Chester claimed their first three points of this calendar year with a 3-0 win over Altrincham.
Danny O’Brien, Ryan Astles and Ross Hannah scored the three goals to ensure that the Blues sailed to victory at Moss Lane.
Steve Burr decided to make five changes to the side which failed to succeed at the Shay last week, with Astles, Hughes, Thompson, O’Brian and Lloyd starting the game at Moss Lane
The Blues had their first chance of the game within the opening ten minutes as Chapell’s effort struck the post. The winger’s shot evaded the several Alty defenders occupying the six yard box to trickle onto Deasy’s right hand post.
Despite the Blues superb efforts to knock on the door of the home side, they couldn’t seem to find the breakthrough in the opening quarter of an hour. Hughes found himself orchestrating attacks with both forward players Hannah and Chapell doing well to press the ball forward.
But the away side’s efforts were rewarded soon after as O’Brien opened his account for the Blues. Lloyd whipped in a free-kick from the left wing which left every Altrincham defender rooted to the spot – but making his debut, O’Brien found himself on the edge of the penalty spot to smash the ball past a stunned Tim Deasy.
Rooney nearly doubled Chester’s lead as he forced Deasy into an outstretched diving save. Heathcote elbowed Hannah as he attempted to make a run forward towards goal – with referee Stephen Ross blowing up for a free kick. The Blues midfielder fired a thunderbolt from 30 yards out which made Deasy palm the ball for safety – the first effort the Alty keeper had to make for the first half.
The Blues doubled their lead in first half added time as Astles scored his first goal for the Blues. Hughes headed the ball down from a corner which was caught up in a melee of Altrincham, but step forward Ryan Astles who tapped the ball into the back of the net from inside the six yard box.
There were only forty seconds on the clock for the second half when the Blues were awarded a penalty as Chapell was shoved to the floor when he was through on goal. Hannah stepped up to take the spot kick but blasted the ball over the crossbar.
The Blues looked to seal all three points with Hannah making amends for his earlier error to score Chester’s third. O’Brien whipped in a corner from the right which reached Hannah, who, on his fourth attempt, bundled the ball into the back of the net.
Thompson ensured he kept a clean sheet on his full Chester debut with an impeccable save to deny Lawrie from giving Alty a late consolation. The Blues keeper used superb strength following an effort by the Altrincham winger to palm the ball away for a corner.
Chester: Thompson, O’Brien (Higgins 85), Chapell, Sharps, Astles, Heneghan, Rooney, Hughes, Lloyd, Hannah (Alabi 90), Mahon (Richards 90). Subs: Worsnop, Hunt.
Goals: O’Brien (26), Astles (45+2), Hannah (76)
Attendance: 1442 (241 away)