Friday, 7 December 2007

Sealand Road - The Final Farewell - Chester City 2 Rotherham United 0

On the 28th April 1990, 84 years of football at the Stadium on Sealand Road came to an end as City ensured their Third Division status was assured with a 2-0 win over Rotherham United. Although the win sealed Third Division survival it was the survival of the club itself that was on the lips of all City supporters as the club's future looked so uncertain with no-one knowing where the club would be playing the following season.

The game was watched by a bumper crowd of 3,827 who had gone along to watch the last ever league game at Sealand Road. City started off the game like a house on fire with Brian Croft, Chris Lightfoot and Gary Bennett all going close at the Sealand Road end. After 16 minutes City's pressure was rewarded when Gary Bennett rose to head Brian Croft's free kick into the back of the net giving Rotherham keeper O'Hanlon no chance. Nine minutes later City increased their lead when Brian Croft's corner was met by Graham Abel to head home the last league goal to be scored at Sealand Road.

Although Rotherham tried to fight back and get something out of the game, City keeper Billy Stewart kept them at bay with a sterling performance between the sticks to see City go in at the interval with a 2-0 scoreline. The second half begun with Carl Dale shooting wide before Rotherham started to hit back with Mendonca, whose shot was superbly saved at full stretch by Billy Stewart. Brian Croft went close on another couple of occasions with a couple of weak shots. By this time though the police were cordoning off the faithfull "Sealand End" fans as they waited for Referee Michael Peek to blow his whistle and end the game.

As the whistle blew the pitch was invaded with supporters streaming in front of the main stand chanting for their heroes. They were rewarded when the players appeared in the Directors Box and threw their shirts to the crowd. Emotion seemed to follow as the fans stayd in the ground to take a last look at City's home for the past 84 years and just hoping that the club would survive the turmoil of the years to come.

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