CHESTER City and Belgian Premier League side, Cercle Brugge, played out a tetchy and ill-tempered 'friendly' match at the Deva Stadium last night.
City were slightly the more positive of the two sides and with a little more incisiveness in front of goal would have recorded a victory.
However, the game erupted midway through the second period when Brugge player Milenko Milosevic was dismissed for violent conduct and City's Jamie Hand was booked for his part in the incident.
As the game looked to be petering out to a goalless draw the Belgians scored the only goal of the game seven minutes from the end.
Sloppiness in defence allowed Tom de Sutter to fire a shot in from the edge of the box which appeared to take a deflection and wrong-footed City keeper Danby before going into the net.
The only real spark of light in a depressing first period, was an effort from Hand that went narrowly wide of the upright.
In the second half proceedings perked up somewhat and former Macclesfield and Halifax wing-back Kevin Sandwith was unlucky when a free-kick went narrowly wide of the upright.
The Belgians' first real effort came on the hour mark when Mattaeus Feys was just wide after he had taken advantage of a mistake by Paul Linwood.
City introduced trialist Christian Hanson after 69 minutes in place of the hardworking Dave Artell and the 24-year-old former Grays Athletic player impressed in his 20 or so minutes on the field.
The game erupted when Milosevic was dismissed following what appeared to be an errant head-butt against Hand after 72 minutes, with Hand being yellow-carded for his part.
Substitute Lawrence Wilson had a good run 11 minutes from time down the left-flank, he fed Blundell but substitute keeper Velde smothered the effort.
The only goal of the game came after 83 minutes. De Sutter foxing Chester keeper Danby with his deflected effort from 18 yards.
Neither side will really gain any comfort from the match, which left Chester looking for their first victory and their first goal after their two opening pre-season friendlies.
Chester are next in action tomorrow when they travel to visit Cheshire neighbours, Northwich Victoria (kick-off 3pm).
CHESTER CITY: Danby, Rutherford (McSporran 56), Westwood, Artell (Hanson 69), Linwood (Allen 65), Sandwith (Wilson 56), Hand, Hessey, Bennett (Vaughan 65), Walters (Blundell 65), Broughton (Holroyd 70).
REFEREE: Mr Scott Mathieson (Stockport).