MICHAEL Twiss could get another chance to prove himself as Chester try to stay top of the Conference at Halifax tomorrow.
The striker has struggled to impose himself on the first team this season, but he impressed manager Mark Wright with a sparkling performance for the reserves in Flint on Wednesday.
He scored two goals in a 5-0 win against Northwich Vics and looks a good bet for a place in the squad at The Shay, where the Blues will be hoping to stretch their recordbreaking league run to 18 matches unbeaten.
'Twiss was outstanding,' said Wright. 'I think he has benefited from Alex Smith being with us.
'They are pals and Smith seems to have brought him out of himself.
'He has a lot in his locker and so much more to offer.'
A sign that Twiss will be included in the squad came when Wright withdrew him from the game in Flint, where Mark Beesley also scored twice.
'The game was safe by then, so there was no point leaving him on any longer,' explained the City boss.
Wright denied a newspaper report this week that he could be going into the transfer market again, but confirmed that Beesley was no longer in his first team plans.
'He scored a couple for the reserves, but he can go,' he said. 'He is just messing us about. He could have gone to Northwich.'
Paul Barnes, so often a thorn in Chester's side for Doncaster, has been released by the third division club this week, but Wright resisted the temptation to show an interest in the 36-year-old striker.
'He rattles around and bangs into people, but do I need any more front players with Clare, Stamp, Foster, Rapley and Twiss here?' asked Wright.
Rumours have circulated on the Internet this week that Alex Smith could return to Port Vale in the new year, but this was denied by Wright.
'I don't know where these things come from,' he said. 'We've worked very hard to get Smith on board and I'm keen to keep him here.'
Halifax, will be at the Deva Stadium on January 10 in the third round of the FA Trophy - and Wright has his eye on the prize.
'The FA Trophy is important,' he said. 'The FA Cup is a money spinner which we are not going to win and the LDV Vans Trophy is a nuisance, but we can win the Trophy and we will be trying to make progress.'
Of more immediate concern is the league game against the Shaymen tomorrow.
'They can be a handful on their day, but they are obviously inconsistent,' said Wright. 'If they get on top they get the crowd behind them and they can be dangerous.'
Halifax beat Northwich on Saturday to bounce back from their 7-1 mauling at Hereford and they have been solid at home since their last defeat at The Shay, by Margate on September 20.
But they are about to lose key midfielder Lee Elam, who has agreed terms with last season's Conference champions Yeovil Town.
Wright has no injury worries and will have a full-strength squad available. Chester are offering season tickets for the rest of the season, starting with the Boxing Day match against Leigh RMI.
Stand prices are £92 (adult), £69 (concessions), £46 (U16s). Terrace prices are £77 (adult), £54 (concessions), £38 (U16s). An executive lounge ticket costs £185. Chester reserves meet Guiseley in Flint on Wednesday at 7.45, but the scheduled game at Chorley on December 20 has been postponed because of Chorley's cup commitments.