On a day of dramatic twists and turns, Chester were tragically relegated to the Conference North, drawing 2-2 with Salisbury.
The hosts twice took the lead through Danny Carlton and John Rooney, but were pegged back by goals from Charlie Sheringham and – perhaps more crucially – Jamie White. Hereford’s late 2-1 victory over Aldershot ensured that Chester dropped back to the sixth tier of English football.
Chester made two changes from the impressive victory over Cambridge on Easter Monday with Michael Kay and Matty Brown coming back from suspension to replace Andy Griffin and George Horan.
Jamie White had the first shot on goal for the visitors, but it was a comfortable save for Aaron Chapman in the Chester net. Moments later Elliott Frear had a chance after the defence misjudged a long throw, but the Salisbury player shot well over the bar.
Chester then played their way into the game, and John Rooney shot wide from 30 yards, an effort that really fired the crowd up.
The blues then took the lead. A clearance found its way out to Jason Jarrett, and his volley was guided into the net by Danny Carlton to give Chester the lead.
With news of Hereford taking the lead, Salisbury then equalised. A corner from Stuart Sinclair was easily headed home by Charlie Sheringham on 36 minutes.
Gareth Seddon and Craig Mahon came on at the break, but it was a player who started that scored a beauty to put the blues back in front. John Rooney charged forward before laying the ball off to Jarrett, who miscontrolled, but Rooney hit a first time wonder goal into the far corner.
Elliott Frear then responded for the hosts and fired just wide after being allowed too much space on the edge of the area.
The news filtering through that Aldershot had drawn level with Hereford left the fans delighted.
But those smiles turned to nervous frowns as the visitors drew level yet again. Matty Brown sliced a clearance that was crossed by Amankwaah, Frear retrieved the ball and crossed back across, the ball was then headed home by Jamie White. Hereford then dramatically took the lead in a cruel sixty seconds for Chester.
This was ultimately the last action in the Skrill Premier for the blues – who were devastatingly sent down to the Conference North.
Chester FC: Chapman, Kay, Brown, Linwood (Seddon 46), McIntyre, L Turner, Bond, Jarrett, Menagh (Mahon 46), Rooney, Carlton (Hobson 77).
Subs Not Used: Danby, Ashworth.
Goals: Carlton 14, Rooney 58.
Salisbury: Puddy, Brett, Wilson, McPhee (R Sinclair 61), White, Lewis, Frear, S Sinclair, Dutton (MacDonald 74), Anankwaan (Fitchett 88), Sheringham.
Subs Not Used: Wellard, Roberts.
Goals: Sheringham 36, White 86.
Referee: Adrian Holmes (Castleford)