a forthcoming home game and even a lick of paint around the ground -­ things are certainly looking up at Chester City!

Ever since the Deva Stadium was declared a Smith-free zone there has been an air of optimism around the place and another important milestone could be reached if City chalk up a hat-trick of wins against Doncaster Rovers tomorrow in front of what is sure to be the biggest crowd of the season.

That would surely mean an announcement that Steve Mungall is to be appointed team manager -­ a popular decision according to our on-line poll which gave him a narrow verdict over Graham Barrow as the man the fans would like to see in charge.

Mungall is clearly the favourite for the job, even though new owner Steve Vaughan revealed he had been inundated with applications.

'Steve has done well since he has been at the club, but a lot of things can change in football,' said Vaughan. 'I will probably make a decision next week, but he is in pole position.'

Mungall could hardly have done more to convince his boss that he is the man for the job and he is looking forward to a repeat of the performance which has brought City six points from the last two games to take them out of the Conference relegation zone.

'I have been very pleased with the boys,' he said. 'If they keep playing like that we will do well.'

There has been speculation in newspapers this week that he was set to make two more signings, but that now seems unlikely.

Top scorer Mark Beesley has been resting with a groin injury and there was a possibility Mike Yates, a former Burscough striker, could be signed on loan from Dundee as a temporary replacement, but with Beesley making good progress and Dean Spink fit again that move seems certain to be put on hold.

City have also been linked with Chris Lane, the Southport full-back who wants to return to full-time football. 'He is under contract at Southport, so they would want money for him and we are not in a position to spend at the moment,' said Mungall. 'As far as I am concerned this is just speculation.'

Beesley will continue to have treatment today and if he is given the thumbs-up the team is almost certainly to be the one which won at Morecambe, although skipper Carl Ruffer could be added to the squad following his knee injury. Steve Rose, a substitute at Morecambe, has gone to Oldham on trial.

* Steve Vaughan expects a mixed reception when he returns to Barrow tomorrow week for City's FA Cup fourth qualifying round match against the club he once owned. Barrow fans either love him or hate him, according to a source close to the Unibond League club, but either way it doesn't worry Vaughan.

'Football throws up these games from time to time and I just want Chester to go there and do a good job,' he said.

The tie, which is worth £20,000 to the winners from the Axa-sponsored prize fund, is all-ticket for City fans with 625 tickets available at £7 (£5 concessions) on the uncovered terrace. They go on sale at 5.30pm tomorrow for season ticket holders with the rest on open sale on Sunday from 11am.

Coaches will leave Delamere Street at 11.15am and the fare is £9. Bookings can be made with Barrie Hipkiss or Richard Prince at tomorrow's game or by phoning 01244 379011 between 6pm and 8pm.

* Chester have appointed Hyde-based John Raduch as chief executive. He has worked for Vaughan Promotions for some time. The new commercial manager is lifelong City fan Jim Jones. Two more directors may join the board soon.

* City will meet Stalybridge Celtic at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday, November 6 (7.45) in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

* An announcement will be made soon about fans being admitted free to a Conference match, the Forest Green fixture on Saturday, November 20, being the favourite.

* Chester will soon return to their traditional blue and white-striped kit which has been ordered from their present supplier.

* A junior season ticket costing £25 is available from the club office.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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