Chester FC were condemned to their second straight league defeat, this time at the hands of Braintree Town. Paul Linwood was shown a straight red card before a Dan Holman brace gave the visitors the three points on a disappointing afternoon for the Blues.
Neil Young made a handful of changes as he looked to find a winning formula, handing a debut to 18 year old Sean Miller, who started up top with Gareth Seddon, Michael Kay and Joe Heath both came back into the side as well.
The visitors started brightly as Dan Holman found himself with plenty of chances infront of goal, having four shots in the first ten minutes, though Chester's defence held strong, blocking an effort and Danby saving well from another.
After half an hour Paul Linwood was shown a straight red card for an adjudged professional foul. This was the second time that Linwood had been sent off against Braintree this season and again was highly disputed, as the striker turned Linwood it appeared that there was cover and with 35 yards between the striker and goal it was difficult to call that a clear cut goalscoring opportunity.
From the resulting free kick Dan Holman's effort was blocked by the wall, the referee saw an arm and gave a second free kick and from that Holman's effort was deflected off the wall and left Danby stranded.
The visitors nearly made it two as Dan Sparkes got in at the back post from a cross but Danby saved it brilliantly from close range.
Lewis Turner cut in from the left side and got a shot on target but Nick Hanann saved comfortably.
Gareth Seddon was causing plenty of problems for the Braintree back four, his header at the back post was saved by Hanann.
Holman got his second just before the hour, stumbling through several challenges from the Chester defence before picking out the top corner whilst off balance.
Tom Peers, also making his debut, looked very effective, battling hard, he beat two men but his cross was too close to the keeper.
Exodus Geohaghon managed to get in behind the Chester defence, his shot was low to Danby's near post but the Blues keeper turned it wide.
Chester: Danby, Kay, L Turner, Seddon (Peers 75), Rooney, Higginbotham (c), Linwood, Heath, G Miller, Williams (Jarrett 63), S Miller (Reed 45)
Subs: McIntyre, Mahon, Peers, Jarrett
Braintree: Hanann, Peters, Habergham, Isaac, Paine, Davis (c), Marks (Geohaghon 83), Holman (Cox 83), Sparkes (Daley 78), Massey, Wells
Subs: McDonald, Griffiths
Goal Scorers: Braintree: Holman (34, 58)
Bookings: Chester: Williams. Braintree: Davis.
Sent Off: Linwood (30)
Man of the Match: Chester: Rooney, Braintree: Marks
Referee: Jason Whiteley
Assistant Referees: Alan Marshall, David McNamara
4th Official: Joe Simpson
Match Report by Chris Graham
Pictures courtesy of Rob Stratford / Chester Chronicle