Chester’s return to the Swansway Chester Stadium ended in defeat after losing 2-1 to Jon Whitney’s Walsall in a pre-season friendly.
Walsall were gifted with a perfect opportunity to go a goal to the good after the referee awarded a penalty. Lathaniel Rowe-Turner brought down Simeon Jackson inside the 18-yard box – and the Canadian international subsequently took the spot kick, only to be denied by the Blues trialist keeper.
But the Saddlers took the lead after a spell of pressure on the Blues defence. Paul Turnbull attempted to clear the ball away from danger – and his clearance was cruelly deflected to the feet of Luke Leahy. The newly-signed Walsall defender swivelled and held strong to blast his effort into the roof of the net from close range.
Chester were limited to few chances in the opening forty-five – and went the closest through Harry White. An impressive counter attacking move from the Blues resulted in the former-Solihull Moors striker breaking on goal, only to be denied at the last John Guthrie.
The Blues equalised five minutes into the second half when Gateshead loanee Nyal Bell hit a sweet half volley past former Chester keeper Liam Roberts. Against the run of play, Bell picked up a pass from over the top and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Walsall made several changes to their line-up during the second half – and substitute Mitch Candlin put the visitors in front with his first touch of the game. Following successful build-up play in the area, the 17-year old hit a half volley past the Trialist goalkeeper under little pressure within the area.
Chester FC: Trialist, Halls (Jones 78), McCombe, Astles, Rowe-Turner, Chapell (Waters 46), James (Dawson 65), Turnbull (Joyce 65), Mahon (Davies 46), White (Brown 66), Akintunde (Bell 46).