Chester slumped to a fifth straight loss with a 5-2 defeat in the hands of Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.
Quite magnificently, the Blues hadn’t lost a final away game in five seasons – with the last defeat coming in the Evo-Stik North winning season over five years ago. But, the nervy start could have trumped this impressive stat.
Poor efforts in midfield lead to Nicky Bailey instigating Sutton’s opening goal of the afternoon. A break away from the United midfield ended at the feet of Adam Coombes – who placed a superb strike into the top corner with thanks to a slight deflection.
Within a matter of minutes, the hosts doubled their advantage through Adam May. The on-loan Portsmouth midfielder was gifted acres of space along the right flank, before shaping up to blast a fizzing effort beyond Alex Lynch.
Ryan Lloyd gave Chester their best chance of a comeback with a rasping shot inches over the crossbar. The Blues’ Port Vale-loanee weaved between the United defence, but couldn’t get his strike on target.
Sutton made it three before the break – and in excellent fashion courtesy of Jamie Collins. United’s captain lead by example, curling in a sublime free-kick into the top corner – following a questionable foul by Sam Hughes on the edge of the area.
Just moments into the second half, Sutton mirrored the score line of the Blues’ victory back in November. Naivety along the Chester right hand side invited an inch perfect cross in towards the back post for Coombes to nod home his second of the encounter.
It got from bad to worse for the Blues – as Nicky Bailey made it five for the home side. A strike from distance, unchallenged by some stagnant defending was hit well and low into Lynch’s far post.
James Alabi pulled back a consolation goal with less than ten minutes to play – after a terrible mistake from Will Puddy. The on-loan Bristol Rovers keeper rushed off his line – but Alabi nipped in behind the United loanee to fire home from a tight angle.
Within the space of five minutes, Alabi netted his second after some slack defending. The Blues striker used his strength to get the better of Collins to tuck the ball underneath Puddy – from just outside the six-yard box.
Sutton United: Puddy, Beckwith (Spence 69), John, Collins, May, Eastmond, Bailey, Monakana (Jebb 62), Biamou (Dundas 64), Coombes, Cadogan.
Subs not used: Gomis, Brown.
Chester: Lynch, Vassell, Hughes (Joyce 59), Astles, George, Dawson (Hunt 46), Shaw, Lloyd, Durrell, Alabi, Akintunde (Davies 74).
Subs not used: Roberts, Waters.
Referee: Christopher O’Donnell