CHESTER still seemed to be suffering from a festive hangover when they returned to action following the Christmas break on Saturday.
They lost 5-1 away to Crewe Vagrants in a performance skipper Andy Murphy described as “awful”.
Chester were 4-0 down by half-time, but a more gutsy second-half showing saw Tim Hewson pull one back.
Murphy said: “After the game there was no shouting, no soul-searching. Everyone knew they’d had their worst games in the last few years.”
Chester 2nds fared much better against Morecambe, winning 9-0. Having been disappointed to only draw with Morecambe at the start of the season, Chester were in the mood for revenge and that is exactly what they got.
Richard Selley bagged four and Chris Moulson two as Chester romped home. The match also saw a great debut from Chris Nicholas.
Chester 4ths could not match such an emphatic performance as they lost 5-2 at Bebington 3rds. The hosts led 2-0 at half-time but Chester fought back, with Richard Nicholas scoring before Paul Mannion dribbled round the entire home defence and pushed the ball past the keeper. But Bebington had too much firepower and blew Chester away.
Chester 5ths lost 4-0 to Bebington. Chester turned up with 10 men and by half time were 2-0 down before Bebington finished the job in the second.
Chester Ladies – led by player of the match and skipper Donna Jones – earned a 1-1 draw with second-placed Preston.
Chester broke down Preston’s attacking play and were patient with their own forward play in the first half, aiming to tire the opposition.
This worked as Preston slowed and Chester were able to play some great hockey. Their efforts were rewarded with a goal on the stroke of half-time when Sophie Clough’s drag flick following a short corner caught the Preston defence out.
In the second half Chester knew they had to keep their hard work up to keep Preston out.
But confusion at the back when picking up players allowed Preston the chance they needed and they levelled the score.
Chester Ladies 4ths took on Crewe 3rds and won 2-1 thanks to goals from Franki Duckett and Liz Crawshaw.
PoM was Amy Edwards.