Chester succumbed to their first home defeat of the season as league leaders York won their top-of-the-table clash 1-0.
A positive opening period for the Blues was cancelled out by a slow start to the second, the visitors both eventually and deservedly took the lead when Dan Maguire rolled the ball under Russ Griffiths after nearly an hour.
The hosts pressed and pressed in the last quarter of an hour with substitutes Danny Elliott and Jamie Morgan making a huge difference but this was to no avail.
Chester made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Blyth last weekend, with Gary Stopforth and Anthony Dudley both returning to the starting lineup. Akwasi Asante, unfortunately, missed out.
The Blues made a positive start in the opening 10 minutes but couldn’t get a shot away until then as Matty Hughes curled well wide. This came moments after a huge handball appeal that could’ve seen the hosts given a penalty.
Simon Grand went into the referee Nathanael Cox’s notebook for bringing down Alex Kempster on the break. Joel Taylor then went down the other end and eventually smashed his shot over to bring to a close a 20 minute period of very few efforts.
The away side’s first chance was a good one, Kempster escaped his marker at the near post and attempted to arrow a header beyond Griffiths but the wrongfooted Blues ‘keeper watched the ball fall just short.
Their next was even better. Chester failed to clear their lines on multiple occasions and should’ve paid the price when Jordan Burrow met Andy Bond’s cross from 10-yards, but the York forward couldn’t find the target.
Sean Newton let fly from distance after David Ferguson’s short corner. The visitors were beginning to grow into the game and even out the flow of possession as the board went up for a minute of first half added time.
York could well have opened the scoring early on after the break, Ferguson’s cross from the left was picture perfect but a touch from Danny Livesey put off the two forwards charging to meet it.
Then, deservedly, they did on 57 minutes. Kempster’s cross found Maguire who had time to take an excellent touch and roll the ball under Griffiths.
Hughes tried his luck again from distance on 65 but fired well wide of the far post. Ten minutes later Elliott’s drive was also no problem for Peter Jameson.
Chester came forward with two more massive chances, both led by Morgan off the substitutes bench. The first, an unbelievable cross, couldn’t find Elliott. The next was a give and go with George Waring but the full-back wasn’t high enough to meet his flick into the box.
The hosts kept pushing hard for an equaliser as four minutes of stoppage time were announced. Elliott was back in the thick of it, crossing for Dudley who nodded on to the outstretched Waring. The forward was unable to connect, though.
Despite their late pressure Chester couldn’t find the all important leveller and York headed back to Bootham Crescent with three points as they extended their lead at the top of the league to five points. Next up for the Blues is an away trip to Brackley Town next weekend before we welcome Alfreton Town to the Deva the Saturday after.
CHESTER: Griffiths, K. Roberts (Morgan 78), Taylor, G. Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Jackson, Glendon, Dudley, Hughes (Waring 68), Stopforth (Elliott 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Waters, Burton.
Match Report by Alex Bullions.