CHRIS TATE, a surprise selection ahead of leading scorer Ryan Sugden, emerged as Chester's match-winning hero as they dumped second division Colchester out of the FA Cup.
The on-loan 25-year-old Leyton Orient player delivered the knockout blow with a stunning strike seven minutes from time.
He spun in the penalty box to rifle home from a Scott Guyett header following a right wing cross.
Frankly it was a lot easier for Chester than the scoreline suggests. Struggling Colchester were outplayed for long spells and only some brilliant goalkeeping by Simon Brown kept rampant City at bay.
Brown made a string of spectacular saves as Colchester's defence was stretched to its limits.
By contrast Chester keeper Wayne Brown was only twice seriously in the action. In the second minute he had to tip over a 25-yard effort from Sam Stockley and late on pushed away a 20-yard shot from Thomas Pinault.
All through it was Chester who looked the League side. They gradually gained midfield control and with skipper Phil Bolland and Ben Davies inspirational figures, they were always dangerous, especially from set pieces.
Twice Bolland headers brought fine saves from Brown, the second a desperate blocking effort with Joey Keith finally clearing off the line. At the outset of the second half Colchester did produce their one spasm of positive attacking and following their best move of the match, Scott McGleish back-heeled a fine opening for Kevin Rapley and Kevin McIntyre's late tackle was vital.
But Chester were soon back as an attacking force and twice the busy Tate was close to scoring, knocking a right foot shot inches wide and then coming up with a surprise 25-yard lob that looked a goal all the way until Brown arched back to make a spectacular tip over.
Brown then sprawled full length to deny substitute Micky Brown, but was finally beaten by Tate's late winner which sparked off jubilant Chester celebrations.
Boss Mark Wright said: "We did our home work very well and the fact that their keeper was the man of the match tells it all."
CHESTER: W Brown, Guyett, Bolland, Hatswell, Brady (M Brown 55), Carey, Carden, Davies, McIntyre, Clare (Blakckburn 89), Tate (Ruffer 89). Subs: Sugden, Beesley.
Referee: S G Tomlin (Sussex)