A late goal saw the Blues lose at home for the first time in the league this season, as Gateshead snatched all three points at the Deva.
Sub Macaulay Langstaff fired home the winner in what was a much improved second half from Chester – Simon Grand drawing them level after Jordan Preston’s opener in an opening 45 the Heed were well on top of.
Despite Gateshead’s first half authority, it was the Blues that had the first big chance.
A well-worked free kick was played into the path of Danny Elliott by Declan Weeks, but the forward’s effort at the near post was turned behind by Harrison Male.
The Heed took the lead on 12 minutes, and the hosts would have been disappointed with the manner of it. Alex Nicholson’s throw in from the left found the unmarked Preston, who let the ball run across his body before firing beyond Louis Gray.
One almost became two just a few minutes later as a well moved counter attack ended with Ged Garner sliding in the run of left wing back George Smith, his shot was beaten away by Gray.
Chester had a decent spell midway through the half, and twice went close to levelling. First, the skipper George Glendon found space and let fly from 25 yards – forcing Male into a fingertip save. Then, from Weeks’ corner, the ball dropped kindly inside the area for Paddy Lacey – but his shot was well blocked on the line by a defender.
Mike Williamson’s side certainly finished the 45 the stronger though, and went very close on the stroke of the break as Danny Greenfield’s volley whistled past Gray’s left hand post.
But the Blues flew out of the traps in the second half, and were much the stronger of the teams. They were rewarded with an equaliser just seven minutes into the half.
A quick free kick saw Dudley feed Glendon on the left, he cut back and put a cross on a plate for Grand to glance home.
After the hour mark Dudley then almost set up Elliott, the Blues forward being slid in behind on the left, but the angle was against him and Male made the stop at the near post.
Just a few moments later Preston almost made it a brace as his quick reflex header from a rebounding ball following a corner was clawed over the bar by Gray.
Following a scrappy period of play in which the game looked destined to end level, an unfortunate mistake from Grand proved costly. A backpass from the Blues defender was intercepted by the pace of Langstaff, who did brilliantly to swivel and fire into the net first time.
Chester piled on the pressure in stoppage time to try and get back level, and almost did when Elliott connected with Glendon’s clip into the box – but Male was equal to the effort.
CHESTER: Gray, K Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Morgan, Lacey (Hughes 89), Weeks, Glendon, Johnston (Waring 77), Elliott, Dudley (Goodwin 77).
SUBS NOT USED: G Roberts, Bauress.
SCORERS: Grand 52; Preston 12, Langstaff 86.