Chester 0 Carlisle United 0: Hallam Hope was sent off in the controversial first half of a goalless friendly between Carlisle United and Chester at the Deva Stadium.

Hope was shown a straight red card by ref Ed Duckworth in the 42nd minute after the hosts accused him of swinging an arm at Kevin Roberts.

The flashpoint led to some angry exchanges between the dugouts, with joint Chester boss Anthony Johnson furious at Hope's actions.

Manager Steven Pressley later said he would be reviewing the incident before making any further comment or deciding whether to take any action. 

The dismissal reduced United to 10 men towards the end of a first period where they had come close through Hope and Stefan Scougall, while a younger side after the break was on the defensive, keeper Louis Gray denying Danny Elliott a Chester winner.

Carlisle had started on top with Christie Elliott having a shot blocked by ex-Blues defender Simon Grand, and Grand then blocking an Elliott Reeves header.

Scougall also shot wide for United, before Chester came into things through Elliott, who twice went close.

Nathaniel Knight-Percival denied Matty Waters with a last-ditch challenge, before Gary Stopforth did the same to Reeves at the other end.

Hope was denied by keeper Russ Griffiths at close range but it was his dismissal shortly after that which provided the main talking point of the half.

Chester had the better of things after the break, Gray saving well from Elliott when the striker was put through by a flick from ex-United loan man George Waring.

Former Blues favourite Danny Livesey had two headed chances as new trialist Aaron Hayden joined Carlisle's defensive effort, Tyrone Duffus also came on in defence and fellow trialist Isaac Buckley-Ricketts struggled to make any headway against the experienced Livesey and Grand.

The hosts remained on top, with seven changes on the hour mark for Carlisle introducing some of their youth players.

Keighran Kerr had a late attempt saved as neither side could find a winner.

After the game, meanwhile, Pressley revealed that teenage midfielder Josh Dixon has suffered a new cruciate knee ligament injury and is set for a long lay-off.

Chester: Griffiths (T Roberts 46), K Roberts, Waters, Stopforth (Thomson 83), Livesey, Grand, Morgan (Burton 46), G Roberts (Jackson 46), Waring (Dudley 70), D Elliott (Marsh-Hughes 79), Mahon (Murray 70).

Booked: Roberts, Grand

United: Gray, C Elliott (Duffus 46), Mellish (Branthwaite 60), Webster (Hayden 60), Knight-Percival (Birch 60), Jones (Armstrong 60), Bridge (Charters 46), Scougall (Brunt 60), McKirdy (Kerr 60), Hope, Reeves (Buckley-Ricketts 46). Not used: Collin, Galloway.

Sent off: Hope

Ref: Ed Duckworth

Crowd: 598