Chester FC extended their lead at the top of the Blue Square Bet North to nine points, albeit with teams chasing them holding games in hand, thanks to a second half super sub appearance from Craig Curran. Curran, in his last game for Chester FC, should his loan not be extended, came on in the 59th minute and completed his hat-trick with four minutes to play, with Ben Mills getting the other for The Blues, with Reece Prestedge scoring for the visitors.
Once again Chester were able to get off to a good start and scored early, as the Ben Mills-Dave Hankin partnership was renewed. Hankin, from the left wing, with a sublime ball in to find Mills, who had beaten his man, and was able to flick the ball past the diving Warren Carter in the Stortford goal.
The goal spurred the visitors on and they could have been level almost immediately as Jesse Waller-Lassen found space at the far post but Danby was out quickly to make a fantastic save.
Midway through the half Bishops Stortford were able to get back level, Ricky Sappleton, who was a handful in the first half in particular, used his strength to hold off a couple of challenges from Chester defenders before crossing to find Reece Prestedge, who was able to head home from six yards.
Danby was called into action again just before the break as Sappleton was able to get on the end of a corner and force the Chester stopper into a strong two handed save from close range to ensure the sides were level at the break.
The hosts were much improved in the second half and could have scored in the first minute as Dave Hankin picked out Danny Williams at the back post but he could only head the ball wide, with half the ground thinking it was in.
Chester were able to get ahead after a goalmouth scramble from a Wes Baynes cross. Antoni Sarcevic, Marc Williams and Ben Mills all had shots that were saved, or blocked on the line before Craig Curran hammered the ball home.
Curran continued to look menacing as he unleashed a shot that went just wide.
The on-loan star was involved in the game-changing moment, when Stortford winger Lewis Spence kicked out at him, leaving the referee with no option but to show him a straight red card, after consulting with his linesman.
Danny Williams, who had a good game on the left wing, crossed for Ben Mills, who guided his volley goalward forcing Carter into a save before Craig Curran was on hand to tap the ball home.
Chester were beginning to dominate as Marc and Danny Williams both had shots that were saved by Carter before Craig Curran completed his hat-trick. Antoni Sarcevic jinked inside, creating the lane for Curran who unleashed a thunderous effort high into the roof of the net.
Sarcevic nearly got on the scoresheet himself as he drove through the heart of the Stortford defence and after his shot getting deflected Warren Carter's outstretched toe prevented further damage for the visitors.
Chester: Danby, Baynes, McGinn, Horan (c), Linwood, D Williams, Hankin (Curran), Sarcevic, Jarman (M Williams), Mills (Turner ), A Williams
Subs: Collins, Howard
Bishop's Stortford: Carter, Burns, Herd (Thalassitis), Prestedge (c), Bailey-Dennis, Francis, Johnson, Abdullahi (Baker), Waller-Lassen (Cawley), Spence
Subs: Anderson, Livings
Goal Scorers: Chester - Ben Mills (5), Curran (62, 74, 86). Bishop's Stortford - Prestedge (28).
Man of the match: Chester - Craig Curran. Bishop's Stortford - Reece Prestedge.
Referee: Mr L Metcalfe
Assistant Referee: Mr R Holmes, Mr K Sarsfield.l
Match Report by Chris Graham