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--------------GUILDEN SUTTON.




I Hetters to tbe lEfcitor.


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FOOTBALL. Despite the threatening outlook and the gloomy predictions which have obtained during recent weeks, there will be still plenty of football in Chester during the season. our titular club" WhICh nas indeed passed through troublous times, appears to have entered upon a calmer prospect; and although the team, judged from Saturday's play, was not up to the form one would like to see, it was perhaps as good as could be expected. Doubt- less before the season is far advanced there will be a team which will be as strong, if not stronger, than the Chester eleven has been for many years. The first match was played on Saturday, when Chester had to encounter their late Cheshire Cup rivals in a Combination fixture on the Tomkinson-street ground. The new com- mittee had not by any means shirked their work, and everything was in readiness for the match. Of last year's team Blakeman, Speak man, Gordon, Coventry, Catherall, Barker, and Porter turned out, the departed ones being Jones, Astbury, and Lipsham. Occupying the places of the latter were Edwards (Chester Rovers), Wood (Farnworth) and Wilson, who is well known to local rootbaiiers. unester, kicking off against a strong wind and on a sodden ground, were quickly on the aggressive, but the opposing defence was too good for them, and after some midfield play Coventry was called upon to save, which he did in his usual masterly style. A fine passing movement on the right wing nonplussed the Northwich backs, and a fine shot from Gordon was with difficulty kept out at the expense of a corner. The visitors broke away, but were smartly pulled up by Woods in the nick of time. The shooting of the Chester forwards was but poor, and they were never very dangerous in front of goal. From a free kick close in Wilson sent the ball into the Northwich goal without touching a second player. Up to half-time no goals had been scored. On resuming play the Cestrians rose to the occasion, making sturdy efforts to score, and for a time Hatton, the visiting custodian, had some warm shots to repel. He, however, managed to keep his charge intact, and despite the work of the Chester eleven the game ended in a goal- less draw, which gives each team- their first point in the Combination table. A splendid game was played for Chester by Wood, who should prove a worthy acquisition to the team. During his absence from the football world Wilson has lost none of his old cunning, and he was always master of the situation. Roberts and Edwards, the other new players, want a lot of practice yet. To select from the old players would be impossible, for they each played to win, and only by the worst of fortune was it that they did not capture the coveted two points. The results of the remaining Combination matches were: Garston Copperworks, 3 Druids. O. Stoke Swifts, 3; Rock Ferry, 2. Chirk, 5; Crewe Alexandra, 1. Wrexham, 1; White Star Wanderers, 1. Turning to the League teams, there is every indication of an exciting season. As far as could be gathered beforehand, the League championship seemed to rest between Aston Villa and Everton. The games of Wednesday and Saturday, however, suggest that it will be well to reserve judgment for a time. Both clubs won their games it is true, but not as satisfactorily as their supporters would probably have wished. On Wednesday the Midlanders beat Sheffield Wednesday by five goals to two; on Saturday they just managed to beat West Bromwich Albion by a single goal in the heaviest scoring match of the day. Everton, in a friendly match with Liver- pool on Wednesday, had to be content with a draw; on Saturday, with the advantage of playing on their own ground, they beat Bolton Wanderers by two goals to one. There is nothing in this form to suggest that the League championship is ever yet. Still the two crack clubs probably derived some satis- faction from their experiences of Saturday. It was at the hands of the Albion that the Villa last season sustained their first defeat; while against the Wanderers, Everton lost both engagements-3-2 at Everton and 2-0 at Bolton. Fisher appears to have turned out very well for the Midlanders; but Everton are yet altogether satisfied with their forwards. The two Sheffield clubs have had singular experiences. The United have won two and the Wednesday lost two. The formed gained four points at the expense of Derby County and Preston North End while Wednesday con- ceded four to Aston Villa and Sunderland. Another fact which gives a spice of interest to the long struggle in which the League clubs are now engaged is the success achieved during the opening week by Wolverhampton Wanderers- a club to whom points at the close of the season are usually of golden value. The Wan- derers commenced well on Wednesday by beating North End, and followed up their excel- lent form on Saturday by a pronounced victory over Bury—a three to one victory in fact. Stoke could only manage a draw against Liverpool, after leading at half-time by two goals to nothing. This form rather suggests that the defections from Liverpool will not be quite as disastrous as was at first supposed. The prospects of Blackburn Rovers are evidently not very hopeful. The old cup fighters commenced badly on Wednesday by losing to Burnley, who followed up their vic- tory on Saturday by a five to one defeat of Blackpool. The Rovers shewed no improvement in their match with Derby County, however, and were beaten by three to one. They have secured a good goalkeeper in Knowles but the opinion is already being formed that if the test matches are to be avoided, very considerable improvement will be necessary.


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