Chester FC crashed out of the FA Cup at the fourth qualifying round stage with a 1-0 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday.

Damien Reeves' strike early in the second-half proved the difference between the teams at Moss Lane but the Blues could have no complaints after a disappointing performance.

READ: Jim Green's verdict on the defeat at Moss Lane

Ross Hannah twice brought good saves out of Robins keeper Tim Deasy, who also saved well from substitute Tom Peers, but the hosts had chances too with George Bowerman guilty of wasting two clear-cut scoring opportunities.

The cup exit coupled with Chester's inconsistent form in the National League, means the club must now focus on the FA Trophy and, more importantly, finding some consistency week in, week out to enable them to climb the table

READ: FA Cup failure at Altrincham leaves Steve Burr 'bitterly disappointed'

Here's three things The Chronicle's Jim Green believes the defeat showed us:

The squad requires a reshape

An obvious statement it might be, but the Blues can't continue in this vein. There has been the occasional chink of light but overall the 2015-16 season has been a let-down. Different formations and selections have been tried, yet there's been no discernible improvement and hopes of bettering last term's 12th place finish are fading fast.

It was clear from the outset having such a small squad would be a risk and a combination of injuries - even one or two can have an impact when there's so little depth - and disappointing individual performances with no serious competition for places has been damaging.

The defence is the area requiring least attention but there's a serious work required elsewhere. The absence of Luke George has had a crushing effect because neither John Rooney or Tom Shaw - both good footballers - can compensate for his defensive strengths, and in Ross Hannah there's a striker screaming out for a reliable partner in attack.

Given the budget is so tight, bringing in the right players at the right price will be far from straightforward and those on the fringes could find themselves ushered towards the exit door.

Kane Richards could be one of those players running out of time to convince Steve Burr he has a long-term future
Kane Richards could be one of those players running out of time to convince Steve Burr he has a long-term future

Creative spark needs reigniting

Controversial point this one given he was a player who divided opinion on the terraces, but are the Blues missing Sean McConville?

While he could go missing in games from time to time, the attacking midfielder was the man floating between the lines of midfield and attack last season and there's no-one doing that this term.

McConville's intelligent movement, his skill at finding open space and his quick use of the ball when in possession gave the team an extra edge that's been lost with his departure to Accrington Stanley.

John Rooney has taken up the mantle but with Luke George out of the side, he's had defensive duties on his mind and is perhaps more effective in a deeper playmaking role than behind the forwards.

George should be back for this weekend meaning Rooney will be free to concentrate more on creating chances and getting the team rolling forward, and the need for someone to do that was all too evident at Moss Lane.

Has the departure of Sean McConville left the Blues short on creativity?
Has the departure of Sean McConville left the Blues short on creativity?

The referee deserves credit for admitting his mistake

Had the penalty awarded to Altrincham on 67 minutes been allowed to stand, Richard Wigglesworth would have surpassed Simon Cowell's inclusion of Bupsi in his final three on X Factor for the weekend's worst decision.

Both decisions defied belief but at least Mr Wigglesworth had an assistant brave enough to tell him he'd got it wrong and in fairness to the Doncaster-based official, he held his hands up, apologised and corrected his error.

Even from the press box at rear of the Main Stand, it was clear Jon Worsnop had got to the ball well before Simon Richman and it was no wonder the goalkeeper was so livid when the referee pointed to the spot because the letter of the law said he was heading down the tunnel too.

It had no bearing on the result but not enough officials are willing to admit mistakes so it was refreshing to see one willing to do so.