Match Report by Dave McMillan
Marine returned from their visit to phoenix club Chester FC with a win, Shaun Callacher’s clever lob on 68 minutes giving the Yellows the verdict at the Deva Stadium.
The game was preceded by a flypast by the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force’s finest emptying the bar as they swept majestically over the ground.
The Marine team had something of an unfamiliar look with none of the starting XI against Southport selected to begin this match, but they acquitted themselves very well against two entirely separate Chester teams, one in each half.
The Cestrians began strongly and went close on a couple of occasions, Tom Soffe saving with his feet from Olly Ryan’s close range effort and midway through the half pulling off another decent stop, this time from Sam Bailey.
As the half wore on Marine’s defence looked increasingly secure led by the impressive Joe McMahon, the giant centre back hewn from a solid block of Welsh granite dominating at the back.
The visitors put together some promising approach play in the first half without any end product, but looked more dangerous in the second and went in to the lead after a mix up between Chris Oldfield in the home goal and a defender, the keeper’s punch falling nicely to Callacher outside the area for the full back to score with a perfectly measured lob.
Michael Wilde embarked on a good run from a narrow angle before being crowded out and Rob Hopley saw a chip float narrowly wide following hesitation at the back as the home side pressed.
The inevitable raft of substitutions saw only Callacher and Joe Doyle play the full 90 minutes for Marine, the latter making a welcome return to the fold after his lengthy lay off following a broken leg at Heswall last pre season.
Chester finished strongly with a 20 yarder from Greg Stones thumping against the crossbar and then Anthony Shinks coming to the rescue with an acrobatic goal line clearance, but Marine held firm to clinch the win.
Chester (1st half): Richard Whiteside, Mark Connolly, Stuart Graves, Carl Ruffer (Cap), Danny Meadowcroft, Kyle Armstrong, Mark Peers, Richard Foulkes, Olly Ryan, Adriano Rigoglioso, Sam Bailey.
Chester (2nd half): Chris Oldfield, Roger Sharrock, Andy Burgess, Michael Wilde, Iain Howard, George Horan, Michael Aspin, Stuart Jones, Chris Williams, Greg Stones, Rob Hopley.
Marine: Tom Soffe (Dean Pye), Shaun Callacher, Joe Doyle, Phil Brazier (Anthony Shinks), Joe McMahon (Cap) (Gary Jones), Elvis Banyihwabe (Frazer Ablett), Kenny Strickland (Phil Ferguson), John Cass (John Cross), Liam Rushton (Paul Walsh), Mick Brown (Anthony McGrail), Paul Parle (Nick Jones).
Referee: Mr. James Madine; Assistants Mr. Peter Walker, Mr. Jack Owen.
Match Preview - Display by Red Arrows
The world famous Red Arrows are joining in with Chester FC's relaunch celebrations by a flypast over the Deva Stadium, on Saturday 7th August
Chester FC are delighted to announce that prior to the pre season match against Marine, they will be receiving a special flypast from the RAF's Display Team, the Red Arrows.
Chester FC Media Officer, Jeff Banks, was delighted with the news, "It's a major coup for Chester FC that the Red Arrows, one of the most well known air display teams in the world, are going to give us their seal of approval for the reformation of our historic club, by a one off flypast across the skies above the Deva Stadium"
"To my knowledge, I don't think this has been done on a matchday in football before, so it's a first, not just for Chester FC, but also for football, and I know the fans will have this unique memory for many many years to come when the Red Arrows fly over the Deva Stadium"
"It's great that in our first season as Chester FC that we can attract the likes of the Red Arrows to give us something that will put smiles on all faces, and especially for the children who will remember this for years to come, and it will certainly be one of those moments where fans can say "I was there the day the Red Arrows gave Chester FC a flypast of their own".
"At present, we're due to see the Red Arrows perform their flypast at 2.18pm, and the display team are well known for their excellent timing, and this will give all fans an opportunity to see the flypast before going in to watch the match"
Marine FC Club Secretary Richard Cross said: "We, at Marine, are all looking forward to the pre-season friendly against our friends from Chester FC. I hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game and the fly past from the Red Arrows before the match in Chester FC's relaunch celebrations."
Chester FC have also confirmed their admission prices for the friendly:
£6 - Adults
£4 - Concessions (OAP/NUS)
£3 - Under 18's
For matchday information visit http://www.chesterfc.com