Chester FC moved up to seventh in the Vanarama National League standings after taking a hard-earned point.

But Jon McCarthy was left to rue two big penalty calls from the officials after leading marksman James Alabi put his side in front with a stunning strike.

Unchanged Chester arrived at a chilly Nethermoor full of confidence after back-to-back 3-0 victories.

But they were put firmly on the back foot in the opening stages by a fired-up Guiseley team chasing their fifth win in their last six home league matches.

Lively left-winger Jordan Preston teed up on-loan Leeds United midfielder Alex Purver for a shot which Alex Lynch saved comfortably before Will Hatfield headed over an inviting cross from captain Danny Lowe.

At the other end Craig Mahon skewed an effort wide after finding space between the lines while a brave block denied Alabi a shooting opportunity after he latched on to a flick-on from Sam Hughes.

But, after Preston stung the hands of Lynch from distance, and Ryan Astles and Blaine Hudson made important blocks, the in-form forward was not to be denied in the 29th minute.

A Blues corner was cleared downfield to skipper Tom Shaw, who pumped the ball back toward the box where Hudson headed it down to Alabi.

And, in a crowded penalty area, he showed strength, athleticism and awareness to send a superb overhead kick into the bottom corner.

It was Alabi's fourth goal in four games and his seventh of the season, moving him clear of Shaw and Kane Richards at the top of Chester's scoring charts.

But the Lions responded strongly and Hudson did brilliantly to put off Preston when clean through after initially being beaten for pace.

Guiseley did, however, restore parity in the 52d minute after Johnny Hunt was adjudged to have tripped Connor Brown in the box.

Hunt was incensed, arguing with some justification that he had not touched the Lions right-back.

But Simon Walton kept his cool to send Lynch the wrong way from the spot.

Martin Coy should have evened things up in the 67th minute when Mahon was seemingly felled in the area by Brown.

But, to rub further salt into the wounds, he waived away the strong appeals.

That was a rare foray forward from the visitors who were thankful for further fine defending from the excellent Hudson, who blocked behind a Jake Cassidy shot and then cleared off the line from Purver after Lynch had come racing out of his goal.

Blues boss McCarthy made two changes and his second substitution, Jordan Chappell, should have done better than slice the ball wide after he was played in by Shaw.

But it was the hosts who went closest to winning it, Danny East seeing an effort deflect inches past the post and Lynch saving smartly from former Airbus UK Broughton striker Cassidy, who was also denied a clear attempt at goal by a magnificent, last-ditch Astles challenge.


It is understood that Coy apologised to McCarthy after the match about his decision to award Guiseley the penalty from which they earned their point. On second viewing he will also know he should have pointed to the spot at the other end.

But were Chester robbed? Not really.

Guiseley are a better side than their lowly placing suggests and they fully deserved a share of the spoils from what was a tough encoutner.

The Blues were not at their best.

But this team just does not like getting beat – that's just one defeat in 16 league outings now – and this should go down as a good point.


Blaine Hudson: Helped create Alabi's wonderful opener and he was a tower of strength at the back.


Guiseley: Maxted, Brown, Lowe, Hatfield, Palmer, Preston, Purver, East, Walton, Atkinson (Williams 18), Cassidy. Subs not used: Boyes, Rankine, Wesolowski, Logan.

Booked: Purver, Lowe.

Goal: Walton 52pen.

Chester: Lynch, Hughes, Hudson, Astles, Hunt, Durrell, Shaw, Lloyd, Mahon (Chappell 75), Richards (Joyce 62), Alabi. Subs not used: Marsh, Waters, George.

Goal: Alabi 29.

Referee: Martin Coy.

Attendance: 957.