The Blues rounded off their first week of pre-season action with a good performance and victory over Marine this afternoon.
Danny Elliott and Anthony Dudley struck in the first half – with Lloyd Marsh-Hughes and Trialist F adding to the scoreline in the second 45 at the Marine Travel Arena.
It was a dominant display from start to finish and, following on from a 6-1 win at Cheadle less than 48 hours prior, the Blues continue to pick up momentum heading through pre-season fixtures.
Just ten minutes into the match, the Blues took the lead and they never looked back.
Their pressing was incessant – George Glendon was quick to charge down a sloppy backpass from David Raven and steal the ball from goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant which enabled Elliott to tap home his fourth goal in three friendlies.
The Chester FC striker is in red hot form and gaining confidence in these encounters, and could have even ended the first half with a hat-trick to his name. First, just four minutes after his goal, the striker took a 25-yard free kick which he won himself – but it flew over the crossbar.
Then, on 27 minutes, he went even closer. Trialist A’s pinpoint pass in behind the defence allowed Brad Jackson to send a low cross into the six yard box for the onrushing Elliott who turned the ball against the underside of the crossbar – with the grateful Passant holding on to the rebound.
Just after the half hour mark, John Johnston nearly got his first goal for the club. He skipped through the diving challenge of Raven and drove into the box – but the winger’s low effort across goal was well pushed away by Marine stopper Passant.
Marine had a big chance against the run of play just before the interval, Kenny Strickland heading against the base of the post from Neil Kengni’s corner.
But, deservedly, it was the Blues who got a second before the break. It was a goal of great skill, as a clipped pass into Johnston saw the wide man send in a fantastic first time cross on the volley – and was met on the full at the back post in blistering fashion by the superb Dudley.
Changes were made at the break – and Lloyd Marsh-Hughes was brimming with confidence after his goal against Cheadle on Thursday. He was busy up front, on 48 minutes the charging Passant was forced to deny the teenager with his legs after the Welshman had sprung the offside trap.
Louis Gray was quiet for large parts of this encounter against Neil Young’s side, but was called into action just before the hour mark.
The goalkeeper’s footwork let him down inside his own area as Josh Hmami robbed the ball – but the Blues keeper made amends with a superb smothering stop to deny the forward.
Just four minutes later, the result was put to bed and it was that man Marsh-Hughes. Elliott provided the assist with a beautiful sliding pass in behind, and the Academy Graduate took the ball in his stride before curling beyond Passant.
Three became four a couple of minutes later – and it was another scorcher. Trialist F took aim with his left foot and rifled home from 25 yards, his drive striking the inside of the post before rebounding into the far corner.
The game calmed down as full time approached – but there was time for one more chance for Chester to make it five. Trialist D was proving a nuisance and won a penalty when he was bundled over inside the box.
Gary Roberts stepped up, but was denied by a strong save from Germano Mendes to keep it at four at the final whistle.
CHESTER (First Half): Gray, Morgan, Livesey, K Roberts, Taylor, Johnston, Trialist A, Glendon, Jackson, Dudley, Elliott.
CHESTER (Second Half): Gray, Morgan, K Roberts, Grand, Taylor (Trialist B 64), Trialist D, G Roberts, Trialist E, Trialist F, Marsh-Hughes, Elliott (Trialist C 64).
GOALS: Elliott, 10, Dudley 45+1, Marsh-Hughes 62, Trialist F 64.