All eyes at Chester FC are trained on the big FA Trophy tie but, come 4.50pm tomorrow, and providing there is no need for a replay, attention will shift swiftly to the cross-border with Wrexham.

It is becoming increasingly apparent the Dragons will field a significantly different side to the one that bored the pants off the paying public and BT Sport viewers back in September.

They were busy last week and they have been busy again this...


After highly rated 18-year-old left-back Jordan Davies joined Championship table-toppers Brighton & Hove Albion without ever making an appearance for the club, Dragons boss Dean Keates signed 20-year-old Burnley striker Ntumba Massanka on loan until the end of the season.

And earlier today Keates completed a deal until the end of the campaign for 31-year-old England C international midfielder Russell Penn following his release from Carlisle United.

Penn comes with a glowing reference from Carlisle's former Chester City manager Keith Curle, who said: "Russ is a great professional and a player I have a lot of time for. He has an excellent character and is completely on board with everything we are trying to achieve.

"However, he loves the game and he isn't a player who is happy to sit on the bench. He's watched the start to the season we've had and he’s seen that the players in his position are going to be very hard to dislodge.

"This chance has come up for him at Wrexham and I know he'll grasp it with both hands. He's joining a fantastic club with a good set-up and I'm sure he'll give them absolutely everything. It goes without saying that he leaves here with our best wishes."

Aldershot Town

The Shots may have extended the loan of Ipswich Town midfielder Kundai Benyu but fears are growing they could soon lose 17-year-old winger Idris Kanu.

Kanu, who was kept quiet at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium last month, is now being scouted by Premier League giants Arsenal.

Idris Kanu is being watched by Arsenal

Earlier this month the Gunners signed left-back Cohen Bramall from Hednesford Town for £40,000.

If you haven't read about Cheshire lad Bramall's heartwarming back story, you can do so by clicking here.


Chester FC fans know only too well that Steve Burr loves a signing and the Sandgrounders boss has made two more this week.

Sheffield United striker Jake Wright has joined on a month's loan, as has Oxford United defender Robbie Cundy.

Forest Green Rovers

Rovers, the side standing in Chester's way of progressing in the FA Trophy, have rejected three bids from an unnamed Scottish Premiership outfit for left-winger Elliott Frear.

New Lawn manager Mark Cooper has also extended the loan of his son, Charlie, from Birmingham City, and brought Rhys Murphy and Aarran Racine back from York City, who responded by snapping up fan favourite Daniel Parslow and Amari Morgan-Smith from Cheltenham Town on loans until the end of the season.

Basement boys York have also released Richard Brodie who, despite being linked to Wrexham, has joined Boston United.

Macclesfield Town

Macc have sold box-to-box midfielder Paul Lewis to Cambridge United but have brought in winger Rhys Browne from Grimsby Town as well as goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

Mike Fuller is joined by Dave Powell to discuss the latest Blues news

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Lincoln City

Not a signing but as good as one for the Imps - impressive manager Danny Cowley and his assistant manager and brother Nicky have signed new contracts until May 2021.

The Cowley siblings have led Lincoln to the top of the non-league top flight and came close to knocking Championship Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup at Portman Road last weekend.

Should the Imps beat the Tractor Boys at the second time of asking it would be the first time the club has reached the FA Cup fourth round since 1976, when the late Graham Taylor was their manager. What a tribute that would be.

Best of the rest

It is common theme throughout January - clubs having to fend off interest in their players from outfits higher up the leagues ladder.

Dagenham & Redbridge, as well as extending the loan of Brighton forward Jordan Maguire-Drew, have reportedly turned down a six-figure bid for the in-demand Oliver Hawkins from Swindon Town.

Eastleigh have lost club captain Joe Partington to Bristol Rovers for a club record fee, but have signed striker Darius Henderson from Mansfield Town, while Gateshead have told Grimsby Town where to stick their bid for Sam Jones.

Gateshead's Sam Jones

Heed manager Neil Aspin said: "Grimsby can stop wasting our time. Sam Jones won't be going to Grimsby. I don't want to speak to them. They made a pathetic offer for him while they want millions for their own players. I'm not prepared to deal with Grimsby. When I told the player what they had offered he laughed, which says it all."

That's the Mariners told.

Dover have brought back defender Connor Essam on loan from Eastleigh, Barrow AFC have extended the loan of Fleetwood Town midfielder Akil Wright, Braintree Town have gone back to Millwall to sign midfielder Kyron Farrell on loan, while Jamar Loza and Seth Nana Twumasi have agreed contracts with Maidstone United until the campaign's end.

And, finally, Torquay United have signed one loanee, young Bournemouth right-back Jordan Lee, and prolonged the stay of another, AFC Wimbledon winger David Fitzpatrick.