Chester found their first win in five games with an outstanding 1-0 victory at Southport in the National League.
It is fair to say – neither side looked bright throughout the opening five minutes, compared to the drama of last week’s encounter, but it was the Blues who had the best opportunity. Tom Shaw picked up a brilliant pass from Evan Horwood, before striking his effort from the edge of the area onto the post – leaving Sandgrounders keeper Mangus Norman outstretched and unable.
Chester were without a win in four games – and claimed their last victory in Essex, beating Braintree in early January. And Shaw went close again with a rather tame strike from range – making it easy for Norman between the sticks for the home side.
Kane Richards returned to the starting line-up following a spell out of the side through injury and illness – and wasn’t too far away with minutes left of the first half. A high cross in towards the penalty spot was headed down by the Blues striker, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Southport nearly made the most of a pleated-out Blues attack. Andrai Jones weaved past Astles, before spreading the ball across to on loan Barrow winger Lindon Meikle, only for the ever-present Sam Hughes to clear for a corner.
The Blues took the lead through left back, turned tricky winger Evan Horwood on the 67th minute. Alex Lynch had excellent vision to pick out Horwood – and as he ran through on goal, lobbed Norman from the edge of the box, catching the on-loan Fulham keeper off his line.
Southport: Norman, White, Nolan (McKenna 70), Murray, Allen, Hynes, Jones (Almond 70), Meikle (Grimes 84), Stevenson, McKeown, Higgins.
Subs not used Cundy, Weeks.
Chester: Lynch, George (Vassell 46), Hughes, Astles, Hunt, Shaw (Durrell 55), Joyce, Lloyd, Horwood (Mahon 84), Alabi, Richards.
Subs not used: Roberts, Hudson.
Referee: Martin Coy
Attendance: 1496 (496 away)