Chester FC Under 17s took another positive step in their pre-season campaign on Saturday recording a 2-2 draw at home to Bootle FC Under 18s at Clifton Drive.
Chester took the lead in the third minute, midfielder Jonny O’ Sullivan’s presence closing down the ball causing confusion amongst the Bootle defence, allowing trialist Raul Da Costa to slot the ball home from close range. The home side dominated the early stages, with Jack Hankey orchestrating in midfield with a series of well executed passes as they kept the ball for long periods. However possession only took the young Blues so far, and Bootle drew level. Left back Harry Murray put in a challenge on the edge of the box, and was unfortunate to see the ball rebounding into the air and carrying over Ollie Foster in the home goal, for an equaliser for the visitors. The equaliser appeared to rock Chester, as the visitors put themselves in front five minutes later, reacting first to a second ball from a corner to take a 2-1 lead into half-time.
The Blues raised their game once more in the second half, the introduction of Ben Gregory adding a new dimension to Chester’s attack. Josh Rimmer came close to finding an equaliser midway through the second half heading over from Joel O’Callaghan’s cross. The young Blues were not to be denied however. Tom Batten, who had been very dangerous for the home side on the left flank, fired a cross across the box which was handled in the area by a Bootle defender. Stand-in captain Harry Murray, in the absence of Lloyd Pownall, capped an excellent personal display by converting the penalty and levelling the scores at two each.
Bootle came close late on, but Chester had deserved their draw given another demonstration of the immense character of the young Blues. A solid display once more against older opposition with much gained ahead of the kick-off of the new season in three weeks time.