Winning start is just the job for Blues

Reporter:

Dennis Wall

CHESTER marked their first home pre-season friendly by comfortably brushing Aberystwyth aside.

Blues' goalkeeper, Richard Whiteside, was never tested against the Welsh Premier League visitors who had beaten  Wrexham 1-0 the previous week and had finished just adrift of a European qualifying place last term.

Blues boss, Neil Young, had every reason to feel proud about his newly assembled squad who took their goal tally to seven in two games and, more importantly, kept a cleansheet.

Young, accompanied by coach Gary Powell in the technical area, and by assistant boss, Gary Jones, in the dugout,

initially utilised Michael Wilde as a lone striker, and he named new signing Andy Burgess as a lively midfielder, while goalkeeper, Whiteside, was named between the posts in place of Liverpool trialist, Chris Oldfield.

Chester dominated possession and created far more goalscoring opportunities on their way to carving a 1-0 interval advantage.

Left winger, Iain Howard, demonstrated his pace and vision after just four minutes as his side started brightly against their Welsh Premier League visitors.

Howard powered forward and delivered a dangerous cross which just eluded striker, Wilde, who was positioned only six
yards from goal.

New signing Andy Burgess sparked the Blues next initiative after six minutes. The former Rushden and Diamonds midfielder who played for Mansfield Town and Luton Town last season, fed Wilde who in turn found Mark Connolly, but his first time effort flashed only inches wide of the post from six yards.

Trialist, Mark Peers, maintained Chester's positive start when he drilled a 25 yard shot wide of the right post in the eighth minute.

Frustration got the better of the Aberystwyth assistant manager, Christian Edwards, two minutes later when he was shown a red card by Warrington referee, Paddy Mohan, for foul and abusive language targeted at the assistant referee.

And the game got a bit physical in the 15th minute when Adriano Rigoglioso was booked for a late tackle on former Wrexham player, Conall Murtagh.

But Chester remained on top and could have broken the deadlock in the 17th minute when Connolly burst through on goal but saw his close range angled shot saved by Aber keeper, Stephen Cann's feet.

The Blues did succeed in going ahead seconds later after a short throw from Michael Aspin found Peers who hoisted a right wing cross to the back post where Howard slid in to stab home.

The visitors tried to hit back three minutes later when a fine low diagonal pass intended for Steff Edwards was superbly cut out by Aspin on the edge of the area.

Blues defender, George Horan, picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on the half hour mark.

And Chester finished the half in upbeat mood by winning a free kick on the stroke of half time, but Rigoglioso's goalbound attempt from 25 yards was deflected wide of the left post.

Trialist Mark Peers scored a spectacular 45 yard shot to earn Chester a 2-0 advantage eight minutes after the break after a poor clearance by replacement Aber keeper, Dave Roberts, who could only watch the ball loop into the net as he scampered his way back towards goal.

Oldfield, Chris Williams, and Rob Hopley were all introduced as substitutes in the 55th minute when they replaced Whiteside, Rigoglioso, and Burgess respectively.

And Peers was then replaced by Kyle Armstrong in the 62nd minute, a minute before Connolly thumped a 15 yard shot just wide of the right post.

Chester continued to press in a bid to extend their lead, with Hopley seeing his 18 yard snapshot rifled wide of the mark in the 77th minute.

Hopley then saw his six yard shot cleared off the line by Gareth Hughes after the visitors had failed to deal with a corner kick.

Ryan Marriott and Stuart Graves squared up to one another and Marriott could consider himself lucky to remain on the pitch after swinging a punch at the Blues player as both players escaped any caution after the referee had a quiet word in
their ears.

Substitute, Chris Rountree, seized on a well judged throughball in the 84th minute and found himself in a one on one situation with the keeper. The Blues player rounded the keeper but was then dispossessed by Craig Williams and the chance had gone.

Hopley then crafted the next scoring chance from an acute angle on the right byline, seeing his shot graze the crossbar before being cleared.

Chester wrapped up the contest in the 89th minute when they made it 3-0. Sub Stuart Jones, who had replaced Connolly in the 71st minute, steered a bullet header into the right corner of the net from Howard's left-sided corner kick.

Aberystwyth simply had no answer to a rampant Chester outfit who are now looking forward to the prospect of taking on Wirral neighbours, Tranmere Rovers, tomorrow night.

CHESTER (4-5-1): Whiteside; Graves, Stones, Horan, Aspin; Howard, Rigoglioso, Connolly, Peers, Burgess; Wilde. Subs: Armstrong, Oldfield, Taylor, Williams, Hopley, Jones, Rountree.

ABERYSTWYTH TOWN (4-4-2): Cann; Williams, Howard, Thomas, Ricky Evans; Murtagh, Marriott, Morgan, Hughes; James, Edwards. Subs: Bowen, Roberts, Farmer, Davies, Graham Evans, Bower, Josh Evans, Baker.
Referee: P Mohan (Warrington).

Attendance: 1,132.

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