Heading into the changing room at the break 2-0 down and having barely had a kick in the first 45 minutes, the floodgates could have opened for Chester FC .
But a battling second half performance did at least restore some pride as the Blues ended up on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline at Sutton United.
Goals from Harry Beautyman, Byron Harrison and Ross Stearn earned three points for the U's, although a James Akintunde strike and a Harry White penalty three minutes from time made for a nervy final moments for the home side, who went top of the National League with the three points.
Defeat leaves Chester now almost doomed to life in the National League North next season.
But Chester boss Marcus Bignot was pleased with the character of his side.
"These players, I am so proud of them," he said.
"They are being competitive but they are not getting results and that is disappointing for them but those kind of facts (only four players in starting 11 came out of playing budget), and we are still able to be competitive, and we have had a run of games against the top teams and we have been competitive. That gives us great confidence going forward."
After a second half where they were second best for much of it, Bignot praised the second half performance of his side.
"The second half they did everything we asked of them and it was a really cruel blow to get that goal (third) against the run of play," said Bignot.
"They could have easily deflated but we kept going, persevered and got ourselves back into it and could have easily got a point at the death."