ON an afternoon when a rank outsider won the Grand National, City defied the odds to end their 18-match winless League Two run with an incredible victory yesterday.
Mark Wright’s men were cruising through David Mannix and Ryan Lowe strikes, but the face of the game changed after John Danby hobbled off in the 87th minute and, with no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, had to be replaced by striker Lowe.
Mike Edwards reduced the deficit for the mid-table Magpies with a minute to spare before they threw everything forward in a bid to snatch what would have been the cruellest of equalisers.
But Chester survived the bombardment to secure a first win since Boxing Day which extends their unbeaten run to four and leaves them just a point behind third-from-bottom Grimsby Town.
“It’s been long overdue these boys getting a victory,” said Blues boss Wright, who felt like “he aged 10 years” after the fourth official indicated there would be seven minutes of injury-time.
“Other clubs have it very, very easy compared to us. We’ve only got four fit lads on the bench, who are all teenagers, and 11 pros out there who are the only ones fit and ready to perform. So to come to a big club like Notts County and get three points is a great achievement.
“All the players and everybody behind the scenes have worked their socks off to get them.”
City’s success was marred, however, by injuries to Danby and left-wingback Laurence Wilson.
Wright is hopeful Wilson will return for Saturday’s home clash with Macclesfield Town (3pm) but he fears Danby will not play again this season.
With the window for loan signings closed and with the club still operating under a transfer embargo, Deva Stadium bosses are now reliant on the Football League granting them special dispensation to bring in a new number one as they have no other senior keepers at their disposal.