CFCW REPORT: Chester 1-2 Preston North End

    A late goal saw the Blues exit the Alliance Design and Print Cup at the First Round stage to Preston North End. 

    For a second successive weekend, the CFCW record crowd number was broken, as 317 came down to the Leap76 Stadium to cheer on the Seals.

    However, the visitors took the lead inside the opening seconds, as a backpass was miscontrolled and pounced upon by a Preston forward who rolled the ball into the net.

    But Chester didn’t let the early setback bother them and went in search of a leveller, as Molly Wood fired over on seven minutes after neat play.

    They got their goal to level it up though in stunning fashion moments later. A short kick from the PNE goalkeeper fell to Evie Halliwell, who brilliantly fired it back, lobbing the ‘keeper and finding the net from 25 yards.

    Martin Fitzsimons’ side almost went in front at the break as Wood’s inswinging corner was met at the back post by Lucy Adderley, who headed just wide.

    Again Chester went close just after the break as Wood was slid through on goal but the Blues top scorer sliced her effort beyond the post.

    Sophie Foster made two brilliant stops as the half progressed, the latter seeing the rebound find the net but was disallowed for offside.

    Preston started to dominate as the clock ticked down, hitting the crossbar on two separate occasions, before then finding the winner in the last minute as a free kick into the box was eventually turned home.

    A great effort by the Blues who bow out of the cup, but still have a league title tussle with Wythenshawe and the chance of Cheshire Cup glory before the season ends.


    Chester: Foster, Sands, Dowell, Randles, Adderley, Locke (Gray 49), Wood, Morris, Redman, Bradley, Halliwell (Jones 66).

    Scorers: Halliwell 12.

    Attendance: 317.

    Photo by Luke Reynolds Photography.