KEVIN Ellison celebrated his 29th birthday by scoring twice as the Blues registered their long-awaited first win of 2008 yesterday.
The winger – back in the side after missing four games through suspension and injury – bagged a well-taken brace to put Mansfield to the sword and ease City’s relegation fears.
The Stags took the lead in first-half injury time through John Mullins, who rose unchallenged to head home Matt Hamshaw’s right-wing corner.
But the half-time introduction of Chris Holroyd – on for the injured Paul Butler – turned the game on its head as Chester battled back strongly.
Richie Partridge’s cross from the left allowed Ellison to head in the equaliser on 57 minutes, then a foul by Jefferson Louis on Paul Linwood in the area gave City the chance to go ahead from the penalty spot. Midfielder Tony Dinning kept a cool head and stroked his 73rd-minute kick into the bottom corner.
A hard-earned away win was sealed in stoppage time when Holroyd fed the ball into Ellison, allowing the birthday boy to turn and curl a superb shot into the far corner of Carl Muggleton’s net.
The result ended Chester’s barren run of 12 League Two fixtures without a win.
Mansfield: Muggleton, Jelleyman (Brown 81), Buxton, Mullins, Briggs, Atkinson, Dawson, D'Laryea, Hamshaw, Louis, M Boulding. Subs: White, McAliskey, Holmes, Wood.
Booked: Dawson, Buxton.
Goal: Mullins 45.
Chester: Danby, Wilson, Linwood, Butler (Holroyd 46), J Vaughan, Ellison, Dinning, Roberts, Hughes, Partridge, Murphy. Subs: Palethorpe, Sandwith, Grant, S Vaughan.
Goals: Ellison 57, Dinning 72 pen, Ellison 90.
Referee: David Foster (Tyne & Wear).