Mungall succumbs to Chester curse

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The Independent Football

Chester City are seeking their third manager of the season, following the sacking of Steve Mungall on Boxing Day.

The 43-year-old Scot was dismissed by the Nationwide Conference strugglers after a 3-1 defeat by their Cheshire rivals Northwich Victoria at the Drill Field. Mungall had only taken on his first job as a manager in October, when he replaced Gordon Hill at the Deva stadium.

Only Scarborough lie beneath Chester, who have drawn one and lost five of their last six league matches, in the Conference table. Stephen Vaughan, the City chairman who has sacked two managers in his short spell in charge of the former Football League club, said: "One point from 18 is pathetic. The manager and his staff have lost their jobs as a result of recent events, but the players must also take a serious look at themselves."

Vaughan has also dismissed Mungall's assistant, Gary Stevens, and Chester's physiotherapist, Chris Malkin. The chairman's first priority is to appoint a caretaker manager prior to tomorrow's crucial home game against City's relegation rivals, Hayes.

At the other end of the Conference, Dagenham & Redbridge returned to the top of the table with a 4-2 win at Hayes on Boxing Day. Junior McDougald scored twice for the Daggers, who were desperate to recover their form after a surprising 5-1 home thrashing by Telford United last Saturday, and there was a goal each from Ken Charlery and Mark Janney.

Dagenham are a point clear at the top thanks to the two points dropped by the pre-Christmas leaders, Boston United, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Nuneaton Borough. It is looking like a two-team title race, as Boston are 10 points clear of third-placed Yeovil Town, who have played two games more than the top two.

Neville Southall, the new Dover manager, enjoyed his first Kent derby. The former Everton and Wales goalkeeper saw his side beat Margate 1-0 in front of a crowd of 3,676 at Hartsdown Park. The scorer was Dover's new defender Jimmy Aggrey, signed on Christmas Eve from Torquay.