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By Oliver Thomas UCFB
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Chester have been crowned National League Alliance U19s Division K champions after thrashing Stockport County 8-0 away from home.

A first half hattrick from Sion Jones as well as a brace from Lloyd Marsh-Brown and goals from Nick Lynch, Cain Noble and Leighton Kendrick secured a brilliant victory for the young Blues as well as sealing the title with three matches to spare.

The game was theoretically over at half time as Chester went into the break leading 5-0 after strikes from Lynch, Marsh-Brown and Jones’ first half hattrick.

Marsh-Brown headed in his second after the break and Noble matched that with a header of his own to increase the away sides lead. Then substitute Kendrick got himself on the scoresheet to seal what was a thumping victory for the visitors.

Speaking after clinching the title, Academy manager Calum McIntyre expressed on the club’s website how delighted he was for his players and for the Academy as a whole:

McIntyre to www.chesterfc.com: “It’s an unbelievable achievement for this group of players. Launching our Scholarship programme was one of the clear goals we had set when we revamped our Academy strategy.

“We were really clear as to how we wanted to do it, ensuring that we continued to recruit elite players at Youth level but were able to improve what we do to continue to develop players through our Academy.

“This achievement needs to be placed in some context. We have fielded the youngest side in the division with zero experience of the level of football we were going in to.

“We have some of the most limited resources at this level in terms of Youth development and have used the smallest amount of players in the league.

“It is a testament to the outstanding players we have in this group and their character and desire to succeed. I have no doubt that we have future first team players in this group and will continue to develop players through this programme.”        

Chester’s eleventh win of the league season means that second placed Preston North End (Myerscough) cannot catch them, even if they were to win all their remaining fixtures.

McIntyre’s boys, who are still unbeaten in Division K, will want to remain this way as well as to concentrate on their progression in the League Cup.

Elsewhere in Division K, an eleven-goal thriller saw AFC Fylde managed to take all three points away from Crewe Alexandra after winning 6-5.

The win for AFC Fylde means they jump into third spot after Stockport County failed to pick up any points against champions Chester.

For Crewe, their tenth defeat of the season means they sit in seventh place on nine points.

Second placed Preston North End (Myerscough) cannot challenge Chester at the top despite their 3-1 away victory against Hyde United.

Preston, with only two league matches left can only reach a maximum of 33 points, which is two behind Chester’s current total of 35 points.

The win does keep the gap between themselves and third placed AFC Fylde at four points going into the last few matches of the season.

The defeat for Hyde however means they remain in fifth place on 16 points, after suffering their seventh league defeat of the campaign.

Keeping with the pattern of away sides winning in Division K this week, Chorley managed to beat Stalybridge Celtic 3-1, to secure their fourth league victory of the season.

Chorley, who still have five matches remaining this season, will be looking to end their league campaign strongly, with finishing in the top four still a possibility.

For Stalybridge, their eighth defeat of the season sees them remain in eighth spot, one point behind Crewe Alexandra.

Next week sees the return of League Cup action, with the competition now beginning to look very interesting as we have now reached the Quarter Final stage.

Division K champions Chester will travel to play against a high-flying Romford side, who are four points off top spot in Division A and are one of only three sides to have scored over 70 goals in the entire National League Alliance.

In Division K, only two fixtures are scheduled for next week, with Chorley hosting Preston North End (Myerscough) and Hyde United travelling to play against MMU.

These fixtures are to be played on Wednesday 14th March.

Picture courtesy of @CFCYouthAcademy on Twitter.

Copyright The National League U19 Alliance. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to The National League U19 Alliance as the source.
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