REPORT | Elton Vale 0-6 Chester
The Blues kicked off their pre-season schedule with a convincing win at Elton Vale.
Zack Clarke marked his debut with a fantastic four-goal haul in the second half. He added to strikes in the first 45 from Declan Weeks and Jude Oyibo.
The latter almost opened his Chester FC account in the first minute of his debut, a speedy run down the left and then shot was deflected behind. But Bern and Jonno’s team didn’t have to wait long for the opener – as Weeks placed his header perfectly into the top corner from Kev Roberts’ inch-perfect cross on four minutes.
Oyibo bagged his goal to make it two within the opening quarter of an hour. Roberts was again involved by winning the ball back, before a mazy run and cross from John Johnston resulted in a tap in for his fellow winger.
The opening goal combination almost struck again on 24 minutes when Roberts found Weeks for a volley from range, but the keeper held on to his powerful attempt.
Elton Vale grew into the game though and had two chances to reduce the arrears before the interval. First an effort inside the box was dragged wide, before a strike from distance struck the crossbar just five minutes before the break.
Chester FC’s Management duo made ten changes at the break, and a chance for some more players to impress. Ultimately, it was the 18-year-old forward who made the biggest impact in Zack Clarke.
The frontman took just three minutes to score his maiden goal, latching on to a pass from fellow debutant – the impressive James Hardy – before keeping his composure to powerfully fire home.
Clarke, who had four in the second half, could easily have had five but the goalkeeper brilliantly tipped his effort on to the post on 72 minutes.
But it didn’t take long for the attacker to make it a brace. Hardy was again the creator, sidestepping numerous challenges before laying it on a plate for Clarke to find the back of the net.
Then, he doubled his tally for the day in the final five minutes of the match. First pouncing on a rebound after the keeper had denied Ethan Cartwright following good work from Lloyd Marsh-Hughes – before being set up by Cartwright inside the box with a couple of minutes left in the game.
Clarke had four on a memorable debut, and Chester had six as their pre-season preparations got underway ahead of 21/22.
Chester (First Half): Gray, Roberts, Cowan, Grand, Trialist, Weeks, Clark, Glendon, Johnston, Dudley, Oyibo.
Chester (Second Half): Gray, Morgan, Burke, Williams, Sloane, Heywood, Cartwright, Lowe, Hardy, Marsh-Hughes, Clarke.
Goals: Weeks 4, Oyibo 13, Clarke 48, 78, 84 & 87.