Chester’s four match unbeaten run came to an end this afternoon at Gateshead in an entertaining encounter.
The Seals had battled back in the first half after going two down early on to strikes from Adam Campbell and Cedwyn Scott, as George Glendon and Darren Stephenson had levelled it up.
But a second Campbell goal early in the second half and a Greg Olley header meant the high flying Heed took the points, despite Declan Weeks’ late penalty.
Steve Watson made one change from the victory over Guiseley 14 days ago, as Rob Apter returned from Scotland U19 duty to replace the injured Kevin Roberts in the side.
Gateshead had the first chance of the game early on. Macualay Langstaff spun in behind initially, feeding Robbie Tinkler out wide. His cross found the unmarked Taylor Charters at the back post who fired wide.
The Heed, the leading scorers in the division, were showing their attacking threat early on. Captain Olley fired one wide of the post, before Louis Gray was called into action at his near post to deny Jack Hunter.
And then their dominance paid off with two goals in the blink of an eye.
First, Filip Marschall’s long kick downfield went over the head of Simon Grand, which saw Campbell through on goal to score.
Then, a matter of seconds later, a cross from the right enabled the free Scott to slide home his 23rd league goal of the season and double the advantage.
Chester looked to respond and continued to play. Matt Sargent’s surging run through midfield and then pass gave Apter an opportunity, but Marschall was equal to his effort.
Scott really should have put the hosts three up just beyond the half hour mark when he made space for himself inside the box following Campbell’s pass, but the forward drilled it wide.
Nevertheless, Watson’s side refused to lie down and were level before the break.
Their first goal was somewhat fortuitous as the skipper Glendon exchanged passes with Stephenson before lobbing a cross into the back of the net.
Seconds later, Weeks drove into the box and was through, but denied by Marschall at the near post.
Then suddenly, on 43 minutes, it was all square. Grand’s ball forward was flicked on by Weeks for Stephenson – who kept composed and fired into the bottom corner to make it level at the break.
Mike Williamson’s side got back in front just after the break though. Another ball over the top found the run of Campbell, who did brilliantly to cut inside and fire low into the bottom corner.
The game settled down for a quarter of an hour with substitutes slowing the flow of the match, before on 68 minutes Apter cut inside and curled an excellent effort which clipped the outside of the post.
But then the hosts made it safe late on as Campbell crossed for the unmarked Olley who, despite the best efforts of Gray, was able to generate enough power to get his header over the line.
However, the yellows had another goal late on – showing their spirit – as Weeks was fouled inside the box and converted the resulting penalty.
CHESTER: Gray, Waters, Burke, Grand, Fitzpatrick, Sargent (Roache 58), Weeks, Glendon (Simmonds 70), Apter, Dackers (Griffiths 63), Stephenson.
SUBS NOT USED: Horsfield, Williams.
SCORERS: Campbell 14 & 51, Scott 15, Olley 84; Glendon 36, Stephenson 43, Weeks (pen) 90+2.
ATTENDANCE: 1,314 (78 away).