Chester made it 21 unbeaten on the road with a battling performance and victory at Latimer Park against Kettering Town.
Darren Stephenson came off the bench to provide the only real moment of quality in the game, his second of the campaign proving decisive and ending the Poppies’ 11 match home unbeaten run in the process.
Manager Calum McIntyre made four changes from the draw with Farsley last weekend, as Declan Weeks and Adam Thomas dropped out of the squad – as did Kevin Roberts due to suspension – while Anthony Dudley moved to the bench.
Into the starting line up came Joe Lynch, Iwan Murray, Charlie Caton and Kole Hall.
The hosts had the first opportunity in a scrappy game as a long ball forward saw Keaton Ward burst beyond Jamie Morgan, but he was denied by the legs of an onrushing Harry Tyrer.
Chester’s first chance came on 24 minutes. Murray’s inswinging corner was met by Caton, who forced a strong save from Owen Mason before Kelly Nmai couldn’t quite turn home the rebound.
Tyrer had to be alert moments later as a Rhys Sharpe long throw was inadvertently flicked on by Alex Kenyon, but the Everton loanee was there to make a strong reaction stop.
A free kick apiece brought the first attempts of the second half, however Ward for the Poppies and then Murray for the Seals both fired over the crossbar.
Kettering were then reduced to ten men prior to the hour mark. Captain Gary Stohrer, who was booked in the first half for a foul on Murray, fouled the Welshman again, giving David McNamara a simple decision to send the midfielder off.
A quiet half saw the opener arrive following a moment of real quality from sub Stephenson.
The Blues winger chested down Lynch’s cross, swivelled on to his left and fired an excellent low effort across Mason and into the bottom corner.
Moments later Murray was denied by Mason as the Seals looked to round off the victory.
Chester then really should have wrapped it up on 88 minutes when Caton released Dudley but he fired an effort straight at Mason – nevertheless the 11-men saw the game out to win.
CHESTER: Tyrer, Morgan, Edwards, Kenyon, Brown, Lynch, Whitehouse, Murray, Nmai (Stephenson 61), Caton, Hall (Dudley 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Coates, Earl, Heywood.
SCORERS: Stephenson 74.