Match report by Adam Yates…
A step up in opposition proved a step too far for Marine as goals either side of the interval gave Chester a close but deserved win for their final pre-season friendly.
Chester represented Marine’s toughest pre-season opponents so far after several promising outings against lower division sides and youth set ups. Chester, meanwhile, have experienced a wide range of teams (and results) preparing for the new campaign, with this being the final chance for the CH1 players to show why they should feature on a weekly basis.
The first half was largely awash with missed opportunities on both ends. For Chester, Iwan Murray and Elliott Whitehouse applied pressure on Marine’s defence meanwhile at the other end, the Mariners full backs (Ferguson and Carberry) attacked from the flanks throughout the game. For both teams, it was a case of threading the needle or lack thereof.
Marine’s best chance of the first half came to new boy Manasse Mampala whose shot succeeded in passing the Chester’s keeper but unfortunately not the far post.
The home side had dicey moments at the back making a handful of unforced errors and it was one of those that led to the first Chester goal in the 31st minute. Caton headed towards goal but was saved by the goalkeeper (Trialist A) but it landed to Whitehouse who fired Chester into the lead.
The goal prompted the hosts to play with more vigour and combinations between Ferguson and Manasse Mampala provided bite but no goal to cap it off and the 15 min break was announced by referee Elliot Bell after three successive Marine corners.
The second half was largely uneventful for the first 15 minutes as the pre-season tradition of bringing on cascades of substitutions began in earnest. One of those was Chester’s Trialist C who may have lacked a number but provided the second goal in the 65th minute for what proved to be a confusing turn of events for the 729 strong crowd. Kieran Coates found himself in space and gave Trialist C his goal scoring opportunity. However, Joe Ferguson became a temporary goalkeeper and prevented the goal with his hand. The referee consulted with his assistant and decided that the ball had already crossed the line and this spared Joe his marching orders.
Despite having to collect the ball from the net on two occasions, Marine’s mysterious trialist goalkeeper A stood up to several saves, especially in the second half. The most crucial was a one on one chance for Zak Goodson. Only time will tell as to if he will be given a contract to be the new Marine no.1. These multiple saves proved to be the final highlights of the match as Chester won away from home to the delight of the travelling support.
Marine have two dress rehearsals remaining (Vauxhall Motors away this Tuesday night and then Nantwich Town next Friday back at the MTA) before the NPL kicks off on Aug 12th away to Gainsborough Trinity.
- TRIALIST (A), 2. FERGUSON (HAYDE 80’), 3. CARBERRY, 4. NOLAN, 5. SPITTLE (TRIALIST B 59’), 6. WARDLE © (CHARLEY DOYLE 86’), 7. LUSSEY (SINCLAIR SMITH 45’), 8. WHITE, 9. OSEI, 10. RUSS, 11. MAMPALA (ROBINSON 69’)
UNUSED SUBS – COWDEROY (GK)
- STANWAY, 20. MURRAY, 3. TAYLOR (EARL 45’), 4. WEEKS ©, 5. BURKE, 21. HALL, 22 TRIALIST C 45’). HEYWOOD, 23 COATES (BOTT 88’), 9 CATON (GOODSON 73’), 10 WHITEHOUSE, 49. EDWARDS (DALY 76’)
UNUSED SUBS – NONE