ONE piece of defensive slackness near the end of the game consigned Chester to a Coca-Cola League Two defeat that ,on the balance of play, they didn't deserve.
City controlled the match for long periods, but the old failing in front of goal was again their downfall.
Grimsby should have been well beaten when Martin Gritton regis-tered the winner after 81 minutes, but yet again Chester failed to turn territorial advantage into goals, and that is extremely worrying as other teams near the bottom of League Two begin to pick up points.
The first half was played in the teeth of a swirling snowstorm, with only Rudolf, Donner and Blitzen missing from the wintry East Coast scene.
Chester were far the better side in this opening 45 minutes, Michael Brown should have connected with a cross from Davies after just three minutes, and O'Neill shot just wide of the upright when an effort on target would surely have garnered a better result.
City appealed for a penalty after 15 minutes when Hope appeared to be bundled over in the Grimsby area by Ramsden, however referee Mr Miller waved play on.
Towards the end of the period Foy brought out a save from Williams, and O'Neill shot wide of the upright from the edge of the area.
Chester's best chance of the game came after 54 minutes, when Carden set Foy free but his effort went narrowly wide of the post.
After 59 minutes Grimsby made a double substitution bringing on Pinault and former Tranmere player Andy Parkinson, and this had the effect of making the home side into a more potent force.
Parkinson was quickly into the action taking advantage of a mistake by Hessey and shooting just over from 18 yards.
After 81 minutes the hammer blow came. Parkinson beat Hessey down the Grimsby right, his cross to the far post was missed by the City central defenders and the onrushing Gritton had a simple job to score from close range.
This was Grimsby's first victory in four attempts at home, and on this showing you can understand why. Unfortunately Chester were unable to capitalise against a side who patently are lacking in confidence.
There were a couple of positives that came out of the game -Ashley Sestanovich looked competent on the left of midfield, while Foy showed flashes of class. It was just a pity that he didn't have a partner up front who could have taken advantage of his vision.
Chester are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Gay Meadow to face another of the struggling teams, Shrewsbury Town. It now turns this game into a crucial match for both sides.
GRIMSBY TOWN: Williams, Forbes, Bull, Ramsden, Crowe (Parkinson 59), Coldicott, Hockless (Pinault 59), Reddy, Whittle, Fleming, Gritton. Subs: Crane, Downey, Jones.
CHESTER CITY: W Brown, Davies, Elokobi, Hope, Hessey, Drummond, Carden, M Brown, Sestanovich, O'Neill (Booth 79), Foy. Subs: Mackenzie, Atieno, Vaughan, Walsh. REFEREE: Mr Nigel Miller (Co Durham). ATT: 3,144.