Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Memorable Games at Sealand Road

Although Chester have never played in the top two divisions of the English system, Sealand Road housed several prestigious games. The most memorable were in the 1974-75 season, when they reached the League Cup semi-finals. League champions Leeds United were beaten 3-0 at Sealand Road in round four, with Newcastle United losing a replay on the same ground in the quarter-finals. This led to Sealand Road being the unlikely venue for a League Cup semi-final on January 15, 1975, when Chester drew 2-2 with Aston Villa in the first-leg in front of 19,000.

The record attendance at Sealand Road was set in an FA Cup third round replay tie against Chelsea on January 16, 1952. Watched by 20,378, Chelsea won 3-2 in extra-time.

The first Football League match at The Stadium saw Chester thrash Wigan Borough 4-0 on August 29, 1931, with Frank Cresswell scoring the first goal. Unfortunately the result was later deleted from the records as Borough resigned from the league in October, meaning the first result to stand is a 3-1 win over Halifax Town the following month.

The final Football League match was a 2-0 home win over Rotherham United on April 28, 1990, with Graham Abel scoring the final goal in front of 3,827. One of Rotherham's players that afternoon was Bobby Williamson, who is now Chester manager. A few days later a handful of spectators saw Chester Reserves draw 3-3 with Tranmere Rovers in The Stadium's final ever game.

The Stadium hosted Welsh Cup finals, including when Chester beat Wrexham in 1933 and was also often used for local cup finals and minor internationals. In 1935, The Stadium was famously used for a trial match involving two referees - an experiment that was largely not considered to be a success.

Chester's record Football League victory was registered at Sealand Road in February 1936, when Chester hammered York City 12-0.

The Stadium was the venue for the Football League debut of Ian Rush, when Chester drew 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday in April 1979.

No comments: