Chester moved up to second in the National League North with a gutsy performance and victory over Guiseley.
Kevin Roberts’ sixth minute header proved to be the difference, and the Blues hung on with a determined defensive display after going down to ten men midway through the second half following Simon Grand’s extremely harsh sending off.
Early chances fell at either end at the Deva Stadium in the opening five minutes.
First, Declan Weeks’ cross following a short corner was glanced wide by Connor Taylor – making his full Blues debut.
A matter of moments later, Guiseley full back John Lufudu made a promising burst forward before seeing his deflected drive at the near post strike the woodwork.
Nevertheless, Chester took the lead shortly after. Roberts bagged his first of the campaign, timing his run to perfection to head home Brad Bauress’ deadly inswinging corner.
They had their chances to double the lead. George Glendon struck straight at Brad Wade following neat interchange with Weeks inside the box – before the keeper stopped Anthony Dudley’s unmarked header from Bauress’ cross.
Guiseley had opportunities of their own in the first 45 though, and Louis Gray had to be alert to push behind a decent effort from range from Milan Butterfield.
Stoke City loanee Taylor put in a strong showing on debut, and was well placed in the six yard box to block Kaine Felix’s effort following a long throw from Lebrun Mbeka just before the interval.
Gray was then called into action on 51 minutes when Lufudu’s ball across goal took a wicked ricochet following Roberts’ attempted clearance – but the keeper reacted well to save.
Midway through the second half, the complexion of the game changed dramatically when Bern and Jonno’s men were reduced to ten men.
A contentious decision to say the least from Referee Liam Marshall, brandishing Simon Grand with a straight red for pulling back Felix when it appeared the winger was chasing a ball that was heading towards the corner flag.
Chester now had to be dogged. And they were just that – led by Man of the Match teenager Connor Taylor.
In fact, it looked like the defender had doubled the Blues lead late on when he headed home from Josh Askew’s excellent free kick – but he was penalised for a foul on Hamza Bencherif.
The Seals would hold on to move to within four points of leaders Gloucester City.
CHESTER: Gray, Roberts, Taylor, Grand, Morgan, Johnston (Waring 79), Weeks, Clark, Bauress (Askew 70), Glendon, Dudley (Elliott 90+5).
SUBS NOT USED: Marsh-Hughes, Goodwin.
SCORERS: Roberts 6.