Worsnop (Forth 45), Higgins (Tonge 45), Heneghan, Kay,
Hunt, George (Hughes 60), Rooney (Mahon 45), Shaw, Chapell
(Peers 60), Hannah (Thomson 60), Hobson (Richards 60). Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Baillie, Mullarkey,
Guthrie, Turton, Bingham, King (Atkinson 67), Fox (Wintle
86), Dalla-Valle, Haber (Cooper 75), Inman (Saunders 75).
Subs not used: Ng, Richards. Referee: Rob Jones (Wirral).
Chester completed their successful pre-season campaign
with a fine 3-2 victory over Cheshire neighbours Crewe
Alexandra. Man of the moment John Rooney gave the Blues
the perfect start opening the scoring with a curling shot
within five minutes, several saves from visiting ‘keeper
Ben Garratt kept the score down before Alex equalised
midway through the half through Oliver Turton.
Good build up play from Craig Mahon and Jordan Chapell
set up Ross Hannah who headed Chester back in front on
57 minutes. George Cooper brought the sides level 15 minutes
from time. It took Chester just two minutes though to
restore their lead as Tom Peers smashed the ball home
for the winning goal after being set up by George Thomson.
29 July Chester
4 Liverpool U21 0
Attendance: 2,602 Half Time 1-0
Worsnop (Forth 80), Higgins (Tonge 45), Heneghan (Kay
45), Sharps, Hunt, George (Hughes 60), Rooney, Shaw (Mahon
45), Chapell (Richards 45), Hannah (Thomson 60), Hobson
(Peers 69). Liverpool U21: Fulton, Randall (McLaughlin
60), Cleary (Polgar 60), Paez (O'Hanlon 60), Whelan (Hart
45), Rossiter (Gomez 60), Kent (Brannagan 60), Chirivella
(Marsh 60), Wilson (Yesil 60), Sinclair, Ojo (Yesil 60).
Sub not used: Firth. Referee: Ryan Johnson (Bolton).
A fine Rooney hat-trick crowned a pleasing display for
Chester in this friendly against a competitive u-21 side
from Liverpool. The visitors were used to calling the
Deva home after playing several times here last season
but found The Blues in less than hospitable mood.
In an entertaining first half it was
The Reds who shaded possession and certainly proved
swift on the counter attack. A quickly taken free kick
led to a chance for captain Rossiter but he side-footed
just wide of the right hand post. Kent came even closer
when he clipped a shot on top of the cross bar. But
City remained competitive and occasionally put together
some sweeping moves. Hobson, operating on the left of
the front line almost opened the scoring in the first
minute as Chappell’s cross was taken off his head
by a defender at the last second. Later he cut towards
goal but blazed well over. Hannah turned and shot narrowly
wide just before Chester took the lead at the end of
a well worked move. Shaw found Chappell on the right
and his driven cross found Rooney who coolly controlled
it before steering his shot past a defender on the line
City went into the break ahead and
then the inevitable changes in personnel began after
half time. On came Mahon and Kay, Tonge and Richards,
whilst Liverpool were content just to swap Chester-born
Whelan for Hart. On the hour mark though, the Reds made
wholesale changes and City introduced Sam Hughes fresh
from signing a contract this week and George Thomson.
Mahon proved lively on either side
of the pitch and looked to have crossed superbly to
set up Richards but his glancing header bounced back
off the post. Then Thomson headed over when well placed,
Mahon again the provider. City did appear to make the
game safe when Rooney’s deep cross from a free
kick found Hughes at the far post annd, after his first
attempt was blocked, the Blues youngster scored at the
second time of asking.
Blues began to dominate and, despite
neat play by the U-21s the threat to Chester’s
goal was minimal. Rooney brought the crowd to their
feet with an audacious lofted shot from about thirty
yards which dipped and found the top right hand corner
of the net. It was a sensational goal, worthy of winning
goal of the season – even though it hasn’t
Even before this went in Rooney had
revelled in a superb performance and was at the heart
of everything creative about Chester on the night. But
he had yet more in his locker and provided the icing
on a perfect performance by curling a free kick from
the edge of the area, round the defensive wall and just
inside the right hand post for a brilliant hat trick.
Blues fans cannot afford to be carried
away by the result of a friendly match but there were
many signs from all over the pitch that the team seems
to be shaping up nicely for the big kick off. The Conference
or National League as it is now called, may be less
accommodating to City’s passing style but let’s
hope they persist with it. When it comes off it is very
good to watch indeed.
Two goals in three minutes just after the half hour from
Jordan Chapell set Chester on their way to a win against
their Conference North opponents. Celtic pulled a goal
back before the break but further goals from promising
youngster Sam Hughes and Craig Hobson at the start of
the second period gave Chester victory against a decent
home side who played better than the scoreline would suggest.
Craig Hobson gave Chester the lead seven minutes before
the break heading home a Ross Hannah cross, but the Blues
conceded an equaliser minutes later. Tom Peers restored
the lead on 54 minutes to bring Chester their second pre-season
victory at Keys Park.