Steve Burr said his team were below their best following the 1-1 draw at AFC Telford United in the FA Trophy first round.

Kingsley James gave them the lead on 12 minutes from the spot, slotting past ex-Chester keeper Freddy Hall after Mike Grogan had tripped Craig Mahon.

Chester then tailed off after a strong start and that allowed Telford to draw level on 26 minutes, Jordan Deacey finishing of a neat passing move.

It had been an entertaining first half hour but the longer the game went on, the less of a spectacle it became with the teams negating each other.

Chances were at a premium in a dull second half with Charlie Barnett going close for the home side before Rhys Oates and Tom Peers wasted decent shooting opportunities.

Neither side did enough to win the game so a draw and a replay was the fair outcome, although that did not save Telford manager Liam Watson, who was sacked after the game.

Burr said: “It was a difficult game wasn’t it?

“I was disappointed with the two best chances we had that we didn’t put them away but we’ve got another crack at it.

“We haven’t been at our best but we get a replay out of it and try and progress then.

“It was a tight game and we knew it would be a tough game and there were one or two perhaps not quite at the heights they have been over the last few weeks but you get that.”

 

Chester had made one change to the team that drew in the FA Cup at Barnsley with Oates returning in place of Craig Hobson.

Jon Worsnop, wearing a face mask to protect two fractured bones in his cheek, had a quiet start in goal as the Blues began well.

Sean McConville hit the crossbar before James’ goal and had another great chance on 20 minutes, poking past Hall but wide of the post.

Telford did merit something from the game on balance without creating too much, and the draw means the teams will meet for a fourth time this season.

A date of Monday, December 22 has been announced for the replay which would mean Chester have to play six games in 17 days.

Burr said: “We can’t do anything about that can we and we’re going to have to fit in at some point so we’ll just have to get on with it whenever it is that we play it.

“I thought we started off quite well and got the goal and then just sort of sat on it a bit and you could sense Telford got back in the game and deservedly got the equaliser.”

Up next for the Blues is the FA Cup second round replay with Barnsley at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Matty Brown came off with a knock to the knee at New Bucks Head but the manager hopes his captain will be fit to face the Tykes, in a game being screened on BT Sport.

“We’ve got one or two injuries in there that we’ll have to deal with so we’ll have to look at that but we’ll look forward to that Monday and give it a crack on Tuesday night definitely,” said Burr.