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Hanley Town (A) | Buckley Town (A) | Bolton Wanderers (H) | Stockport County (H) | Ashton Athletic (A) | Wythenshawe Town (A) | Bala Town (A) | Marine (A)
Saturday 29 July
Marine 0 Chester 2
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 729 Half Time: 0-1

Marine: Trialist A, Ferguson, Carberry, Nolan, Spittle (Trialist B 64), Wardle, Lussey, White, Osei, Russ, Mampala. Subs not used: Sinclair-Smith, Hayde, Robinson, Doyle.
Stanway, Coates (Bott 88), Edwards (Daly 76), Heywood, Taylor (Earl 46), Burke, Weeks, Whitehouse, Murray, Hall (Trialist 46), Caton (Goodson 73).

Chester wrap up their pre-season with a win at Marine thanks to goals either side of the break by Elliott Whitehouse and an Trialist.

Picture © Rick Matthews

Match photographs

Tuesday 25 July
Bala Town 1 Chester 0
Pre-season friendly (Kieran Smith Testimonial Match)
Attendance: TBA Half Time: 0-0

Bala Town: Absalom, Shannon, Arsan, Harison, Trialist A, Smith, Burke, Lingouba, Abadaki, Newell, Trialist B. Subs: Trialist C, White, Trialist D, Edwards, Roberts, Malkin, Trialist E.
Stanway, Coates (Thomas 46), Williams, Edwards (Burke 64), Heywood, Taylor, Trialist (Caton 46), Weeks, Earl (Daly 46), Murray, Hall. Subs not used: Bott.

Chester are beaten in their latest friendly as a goal two minutes from time by Trialist E gives victory to the Lakesiders.

Picture © Rick Matthews

Match photographs
Saturday 22 July
Wythenshawe Town 1 Chester 1
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: TBA Half Time: 0-1

Wythenshawe Town: Hall, Kesete, Perry, Jeanne, Omorogbe, Osigwe, German, Nock, Correia, Byrnes, Trialist. Subs: Aikenhead, Liptrott, Worrall, Vargas, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Stanway, Coates, Edwards, Burke, Taylor, Trialist (Earl 60), Weeks, Murray (Daly 71), Whitehouse, Goodson, Caton. Subs not used: Williams, Rosenblatt.

Charlie Caton opens the scoring in the first half for Chester with Wythenshawe drawing level through a Louis Jeanne header from a corner on the hour mark.

Picture © Rick Matthews

Match photographs
Friday 21 July
Ashton Athletic 0 Chester 7
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: TBA Half Time: 0-3

Chester: Beswick, Thomas, Forde (Trialist F 86), Heywood, Trialist A, Bott (Butler 70), Trialist B, Trialist C, Daly (Trialist E 46), Trialist D (Boon 85), Hall.

A comfortable win for a Blues side made up of first teamers, academy players and five trialist’s.

Tuesday 18 July
Chester 2 Stockport County 3
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 957 (220 Stockport) Half Time: 1-2

Chester: Stanway, Thomas (Coates 63), Williams, Burke, Heywood (Daly 63), Taylor, Goodson (Trialist A 63), Weeks (Bott 77), Whitehouse (Hall 63), Murray, Caton (Trialist B 63).
Stockport County (first hour): Smith (Trialist, 46), Knoyle, Byrne, Pye, Southam-Hales (Trialist, 46), Camps, Sarcevic (Mee, 46), Touray, Evans, Olaofe, Powell.
Stockport County (last half hour): Trialist, Wright, Horsfall, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Croasdale, Mee, Rydel, Madden, Crankshaw.

Chester hosted Stockport in the latest pre-season friendly. County were the first ever visitors to the Deva Stadium thirty-one years ago. Both sides have enjoyed mixed fortunes since that League Cup encounter. The visitors languished at NLN level for some years but have just completed a first season back in the Football League, very nearly achieving back-to-back promotions and look set to have another tilt at going up this time. They brought with them former City players Ibou Touray and Antoni Sarcevic the latter earning near legendary status for his role in helping Chester win the NLN ten years ago.

Blues had the first shot of the match as the ball fell to Weeks on the edge of the area but his shot was wayward. Then within a minute they were behind as Touray’s cross was part-cleared by Burke but picked up by Connor Evans. His low shot was deflected in off Whitehouse’s attempted block. City were level shortly after when Weeks picked up a pocket of space centrally and rode a couple of tackles to find Caton running through the middle. His shot was partially stopped by Smith but had enough momentum to cross the line into the goal.

County pressed high and were quick to close City down, especially when they tried to play out from the back. Chester, playing with a back three and five across the midfield sought to get the ball forward quickly – helped by Stanways’s excellent distribution. After some crisp approach play Thomas’s cross from the right was headed over by Caton. Then Taylor’s cross from the left was flicked off Caton’s head by Smith. As half time approached Stockport took the lead for the second time thanks to a sublime effort by Sarcevic. He ran on to a long punt into the box, flicked it up with the outside of his right boot and, without breaking stride, volleyed delicately over Stanway and into the net. The whole of the Harry Mac applauded as Sarce modestly acknowledged the acclaim.

