A BATTLING display from Chester was undone in an eight-minute spell towards the end of the second half as League One side Millwall booked their ticket to the second round of the FA Cup.
For most of the game Chester matched Millwall both physically and in front of goal. Kenny Jackett's Lions predictably contested every ball strongly, but the Blues were not muscled out of the game.
Damien Mozika created perhaps the best chance of the first half, when his looping diagonal ball rose over Mark Hughes' head and dropped for Ryan Lowe, who lifted the ball over the oncoming Millwall keeper David Forde but also over the crossbar.
Mozika did not last until half time however. Ali Fuseini caught the French midfielder in the face while attempting a overhead kick on 27 minutes and five minutes later a second clattering for Mozika left him clearly dazed.
The injury allowed Simon Davies to introduce Laurence Wilson at left back and push Anthony Barry into his preferred central midfield role and the Blues did not suffer for the change, still making life difficult for the visitors and creating their own opportunities.
After the break Milwall were much more purposeful and Chester found themselves clinging on at times. The Blues still created some great opportunities, a free kick from Lowe causing chaos in the Millwall box before Kevin Roberts fired over.
Kevin Ellison, one of the players rated doubtful for this game, did not look 100%. His contribution was committed but he was not the marauding prescence Chester fans have come to expect, a fact highlighted when a one two with Lowe presented him with a golden opportunity which he popped into the keepers arms.
The breakthrough came on 75 minutes. A Millwall corner was played short to Chris Hackett, who whipped the ball over for Neil Harris to flick on and Lewis Grabban, who should have received a second yellow card for a harsh challenge on Wilson minutes earlier, bundled it over the line.
In the 83rd minute Harris made it two. Grabban lifted the ball over on the break and Harris took a touch before powering his shot past John Danby, who played well despite his groin injury.
Chester's heads dropped and in the third minute of added time Ashley Grimes added the finishing touch, breaking through to complete the win.
Chester: Danby, J Vaughan, Barry, Roberts (Rutherford 84), Linwood, Ellison, Hughes, Mozika (Wilson 32), Harris, Johnson, Lowe. Subs: Kelly, Rule, McManus, Mitchell, Williams.
Referee: Richard Beeby