Salford City Under-19s were held to a 1-1 draw by Chester Under-19s in the National League Under-19 Alliance.
Zack Woodcock gave the young Ammies the lead in the opening stages of the game but Chester levelled shortly after half time.
The reigning league cup champions nearly found the back of the net in the second minute as Lloyd Marsh-Hughes crossed in from the left-hand side, but Sam Adetiloye got there ahead of Leighton Kendrick to clear; perhaps fortunate after a hint of offside in the build-up!
A minute later Adam Barthram lined up a free kick, right of centre and just outside the box, but it was struck low and into the wall. However The Ammies didn’t have to wait too long to take the lead.
Chester’s George Macready struggled to clear a ball as Mani Ogunrinde and Woodcock both closed him down, and after a couple of ricochets the ball ran through for Woodcock behind the Chester centre-back. The confidence was running through the number 10 and he shifted the ball onto his left and slotted underneath the oncoming keeper to make it 1-0.
The hosts responded and again Marsh-Hughes, whose influence up top was significant all afternoon, was the creator as he broke on the right hand side after catching Will Hall in possession. He pulled the ball back across the area but it was far behind Kendrick and Salford cleared their lines.
Another chance came for Chester from a long throw-in on the right that wasn’t dealt with and bounced to the back post where Stuart Crilly was waiting, but unmarked he strived to shoot over the bar. The winger had another chance before the first half was out as he reached a flick across goal, but he headed over at the back post.
Chester did find a leveller early in the second half, and it was Marsh-Hughes who found the back of the net. George Neave got a hand to the shot after Danny Edwards had played the ball into Marsh-Hughes, but there was enough power on it and The Seals were level.
A petulant foul by Crilly on Adam Barthram led to a booking for the winger, and a free kick for Salford in the 52nd minute. Will Shepherd took responsibility for the set piece wide on the left and crossed into the back post, but the ball dropped just wide with a red shirt unable to get on the end of it.
After a number of long throws by Chester, Harry Ditchfield launched one of Salford’s own and Kamar Moncrieffe got a header in, but Ben Gale saved it in the Chester net.
There was a couple of scares as the game entered the last 20 minutes as Salford struggled to clear their lines and Louis Hayes then Marsh-Hughes had efforts, but both were dealt with. The last chance fell for Marsh-Hughes in the last five minutes as the ball was played over the top with Salford’s line high. Despite more than a hint of offside, Marsh-Hughes latched onto the lob but Adetiloye was tracking back and got a block in.
Salford now find themselves in second in the National Alliance Under-19 Group J with a win and a draw from their opening two games.