Chester 3-0 North Ferriby United
North Ferriby came up short as a Marc Williams hat-trick helped Chester lift the Peter Swales Shield at the Deva Stadium, but the Villagers provided a stern test for league champions and can take plenty of positives from the game, their performance made all the more impressive by the absence of eleven first team players through injury and unavailability. This led to Chris Bolder captaining the side as a makeshift centre-half, and reserve teamer Louis Mobbs making his senior debut from the bench.
An evenly-matched first half was short on clear-cut chances for either side; Adam Nicklin thwarted the hosts' best chance in the early going when he turned Adam Proudlock's shot around the post when a defensive slip let the veteran striker through on goal. Later in the half, the Ferriby keeper again prevailed in a one-on-one situation, this time frustrating Proudlock's strike partner Williams. Jack Muldoon came closest for Ferriby, rifling a shot not far wide of the top corner from edge of the area, and having his header from Steve Gardner's cross deflected over the bar.
Ferriby began the second period in the ascendancy, with Steve Ridley sending a 30-yard drive narrowly wide of John Danby's goal, so it was against the run of play when on 56 minutes Wes Baynes' corner found Williams unmarked to flick beyond Nicklin at the far post. Two minutes later the Cheshire side had doubled their advantage in almost identical fashion; another Baynes corner, and the unmarked Williams this time latching on to a deflection and blasted into the centre of the Ferriby net. Substitute Nathan Jarman's pace added an extra dimension to the Chester attack, and the former Grimsby Town man twice went close shortly after coming on, his first effort skimming the bar as he aimed for the top corner, and his second smartly tipped around the post by the legs of Nicklin. Nicklin's legs again denied Jarman in the later stages, and his follow up header cannoned back off the crossbar before the Ferriby defence scrambled clear. Ferriby began to push forward again in the later stages with some smart passing play, so it was somewhat harsh on Billy Heath's side when in added time an unfortunate slip from James Williams left his namesake Marc Williams with an easy finish from Jarman's low cross to seal his hat-trick.
Man of the Match: Marc Williams (Chester)
Ferriby: Adam Nicklin, Steve Gardner, Steve Ridley (James Williams, 82), Liam King (Louis Mobbs, 74), Gregg Anderson, Chris Bolder (c), Danny Clarke, Neil Stevens (Tim Taylor, 78), Jack Muldoon, Gary Bradshaw, Ryan Kendall Subs not used: Antoni Pecora
Chester: John Danby, Wes Baynes, Matty McGinn, George Horan (c), Michael Taylor, Ashley Williams, Dave Hankin, Antoni Sarcevic, Adam Proudlock (Nathan Jarman, 56), Marc Williams, Sean Clancy (Michael Powell, 74) Subs not used: Martin Fearon, Levi Mackin, Paul Linwood