ALLIANCE CUP REPORT | Chester 1-1 Eastleigh (Chester win 4-3 on pens)

Chester’s Under-19’s won the National League Alliance Cup for the second time with an incredible penalty shootout win at Sixways Stadium.

Bailey Sloane’s goal after 13 minutes was cancelled out by Luke Hooper, meaning the two sides couldn’t be separated in normal time.

In the shootout, Alex Atton saved the penultimate penalty, allowing Drew Lowe to stroke home the winner and see Calum McIntyre’s side lift the trophy in Worcester.

It was the long throw-ins of Captain George Woodburn that were Chester’s source of attacking promise in the game – from the very first minute. Woodburn’s opening effort dropped to Ollie Heywood at the back post – but he struck the side netting.

But then it brought a goal on just 13 minutes as his third long throw delivery was turned home by Sloane.

The goal brought Eastleigh to life and they produced a strong response in attacking Alex Atton’s goal.

Chester’s number one had to be alert to turn a header round the post following Harris Feltham’s delivery – but was beaten when Luke Hooper scored at the second attempt inside the box on 25 minutes.

Eastleigh went close twice more in the first half both through Archie Willcox, who first had an effort blocked on the line before firing over unmarked just before the interval.

At the other end, Sam Hughes and Tyler Sutton were both denied by Charlie Philpott in quick succession.

On the stroke of half time, the Eastleigh keeper made a super stop as Sloane’s pinpoint 25-yard free kick found the target but was tipped behind.

The second half didn’t quite match the intensity of the first, and the first real opportunity of the half fell on 64 minutes when Rudy Andrew-Knott was denied by Atton following patient Eastleigh play.

On 72 minutes the chance almost fell to Drew Lowe from Woodburn’s deflected cross, but he couldn’t generate any power on his shot and Philpott made a comfortable save.

The second half saw both sides give absolutely everything, but ultimately they cancelled each other out – dragging the Final into a penalty shootout.

Chester won on spot kicks 4-3 with Sam Turner, Sam Hughes, Bailey Sloane and Drew Lowe finding the net to clinch the Cup.

CHESTER U19: Atton, Woodburn, Barthram, Hughes, Burke, Sloane, Buckley, D Lowe, Sutton, Turner, Heywood (Giani 85).

SUBS NOT USED: Smith, A Lowe, Buckley-Benbow, Walters.

SCORERS: Sloane 13; Hooper 25.

REFEREE: Neil Pratt.