Young Blues victorious in season opener
Three goals in the opening thirteen minutes saw Chester FC Youth begin with a victory in their NWYA Premier Division opener – with a comprehensive win against Cheshire neighbours Altrincham.
A Lloyd Marsh-Hughes brace along with goals from Iwan Murray, Danny Hardman and James Cottrell saw the Young Blues seal three points on the opening day of the season. Calum McIntyre handed starts to several of his new recruits, with new Scholars Lloyd Marsh-Hughes, Dion Jones and Ben Gale making the starting XI along with new Under 18s Kai Wallis and Iwan Murray.
It took just 90 seconds of the new season for Lloyd Marsh-Hughes to open his account, firing home from the penalty spot after Rhain Hellawell was dragged down in the area. The opener appeared to stun Alty, Marsh-Hughes doubling his account just four minutes later, nodding Iwan Murray’s free-kick into the far corner of the net at the near post.
The Blues’ confidence was growing and the third goal was added in breathtaking circumstances. Rhain Hellawell’s throw-in made it’s way into the penalty area, Iwan Murray’s spectacular overhead kick fired the ball into the top corner of the net to the delight of all in attendance.
Altrincham were now finding a foothold in the game and pulled one back just before the half an hour mark, a loose ball on the Altrincham left was never really dealt with and was pulled back across the Chester penalty area to be slotted beyond Gale in the Chester goal- despite Ryan Dobson’s attempt to clear on the line.
Chester clinched the final goal of the half, however, to put their advantage at 4-1. Alty failed to clear a bouncing ball in the penalty area, Danny Hardman finding the net at the second attempt.
The second half didn’t ever produce the entertainment value that the first half had but James Cottrell’s goal was the pick of the action in the second fourty five minutes. Hellawell laid on Cottrell to place the ball coolly into the far corner of the net to put the game beyond any reasonable doubt.
Dobson saw his headed effort saved towards the end of the half but there was little to report in a game that had appeared over inside the opening quarter of an hour.
Here’s what Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre had to say:
“The first half was everything we could have wanted in the opening game of a new season. You could see in our performance that this group of players are going to do something this season, and I was delighted with what we produced.
“You could see the desire in the boys that were here last season but our new boys were tremendous. Iwan Murray’s goal is up there with the best I have ever seen live and highlights exactly why we brought him in with us over the summer. There is bags of quality in our group this season but an incredible work ethic.
“I am so pleased that the boys got what we deserved today. We came close to success so many times last season with what was probably the youngest side in the division, these boys are now a year older and ready to enjoy this season.”
The Colts had a successful weekend too!
The Blues’ Under 16s side began their NWYA Premier Division campaign with a daunting task away at AFC Fylde’s Under 17s. “Chester FC Colts” as the Under 16s are known compete in the NWYA Second Division against a number of Under 17 and Under 18 sides. This season sees the Colts become the youngest team in the NWYA but began their season with an outstanding 3-0 victory at National League side AFC Fylde.
McIntyre added: “The real story of the weekend belongs to our Colts. It has been a brave strategy to put this group of Under 16s into the North West Youth Alliance against some really strong and largely older opposition.
“For the lads to go and be comfortable and win a game against a full-time side who are entirely a year older says everything about how strong our groups are. The core of this group have come through the Academy ranks together and the work of Dave Richards, Paul Reid and Jack Maddock in preparing these boys for this season over the past twelve months has been rewarded with an outstanding victory against the most well resourced club at this level”.
The Youth Team are next in action away at AFC Fylde Under 18s at Kellamergh Park on Sunday 3rd September in the NWYA Premier Division, while the Under 16s host Hyde United’s Development Squad at The Cheshire Sports Club on the same date.