CHESTER breezed through their third pre-season friendly match at the Deva Stadium on Wednesday and whatever shortcomings may emerge in the coming weeks, lack of fitness won't be one of them.
City had plenty left in the tank after 90 entertaining minutes against players who had helped Den Haag finish top of the Dutch first division last season, but any relevance to Conference football must have been minimal.
Asking Paul Carden not to tackle is like asking Vera Duckworth not to gossip, but apart from the odd bone-shuddering challenge from the City midf ielder, there wasn't much of the bodily contact to be expected at Stevenage on August 9.
Nevertheless, the pace was up there with most competitive matches and the best of the football came from Mark Wright's men. Den Haag had played and beaten Sheff ield Wednesday 24 hours earlier, so this wasn't necessarily their best eleven and, at times, they seemed to be going through the motions.
Still, that shouldn't detract from City's performance which was pleasing enough for the manager who took the opportunity to give trials to Sam Sodje, the former Margate defender, and ex-Huddersf ield and York midfielder Tom Cowan.
Sodje took the eye and soon had the 750 City fans on his side with a composed performance which may yet make him a permanent member of the Deva squad.
If there are any concerns for Chester at this stage of their preparations for the Conference season, it must be the lack of goals from the strikers who have yet to find the target in the three friend-lies. The pairing expected to be first choice, Daryl Clare and Kevin Rapley, were both sidelined and although Ian Foster looked lively, he was short of scoring opportunities.
Both goals came from Ben Davies, the first after 25 minutes when Foster's run was taken up by Michael Twiss, whose header across goal was turned home by the midf ielder.
City had earlier created the only chances worth noting, Foster hitting the bar after 13 minutes with an opportunist shot and, 10 minutes later, Twiss had a header cleared off the line from a cross by the busy Andy Harris.
Den Haag goalkeeper Patrick de Groot made two close-range saves from Davies on the stroke of half-time and, after 71 minutes, his substitute Dorus de Vries was well beaten from the spot by the same player after Davies had been felled on the edge of the box by Mario Van Heiningen.
Chester: Brown, Harris (Kelly 67), Sodje, Hatswell, Carden (Carey 62), Brady (McIntyre 58), Davies, Collins, Foster (Brodie 62), Twiss (Heard 45), Cowan.
ADO Den Haag: de Groot, Rijaard, Ver-berne, Van As, Van Heiningen, Huisman, dos Santos, Pronk, Hofstede, Komeev, Cales.
Referee: R M Pollock, Maghull. Despite an improved second-half dis-play, Chester were beaten 2-0 by Danish club FC Nordsjaelland on Saturday.
The visitors went in front on 35 minutes when Dennis Sorensen headed home following two point-blank saves by Wayne Brown. Ulrich Vinzents made it 2-0 on 78 minutes against the run of play.
Danish international Jesper Hoffman made a series of f ine saves after the break to deny Mark Beesley, Steve Brodie, Rapley and Jon Brady. A goal by Harris earned Chester a 1-0 victory at Cammell Laird on Monday.