Nine goals conceded and three straight defeats tells its own story and Chester FC must stop gifting opponents goals or else the battle the survival will become increasingly desperate.

Cheshire neighbours Macclesfield Town exploited the Blues' defensive frailties with three headed goals with the scorer being allowed far too much freedom on each occasion.

Steve Burr's side created enough opportunities to have won the game, but a failure to convert chances and a habit of giving away soft goals do not sit well together and the Silkmen took full advantage.

On this evidence the Blues are not without hope and the impressive John Rooney again kept them ticking in attack, but Burr will know his side must cut out basic errors and become harder to open up and fast.

 

Given the discouraging 3-1 home loss to Welling United on Saturday, it was unsurprising Burr made four changes to his starting line up.

Paul Linwood, Joe Heath, Andy Bond and Gareth Seddon came into the side with Michael Kay and George Miller dropping to the bench, Ross Killock out through suspension and Kevin McIntyre injured.

Macc boss John Askey fielded ex-Chester City forward Chris Holroyd and winger Jack Mackreth, who had a loan spell with the Blues in 2011.

Despite between 200 and 250 visiting supporters queuing for tickets outside the stadium, the game kicked off on time and the hosts shaded the opening exchanges.

Left winger Peter Winn smashed an effort from distance out of the ground and George Horan did well to turn away a dangerous Danny Andrew free kick before Jamie Reed saw his shot blocked for the visitors.

Macc lost Carl Martin to injury early on with Andy Halls replacing the centre half as both sides struggle to carve out openings in the opening 15 minutes.

On 19 minutes the first real goalscoring opportunity arrived and Gareth Seddon finished clinically to slot the Blues in front.

Taylor threaded the ball between defenders and Seddon allowed the pass to roll into his path before steering beyond keeper Rhys Taylor for his fifth goal of the season.

Unfortunately the lead lasted only three minutes as the Blues backline failed to deal with an Andrew cross and Scott Boden stole in to nod past John Danby from three yards out.

Seconds later Seddon thought he had restored the visitors lead but his 'goal' was chalked out for offside. Rhys Taylor spilled a long range Rooney strike straight to Seddon who put the ball into the net but assistant referee David McNamara raised his flag.

Following that frenetic four-minute spell, the game settled down into an even contest with both sides enjoying good spells of possession.

Macc took the lead for the first time on 34 minutes as the Blues paid the price for more slack defending as Steve Williams was allowed too much room six yards out head home a Peter Winn free kick.

Rooney was off target with a half volley from the edge of the area before the visitors had a second 'goal' ruled out for offside.

Rooney curled a free kick into the six yard box and Linwood stooped to head home but once again Mr McNamara flagged despite the central defender seeming to be onside.

Burr's side created the better chances but were unable to take advantage with Reed sending a snap shot wide and Linwood fluffing his lines when allowed a free header from a Rooney corner.

Macc ended the half on top with Danby punching clear another wicked Andrew free kick and the just about managing to keep the ball out from another set piece on the half time whistle.

Craig Mahon replaced Jason Jarrett - who came close to picking up a second yellow after an early booking - as the game restarted.

Rooney caused no end of problems for the hosts with his set pieces all night and Reed headed his free kick over from 10 yards out as the first chance of the second half fell to the visitors.

But the home side were next to strike as the visitors' inability to deal with balls into the box again cost them. Mackreth whipped the ball in from the right wing and Holroyd headed home from close range to punish his former club.

Burr made a double change as the Blues looked to get back into the contest with debutant Matty Mainwaring and Kay replacing Reed and Horan, who was nursing an injury.

Macc were now in control and Holroyd wasted another chance on the hour mark as the visitors struggled to match the first half performance.

Linwood deflected a Scott Boden strike wide and Macc had a 'goal' rightly disallowed for a foul on Danby before the Blues managed to create a couple of half chances, with Mahon just failing to connect with a through ball and Lewis Turner having a shot blocked.

Macc were growing in confidence as the game wore on and the visitors began to labour as the wind picked up and the rain began to fall.

Seddon steered wide from close range and Mainwairing was off target with an effort from distance and the hosts appeared to be cruising to victory before Rooney set up a tense finale with a splendid hooked finish into the top corner with two minutes left.

Burr's men pushed hard in search of an equaliser but Seddon lifted the best chance over from six yards out and the hosts held on for the points.

Macclesfield Town: Taylor, Martin (Halls 6), Connor, Williams, Andrew, Mackreth, Whittaker, Kay, Winn, Boden (Fairhurst 84), Holroyd (Lewis 90).

Subs: Rowe, Gnahoua.

Goals: Boden 22, Williams 33, Holroyd 53.

Booked: Andrew.

Chester FC: Danby, Turner, Horan (Kay 57), Linwood, Heath, Bond, Jarrett (Mahon 45), Rooney, Taylor, Seddon, Reed (Mainwaring 57).

Subs: Fearon, Miller.

Goal: Seddon 19, Rooney 88.

Booked: Jarrett.

Referee: Paul Rees (Somersert)

Attendance: 1,771.