Chester FC 3-0 Halifax Town
Iwan Murray was the star of the show as Chester won the National League U19 Alliance League Cup Final. Calum McIntyre’s side remained solid at the back, and had showed their lethal touch to overcome Halifax Town at the Banks Stadium. Goals from Lloyd Marsh-Hughes and Murray, either side of a Cain Noble penalty, were enough to claim the trophy for the yellows.
Chester started the game the brighter of the two sides, and crafted the first chance when Murray’s deep cross found the head of Noble, but he couldn’t find a way past Jack Atkinson in the Halifax goal.
Atkinson was called into action again minutes later, this time pulling off a great save from Dion Jones' back post volley, after another good cross from Murray.
Chester made the breakthrough after 15 minutes, when Marsh-Hughes found time and space to fire his side ahead and send the yellows fans into raptures.
Murray was inches away from doubling Chester’s advantage after 17 minutes with a speculative free kick from 40 yards which was tipped over the crossbar by Atkinson.
Halifax grew into the game as the half went on, with Jack Knight going closest to levelling the scores, but McIntyre’s Chester side went into the interval the happier of the two teams.
The beginning of the second half was a cagey affair with very few chances to speak of. That was until the hour mark, when Marsh-Hughes was felled by Jay Benn inside the penalty area, and referee Richard Gardner pointed to the spot.
Noble stepped up to take the kick, and calmly dispatched it down the middle of the Halifax goal.
The game then sprung into life, as Halifax substitute Eliel Anku forced a corner from the restart. From the resulting corner, Halifax thought they had halved the deficit, but the goal was ruled out for a foul on the Chester goalkeeper.
After the flurry of activity, the Halifax fans and staff were becoming more and more animated, as the cup final ticked over into the last half an hour.
Murray was presented with a good opportunity to extend Chester’s lead further after 68 minutes, but couldn’t beat Atkinson after dispossessing Sam Clayton in his own penalty area.
Despite constant waves of Halifax pressure as the game reached its conclusion, it was Murray who put the game beyond doubt in stoppage time, to seal his side the National League U19 Alliance League Cup trophy.
Report By: Tom Lea @TomLea_
Image By: Adam Rowe @adzrowe