Chester fell to a first league defeat of 2020 this evening in the North East, conceding two second half goals at the Gateshead International Stadium.
The strikes from Jordan Preston and Ruairi Keating were the first league goals the Blues had conceded this year – bringing them to a first defeat in exactly a month in the Vanarama National League North.
Anthony Johnston and Bernard Morley named an unchanged side in the North East following Saturday’s win over Darlington at the 1885 Arena.
It was the newest signing, John Johnston, who went closest in the opening ten after a strong start. He connected with Brad Jackson’s deep cross before firing just wide of the far post.
The Blues moved the ball around confidently and with intent in good spells in the first half – but their cutting edge in the opening 45 wasn’t quite there and they were restricted to two more Johnston shots, both from distance, which Brad James made comfortable saves.
Gateshead’s attacking outlet at the other end was proving to be Jordan Preston, who twice got in behind the defence and into the left side of the penalty area – but Russ Griffiths was equal to his efforts with some confident stops.
Mitch Curry also had some success running behind the Blues backline – he teed up the onrushing Scott Barrow – but again Griffiths made a strong save to deny the Heed skipper.
The home side were much the quicker out the traps to start the second half, having a succession of corners and appeared to have an opportunity when Greg Olley drove into the penalty area after making space for himself – but Danny Livesey made a strong block to deny his shot.
Nevertheless, the opener came 20 minutes into the second half. Barrow cut the ball back from the left after showing excellent vision to find Jordan Preston. He steadied himself on the edge of the box before curling into the bottom corner leaving Griffiths with no chance.
The second goal came ten minutes later. Gateshead’s 11th corner of the game resulted in sub Ruairi Keating heading home inside the six yard box after Olley’s excellent inswinging delivery.
Joint Bosses Bern and Jonno reacted with a triple change, and one of the subs George Glendon set up Taylor moments later – but he lashed a shot across the face of goal with no one able to claim a touch.
Taylor lashed over late on too, with Glendon denied by James with a looping effort and Elton Ngwatala’s effort cleared off the line. It was all in vain, as the hosts held on for their fourth clean sheet on the bounce.
CHESTER: Griffiths, K Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Taylor, Jackson, G Roberts (Glendon 75), Stopforth, Johnston, Dudley (Ngwatala 75), Asante (Hughes 75).
SUBS NOT USED: Burton, Jones.
SCORERS: Preston 65, Keating 75.
ATTENDANCE: 842 (79 away).