GOALS either side of half-time ensured Chester’s fine start to pre-season continued.
As cross-border rivals Wrexham were enjoying sunny Portugal, the Blues made the short hop to Flint for their second friendly in 24 hours, and it was another informative 90 minutes for boss Jon McCarthy, as goals from Jordan Chapell and Lucas Dawson sealed a comfortable victory.
There was a healthy crowd in attendance but they were denied the opportunity to see Ross Hannah in action, the striker missing out with a muscle strain, while Evan Horwood also sat this one out.
It was the Silkmen's newest recruit, veteran striker Lee Healey, who was the first to test Alex Lynch on three minutes as he fizzing shot was tipped wide.
New arrival Paul Turnbull's set-piece delivery had been a feature of Monday's 5-1 win at Runcorn Town and once again a fine corner from the midfielder found John McCombe who powered his header goalwards, Ben Jones in top form to repel the effort from close range.
Just 12 minutes had elapsed when the Blues took the lead. Harry White did supremely well to turn Steff Halewood and lay the ball off for Chapell, the 25-year-old drilling a low shot past Jones.
Healey looked sharp and blasted a shot over the bar on 27 minutes, with Andy Halls looking menacing down the right for the Blues, constantly probing the channels.
Cymru Alliance outfit Flint – now managed by former Chester City player Andy Holden – were clearly fired up and a poor challenge on James Akintunde from Halewood saw a scuffle break out between the players, with McCarthy clearly agitated with a number of decisions.
It was all change in the second-half as McCarthy and assistant manager Tom Shaw introduced a new XI, including three trialists and Dawson, whose future with the Blues could well be sorted in the coming week.
Wade Joyce was back in the centre alongside Dawson and was immediately involved, a fine effort from an acute angle skidding narrowly wide.
Teenage centre-back James Jones, one of a trio of academy graduates handed a first-team contract in the summer, went on a rampaging run down the right wing and was brought to an abrupt halt by Phil Doran.
Nyal Bell fired a low shot goalbound on 64 minutes which was parried clear by Jones before Nathan Brown’s mazy dribble into the box almost earned Chester a penalty, but referee James Walker was unmoved.
Bell, signed from Gateshead, looks a lively addition to the forwards and went close with a back post header, while Dawson continued to dictate matters in midfield with a series of short, clever linking passes, something which had been missing from his game at the back-end of last season.
Nathan Brown capitalised on some hesistant defending from Ieuan Hewitt on halfway and dribbled in the area, cutting past two defenders before lashing a shot at goal which was deflected behind.
Dawson doubled the advantage on 77 minutes, collecting Joyce’s pass 25 yards from goal and drilling a shot into the bottom corner.
There was still time for Chester’s second-half goalkeeper – on-trial with the Blues – to pull off a memorable save from Andy Brown’s bullet header.
Flint: Jones (Lee-Bulmer 45), Hewitt, Woodward, Harewood (Davies 82), Doran; Haak, Rogers, Cunningham; Healey, Beck (Brown 29), Smyth (Hooper 45).
Chester first-half XI: Lynch, Halls, McCombe, Astles, Rowe-Turner; Chapell, Turnbull, James, Davies; Akintunde, Bell.
Chester second-half XI: Trialist A, Trialist B, Jones, Trialist C, Downes; Edwards, Dawson, Joyce, Halliwell; Brown, White.
Referee: James Walker.
Man of the match: Andy Halls – Ploughed forward at every opportunity and looks a fine addition to the starting line-up at right-back.
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