Chester won convincingly at Wincham Park in their latest pre-season friendly, scoring five against Northwich Victoria.
Anthony Dudley notched a brace after Declan Weeks had opened the scoring in the first half. Second half subs John Johnston and Lloyd Marsh-Hughes also bagged their first goals of pre-season in a dominant victory and a solid workout in the intense heat.
It was a pretty even start to the encounter in high 20 temperatures, before a moment of class from Weeks broke the deadlock on the quarter of an hour mark.
The midfielder pounced on a loose ball in the middle of the pitch, before driving forward and unleashing a shot from outside the box which left keeper Chris Cheetham with no chance.
But Cheetham had a fantastic evening between the sticks, making some fantastic saves to keep the scoreline at just five. In the first 45 he denied both the lively Darren Stephenson and the dominant George Glendon from adding to the lead. George Waring also went close before the break – heading just wide from Simon Grand’s fantastic whipped cross.
Five changes at the break revitalised the Blues attacking threat and brought two goals in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Seconds after Johnston had been denied by the impressive keeper, Weeks was tripped inside the box on 48 minutes.
Dudley, who missed from the spot against Bury over the weekend, had the confidence to make amends and calmly dispatched the penalty.
A similar pattern emerged a few minutes later. The Blues denied by Cheetham and then they score immediately after. It was Stephenson this time who was stopped by the Vics number one at the end of a flowing move – before he set up Johnston’s burst into the box on 54 minutes who showed great composure to find the net.
Northwich got one back on 65 minutes though. A long free kick into the box saw Louis Gray lose control of the ball under pressure and Brad Lynch fired home the loose ball.
Nevertheless, Chester rounded off the evening with two quickfire goals late on.
First it was Lloyd Marsh-Hughes with an excellent solo run and, despite having options to pass in front of him, had the swagger to take the chance on himself – rifling the ball home from the edge.
The following minute, Dudley made it a brace. It was another assist this pre-season for the ever impressive James Hardy, a precision pass found the Blues number ten to make it five.
CHESTER: Gray (Worsnop 72), Morgan (Oyibo 46), Williams (Roberts 46), Livesey (Williams 63), Grand (Burke 63), Cowan (Hardy 46), Weeks (Clarke 73), Glendon (Cowan 63), Clark (Johnston 46), Waring (Dudley 46), Stephenson (Marsh-Hughes 56).
SCORERS: Lynch 65; Weeks 15, Dudley (pen) 48 & 85, Johnston 54, Marsh-Hughes 84.