As the Chester FC players applauded the travelling away support the tune of ‘The Great Escape’ could be heard booming from the visiting fans. And who could blame them?
Another gutsy display saw Marcus Bignot’s side earn a valuable point at AFC Fylde after Harry White bagged his second goal in four days to cancel out Danny Rowe’s opener.
And while the task to remain in the National League remains a mammoth one, this was another performance that showed that there is enough desire to carry the fight to the bitter end.
The Blues came into the clash in buoyant mood having earned themselves a vital, and fully deserved, three points in a 1-0 win at Ebbsfleet United on Saturday and were looking to make it back-to-back wins in the National League for over 12 months.
Andy Halls picked up his 10th booking of the season in Kent, though, to bring about a two-match ban with James Jones coming in alongside Ryan Astles.
There was also a spot on the bench for midfielder Gary Roberts after the ex-Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale man had signed a short-term deal with his hometown club earlier in the day.
Chester’s preparation for the game wasn’t ideal, though, after an accident on the M6 saw them held up en route, arriving at about 6.45pm.
Fylde started the game the brighter of the two sides and moved the ball around with pace and purpose, although a Jonny Smith 20-yarder that flashed just wide was the sum of their efforts in the openin 15 minutes while the closest Chester came was a looping Jordan Gough header from a deep Paul Turnbull corner.
The home side have found goals easy to come by this season and they were looking a threat every time they came at the Blues.
But Jordan Tunnicliffe’s skewed effort after picking up a loose ball didn’t trouble Sam Hornby on the half hour mark, with Chester coping well and Jones and Astles looking imposing.
At the other end Chester were also offering a little more with some neat phases of play, but a lack of a killer touch was all too evident.
A Turnbull free kick was played down the line and eventually worked into Harry White who managed to shift it to Jones but he could only sidefoot tamely at Jay Lynch from 15 yards.
Eighteen-year-old Jones was having a fine game and he aided the Blues cause with a crucial header back to Hornby after Sam Finley’s deep cross looked to have been destined for the head of the prolific Danny Rowe.
And Hornby had to be alert to gather an ambitious Jordan Tunnicliffe effort from fully 35 yards at the second attempt.
Chester were looking as organised as they were at Ebbsfleet, certainly defensively. And when Lewis Montrose glanced a Smith free kick wide on the stroke of half time it ensured the Blues went in to the half time break in positive mood.
HALF TIME: AFC FYLDE 0 CHESTER 0
Chester started the second half on the front foot and had the first chance of the half when a Turnbull corner found Astles whose stabbed first-time effort was held by Lynch.
At the other end Astles lost possession on the halfway line and Finley broke clear, finding Smith in the box who saw his near post effort saved well by Hornby.
It was now an open game and the Blues now started to ask more questions of the Fylde backline.
Kingsley James saw a cross clip the crossbar and find its way to Lucas Dawson whose attempt to rifle home the loose ball cannoned off a Fylde defender and out for a Blues corner.
But the Coasters had the lead on 54 minutes, and it was that man Rowe who got it.
The in-form striker rose and profited from some slack marking to glance a Finley corner beyond the outstretched arm of a diving Hornby and into the corner of the net.
But Chester didn’t let their heads go down and went about restoring parity but struggled to find inroads in the home defence and Blues boss Bignot opted to sacrifice a midfielder for a striker with Ross Hannah coming on for Turnbull.
And Hannah played a part in helping the visitors draw level on 69 minutes.
A dreadful header back to his goalkeeper from 20 yards out from Simon Grand only reached an unmarked Hannah who tried to go around Lynch but saw the ball scrambled as far as White who slammed home into an empty net from the edge of the box for his second goal in as many games.
Fylde boss Dave Challinor was less than impressed with the mistake and sent a number of drinks bottles hurtling down the players tunnel.
But his side looked to respond and substitute Serhat Tasdemir forced a fine diving save from Hornby minutes later before Finley curled an effort wide from distance as Fylde pressed hard.
But that high line left them exposed on 78 minutes when James won the ball on the corner of his own box before setting White free, with the goal scorer passing to Hannah who quickly switched to a breaking Akintunde. But the ball got caught under the strikers feet before he managed to shift it to Reece Hall-Johnson whose near post effort was saved by Lynch and, eventually, cleared.
The Blues were soaking up pressure and trying to get out quickly when they could, and a Hannah free kick wasn’t too far away with eight minutes left, flying just over from 25 yards.
A good number of Blues fans had made the trek to Mill Farm and they were in fine voice as they attempted to roar their side down the home stretch.
As the fourth official held aloft four added minutes, Tasdemir had Blues hearts in their mouths when his 20 yard strike whisped inches over.
But Chester held firm to register a valuable point in their hunt for survival. The Great Escape is on.
AFC Fylde: J Lynch, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Finley, Muldoo (Blinkhorn 79), Rowe, Grand, Richards, Smith (Tasdemir 64), Chettle (Bond 73). Subs not used: Burke, Stubbs.
Goals: Rowe 54.
Chester: Hornby, Hall-Johnson, Gough, Jones, Astles, Dawson, Turnbull (Hannah 61), Shaw, James, Akintunde, White. Subs not used: A Lynch, Roberts, Crawford, Mahon.