Chester FC fell to their third straight defeat in the Vanarama National League as they produced a lacklustre performance in front of the television cameras.

Blaine Hudson had handed Chester the lead in the first half only for Danny Johnson to level and Jordan Burrow won it for the Heed in the second half to put an end to any lingering play-off hopes for the Blues.

Jon McCarthy made one change to the team that lost 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend, opting to bring Sam Hughes in to play at right back in place of the suspended Johnny Hunt.

In front of the BT Sport cameras Chester started brightly and moved the ball around with purpose, asking plenty of questions of the Heed defence.

Tom Shaw fired an effort just wide from 20 yards on seven minutes before he spurned a glorious chance on the 15-minute mark when, picked out by Elliott Durrell, he blasted at James Montgomery from 10 yards when really he should have made the net bulge.

Johnson and Jordan Burrow both went close with angled efforts for Gateshead while Theo Vassell was forced off with an apparent hamstring injury on 26 minutes, replaced by Ryan Lloyd.

Blaine Hudson puts Chester ahead

But it didn't knock Chester out of their stride and they made the breakthrough on 31 minutes.

A corner from Durrell found the head of Ryan Astles whose nodded it back in to the mixer with the ball eventually popping out to the feet of Hudson who had time to set himself and thump an effort past a helpless Montgomery.

But the lead lasted just five minutes when Johnson picked up a loose ball on the right before running at the Blues backline who were all over the place, advancing into the area and firing home, although Liam Roberts really should have done better.

After that it was the visitors who were the stronger of the two sides, although Paddy McLaughlin's effort from 20 yards that flew well over Roberts' goal was all they had to show for their superiority in the final 10 minutes of the half.

After a quiet opening 10 minutes after the interval, James Alabi did superbly well to shrug off Liam Hogan wide on the right, making his way into the area before firing a rising effort just over the crossbar from a narrow angle.

But it was the visitors who would strike the next blow when Burrow found the ball at his feet following some pinball in the area, confidently dispatching the ball past a stranded Roberts for the lead.

Chester failed to produce an instant response and allowed Gateshead the chance to dictate proceedings, with Wes York causing headaches time after time on the left flank and the Blues' passing error strewn across the pitch.

Johnson went close to adding a third with five minutes to go but saw his angled effort well held by Roberts.

But Chester huffed and puffed to no avail in the closing stages and never looked like getting a leveller.

Just one win in 2017 for the Blues now.


Chester FC: Roberts, Vassell (Lloyd 26), Hudson, Astles, Hughes, Shaw, George, Joyce, Durrell, Horwood (Richards 67), Alabi. Subs: Lynch, Chapell, Killock.


Goals: Hudson 31.

Gateshead: Montgomery, Bolton, G Smith, M Smith, Hogan, Fyfield, York, Johnson (Beere 88), Burrow, Mafuta, McLaughlin. Subs: Hanford, Brundle, Bell, Hannant.

Bookings: M Smith, Mafuta, Montgomery.

Goals: Johnson 36, Burrow 62.

Referee: Joseph Johnson.

Attendance: 2,095.


James Alabi: Operating in a lone role up front for much of the contest he carried the fight for Chester going forward.

Displayed his strength and pace to cause plenty of problems for the Gateshead defence and had them frantically backpedalling whenever he picked up the ball.

Deserved more for his efforts.