Ross Thorpe hailed defensive colossus Ryan Astles following Chester FC ’s 1-0 win over Solihull Moors at the weekend.

One of the most consistent performers for the Blues during the past two seasons, 23-year-old Astles put in an accomplished display in the win over fellow relegation strugglers Moors.

Astles took on the mantle of senior professional as he helped 18-year-old James Jones through his first taste of senior football while Myles Anderson was in the starting line-up for his home debut for the club.

And assistant manager Thorpe wasn’t surprised to see Astles leading by example once again.

“Ryan Astles since we have walked through the door of this football club has got better and better and better every week,” he said.

“Whether it has been his own individual performance - he has scored some really important crucial goals for us - and with the changes made (Saturday) I thought it was an accomplished performance from someone who, at 23 years of age, was captaining the side for the first or second time and he lead that back line and was excellent, as were the two lads either side of him.

“He adds a lot of value, Ryan Astles. And it’s not just defending, he adds a lot of value in both boxes. If you look at some of the goals he has scored this season, he is a threat. At 6ft 4ins, he is a threat, and he has got to be a threat in there. He offers us something different.”

“After we conceded (against Solihull) we had two or three free kicks and corners against us and he headed everything away again there. Against Liam Daly, who has got to be one of the biggest players in this lead, second half he was outstanding.”

Chester are back in action this weekend when they take a break from National League action to host AFC Fylde in the FA Trophy first round on Saturday.

The Coasters are set for a busy week in the build up to the clash as they travel to Wigan Athletic for their FA Cup second round replay this evening.