The visitors made three changes at the break but maintained their forward momentum. Experienced new signing Nick Powell finished his run with a fierce shot that Stanway tipped away at full stretch. Then they made wholesale changes on the hour mark as the remaining eight players were also replaced. City made five changes at the same time and reverted to a back four. Pretty soon Paddy Madden had whipped in a third goal for County.

With fifteen minutes to go Chester were awarded a penalty when Murray was clipped in the box after winning the ball back. Weeks despatched the kick to reduce the arrears. That proved to be the end of the scoring but once again City had given a good account of themselves against very well organised and accomplished opposition.

Colin Mansley

Picture © Rick Matthews

Match photographs
Saturday 15 July
Chester 1 Bolton Wanderers 1
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 1,419 Half Time: 1-1

Chester: Stanway, Coates (Forde 85), Williams, Edwards (Burke 46), Taylor (Heywood 46), Whitehouse, Weeks (Trialist B 62), Daly (Bott 75), Goodson (Murray 46), Hall (Thomas 46), Trialist A (Caton 46).
Bolton Wanderers: Coleman, Jones (Sadlier 46), Forrester (Conway 46), Iredale, Thomason (Khumbeni 66); Dacres-Cogley, Dempsey (Sheehan 46), Morley (Tweedley 66), Williams (John 46), Nlundulu (Jerome 46), Bodvarsson (Adeboyejo 46).

A showery St Swithun’s Day presages forty days more of unsettled weather, traditionally. What do football fans think that pre-season friendlies say about the campaign to come? Some argue that the results of these games are inversely proportional to how the team will do. But it is hard to resist the urge to compete – whatever the level of match.

A squally shower drove fans back towards the back of the Harry Mac and Talbot stands. A clutch of Exiles reminisced about watching the Blues one Tuesday evening in 1990 at Ashton Gate when the rain did not cease falling on the open terrace for ninety minutes.

Now the rain abated and the teams emerged – the visitors in their traditional colours, warmly supported by their fans in the West stand – Chester in their smart new home shirts without, as yet, any numbers. It made it difficult early on to distinguish between Zack Goodson in midfield and Trialist A up-front with Hall.

Bolton settled into their rhythm first and moved the ball about quickly in front of City’s defence. When the Blues tried to play out from the back, Wanderers closed down firmly. As a result the majority of chances fell to the Trotters in the first half. Dempsey headed wide, Dacres-Cogley shot narrowly wide and Morley’s shot thumped against the post. The Blues defended stoutly and resolutely, with Stanway called in to make several last ditch saves. But Bolton kept the pressure on with several corners and then took the lead when a cross from the left was retrieved by Dacres-Cogley who set up Thomason to fire in the opening goal.

City’s attacking play had been limited up to now but they responded well. Daly’s pass set up a shooting opportunity for Trailist A but his effort was just wide. Then, on the stroke of half time, Weeks played a free kick short to Taylor who curled a fabulous shot into the top corner from twenty five yards.

Both sides made changes at the break with the match continuing to be evenly contested, albeit Bolton had more chances to score, ironically, City came the closest when Caton’s cross shot cannoned off the angle of post and bar. All in all the two teams entertained hugely and if the result means anything, it was a respectable outcome for the Blues.

Colin Mansley

Picture © Rick Matthews

Match photographs
Wednesday 12 July
Buckley Town 0 Chester 2
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 500+ Half Time: 0-2

Chester (first half): Beswick, Forde, Bott, Heywood, Roberts, Trialist, Daly, Platt, Butler, Boon, Clarke.
Chester (second half): -.

First half goals from Luca Boon and Ollie Heywood bring victory at Buckley Town.

Saturday 8 July
Hanley Town 0 Chester 2
Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 376 Half Time: 0-0

Chester (first half): Stanway, Coates, Burke, Trialist A, Heywood, Day, Bott, Whitehouse, Murray, Thomas, Goodson.
Chester (second half): Stanway, Forde, Edwards, Heywood, Taylor, Daly, Bott, Trialist B, Weeks, Murray, Caton.

Second half goals from Charlie Caton and academy midfielder Adam Bott gave Chester a winning start to their pre-season campaign at Hanley Town. Trialist A proved to be defender Nathan Woodthorpre who signed a one year contract with Chester a few days later.

Picture © Chas Sumner

Match photographs























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The squad building continues as Chester announce the signing of 25-year-old forward Dan Turner from Brackley Town.
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The season ends with a goalless draw as the Blues fail to score at home for a fifth successive match.
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Chester have a home friendly against Stockport County on Saturday 6 July, kick-off 13.00.
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