Classy Chester show their title credentials to sink City
A PROFESSIONAL performance from Blue Square Bet North's champions-elect Chester FC saw Gloucester City defeated at the Exacta Stadium.
A first-half strike from Tony Gray and an unlucky own goal by Tigers defender Tom Hamblin saw the league leaders remain 16 points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet North.
The Tigers had only a few sights of goal during the game as the Blues showed why they are the best side in the division.
However, a huge highlight for City fans was the re-introduction of midfielder Darren Mullings into the first team.
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The 26-year-old had been injured since September with a dislocated shoulder and could finally make his 100th appearance for the club.
It was the home side that made the breakthrough early after a searching ball from Matty McGinn found Gray who chipped his effort over Mike Green to send Chester into the lead.
The Tigers were determined to make a fight of it and almost equalised after Lewis Hogg had headed Danny Andrew's deep cross into the danger area where Darren Edwards forced John Danby to make a smart save.
Chester's lead was doubled just before half-time after a wicked ball from McGinn found Gray once again, but the striker's effort cannoned off City defender Hamblin into the back of the net for an unfortunate own goal.
The second half left a lot to be desired, with neither side making any impression on either goal until the final quarter of an hour where Chester injected former Swansea City player Lee Trundle for a starring cameo.
The striker's best attempt was a delicious take down, followed by a chip over Green that agonisingly hit the left post and was cleared away by Sam Rawlings.
The home side hit the woodwork for a second time during stoppage time, when a wild lash from Ashley Williams spun over every player and dinked off the crossbar and away from trouble.
Despite the defeat, the Tigers remain in ninth position, on track for a top-half finish in the Blue Square Bet North for the first time.
Chester FC: J. Lanby, L. Turner, M. McGinn, G. Horan, P. Linwood, N. Turner, D. Hankin (A. Williams 76), A. Sarcevic, N. Jarman (L Trundle 70), T. Gray, D. Williams.
Subs not used: M. Williams, D. Collins, S. Brown.
Gloucester City: MJ. Green, MF. Green, D. Andrew, M. Coupe, T. Hamblin (S Rawlings 51), T. Webb, L. Hogg, J. Harris (D Mullings 72), D. Edwards, M. Liddiard, A. Mann (W Morford 63).
Subs not used: N. Mustoe, C. Holland