CHESTER were condemned to a second successive crushing defeat last night as their nightmare start to the season continued.
The Blues were outclassed by Gary McAllister’s slick Leeds side, who booked their place in round two of the Carling Cup with relative ease in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
United were 5-1 up by the 35th minute against a Chester team still reeling from Saturday’s 6-0 hammering at Dagenham in the league.
Ryan Lowe’s second goal of the game restored a bit of pride to City in the second half, but this was still a night they would rather forget.
Blues boss Simon Davies said: “I thought it was a game where we matched them at times with our passing, our work-rate and our endeavour, but, same again, after two or three minutes one long punt down the middle ends up in the back of our net.
“You try to move on during the week and in coaching the players, but at the end of the day if we can’t deal with one long punt down the middle then we’re going to have problems.”
Paul Butler was the man at fault for Leeds’ first goal. The veteran City centre-back allowed a 60-yard free-kick by Alan Sheehan to drop over his head and Jermaine Beckford was on hand to volley the ball into the net from close range.
A lightning break upfield by the visitors on nine minutes saw them double their lead, Fabian Delph playing the final ball into the box for Robert Snodgrass to apply the finishing touch.
Out of the blue, Chester pulled a goal back when Lowe’s left-footed shot from the edge of the box deflected off Rui Marques and looped in over keeper Casper Ankergren.
But Leeds then went into overdrive and Beckford netted his second of the game with a thumping 22-yard drive on his left foot.
Andy Robinson curled in goal number four on 31 minutes before Beckford completed his hat-trick with the goal of the game – a precision lob over John Danby which was so good it even had some home fans applauding.
With the tie settled, Leeds boss McAllister made three changes in the 52nd minute and City –having taken off an out-of-sorts Butler and Richie Partridge at the break – were able to stem the flow of goals.
And when Chester man of the match Damien Mozika was upended in the area by United captain Fraser Richardson in the 75th minute, Lowe stepped up to beat Ankergren from the spot and put a marginally more acceptable gloss on the final scoreline.
Chester: Danby, J Vaughan, Linwood, Butler (Kelly 46), Wilson, Partridge (Harris 46), Barry, Lowe, Ellison, Mannix, Mozika. Subs: Dinning, S Vaughan, McManus, Taylor, Roberts.
Booked: Mozika, J Vaughan.
Goals: Lowe 15, 75 pen.
Leeds: Ankergren, Richardson, Huntington, Marques, Sheehan, Snodgrass, Howson (Douglas 52), Delph, Robinson (Johnson 52), Becchio, Beckford (Showunmi 52). Subs: Lucas, Michalik, Telfer, Elliott.
Booked: Delph, Richardson, Johnson.
Goals: Beckford 3, Snodgrass 10, Beckford 25, Robinson 31, Beckford 35.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).