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Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Chester-Eastbourne game abandoned

Chester City

Chester's Blue Square Premier match against Eastbourne Borough was abandoned after 75 minutes following an on-pitch protest from home supporters.

City were 3-2 up when fans invaded, forcing referee Paul Curry to call the game off after police said it was no longer safe for players or spectators.

The protest is believed to have been about off-pitch troubles at the club.

Chester face expulsion from the league unless repayments are made on debts to Wrexham and Vauxhall Motors by Monday.

City boss Jim Harvey told BBC Radio Merseyside: "I'm still disappointed it was called off. As far as I was concerned there was no threat to players on the field.

"The referee said the police came in and said he had to call it off so he had no choice."

Eastbourne boss Garry Wilson told BBC Sussex: "The referee said the chief police officer told him he couldn't guarantee the safety of players or supporters and they were going to bring in dogs to get the ground back under control.

"At that time he felt it was the right thing to abandon the game.

"I feel sorry for Chester, it's a fantastic set-up here and they've got a good manager. It's sad for them to be part of this. Hopefully they can survive and sort it out."

The abandonment caps a difficult week for the club which saw four players leave the Deva Stadium.

Chester are operating under a transfer embargo imposed because of their financial difficulties and the ban means manager Harvey cannot replace them.

In addition to dealing with the embargo, Chester are also battling to stay in the Blue Square Premier after being docked 25 points at the start of the season as a penalty for their financial problems.

The club went into administration following relegation from League Two in May.

During the last week Chester's owners have been in talks with a party interested in buying the club and are hopeful a deal can be done.

The protest came just as Harvey's side had gone 3-2 ahead and seemed on course for their fourth consecutive league win.


They took an early lead against Eastbourne when Anthony Barry fired home a free-kick from 25-yards but the visitors equalised courtesy of Liam Enver-Marum's spectacular 30-yard drive.

Chester regained the advantage when Lloyd Ellams slotted in from Mark Beesley's cross but Eastbourne hit back for a second time when Kayne McLaggon converted Matt Crabb's corner.

Chadwick completed the scoring with a powerful header from another Beesley centre before supporters ran onto the pitch and forced the abandonment.

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