Football can be a cruel game at times.
Chester FC did more than enough to bag maximum points from their trip to high-flying Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, outplaying their hosts for much of the contest.
It was one of Chester's best peformances of the season and there were plenty of impressive displays that warranted far more than was gleaned from the visit to Victoria Road.
Here's how they rated.
Liam Roberts – 7/10
Kept his place in between the sticks and saved a first-half penalty from Oliver Hawkins. Almost saved a second penalty and looked more confident than he did at Dover seven days previous.
Johnny Hunt – 7/10
Sent off for handball, yes, but Hunt's peformance for the previous 85 minutes was solid and he provided plenty of strength behind Evan Horwood.
Theo Vassell – 7/10
Another good performance from the returning Vassell, providing an outlet going forward as well as toughness and tenacity at the back.
Ryan Astles – 7/10
Put himself on the line plenty of times and did well to limit the effectiveness of the physicality of Hawkins up front for the Daggers.
Blaine Hudson – 7/10
Battled well throughout but was guilty of giving away the first penalty and lucky to not have given away another late on. Looked comfortable for long period, though, as Chester repelled the Daggers.
Evan Horwood – 8/10
An excellent display from Horwood, who operated on the left hand side of midfield. His delivery was superb all afternoon and his efforts to get in a cross for the leveller when the ball looked to be heading out typified the Chester performance.
Luke George – 8/10
Probably his best game in a Chester shirt since arriving. Won all his battles in midfield, got a goal and was up for it from the start. A real captain's performance.
Wade Joyce – 7/10
Included owing to Ryan Lloyd's illness, Joyce had his best game for the club and provided real security in midfield that allowed Elliott Durrell, Horwood and Tom Shaw to roam into advanced positions. He should take some real confidence from this display.
Elliott Durrell – 7/10
Buzzed around the pitch always looking to be a thorn in the side of the Daggers and he was a constant threat, wanting the ball all the time. A few rasping efforts troubled Elliott Justham in the home goal.
Tom Shaw – 8/10
Operating in a more advanced role than usual, Shaw was a real force going forward and did well to support the efforts of a lone striker in James Alabi. Great finish to make it 2-1.
James Alabi – 8/10
Up front on his own, Alabi demonstrated just how far he has progressed as he made a nuisance of himself throughout and occupied the Daggers back line. Carried a goal threat and his hard work allowed for space to open up for Shaw, Horwood, George and Durrell.
Danny O'Brien (on for Durrell – 90 minutes)
No time for the new signing to make any impact.
Sam Hughes (on for Horwood – 75 minutes)
A return to action after a month and he looked sharp enough for the final 15 minutes, operating in the centre of midfield until Hunt's dismissal, moving to full-back after that.
Referee: Alan Young – 6/10
Probably right with the penalty calls, certainly the hand ball, and had no choice but to send Hunt off. How he found six minutes of added time, though, is a mystery.
Atmosphere - 6/10
The Blues fans, as they always do, travelled well and gave plenty of vocal backing to their team. But the atmopshere from a home point of view was pretty flat, surprising for a team that is battling for promotion.
Entertainment valued – 9/10
A game that pretty much had it all, aside from a deserved three points for Chester, that is.
An enthralling game with plenty of flashpoints, it was a good advert for the National League and demonstrated just how much quality is at this level.