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.