MARVIN Morgan’s fortuitous late strike denied the Blues a much-needed League Two point at the Deva Stadium this afternoon.
City slumped to a fourth consecutive defeat after Morgan struck seven minutes from time to hand Aldershot a rare away win.
It was hard luck on the hosts, who had battled hard throughout.
The Blues suffered a pre-match blow when Damien Mozika aggravated an injury during the warm-up and had to pull out of the side. He was replaced by Anthony Barry by boss Mark Wright, who had also seen Tony Dinning (blisters), Paul Butler (calf) and Richie Partridge (neck) struck down by injuries. Wright had intended to use all three in his starting line-up.
Aldershot hit the woodwork twice during a first-half which saw Chester struggle to mount any meaningful pressure on the visitors’ goal.
John Grant saw a 26th-minute drive from the edge of the box bounce back off John Danby’s crossbar with the City keeper well beaten. Ten minutes later, Louie Soares collected Morgan’s neat lay-off and sent a shot towards the bottom corner – only for the ball to hit Danby’s right post and roll to safety.
Chester carved out their fair share of chances after the break, but their failure to hit the target meant visiting keeper Nikki Bull was never called upon to make a save.
An unmarked Kevin Roberts should have put City ahead on 50 minutes, but he sent his header from Ryan Lowe’s corner kick just wide.
Two minutes later, only a last-ditch tackle by man of the match Shaun Kelly prevented Grant from putting the visitors 1-0 up when he was clean through.
Lowe had a couple of presentable chances in the final 20 minutes but he lacked his usual composure in front of goal and sent both efforts well wide.
Then with seven minutes remaining, Aldershot bagged all three points courtesy of one of the scrappiest goals you will ever see.
Scott Davies’ lofted pass was taken down in the area by Morgan, who took three attempts to find the back of the net as the ball bounced off John Danby, Mark Hughes and the frame of the goal.
Laurence Wilson had a chance to draw City level four minutes from time – but he blazed his first-time shot high over the crossbar when played into space by sub Paul McManus.
Boss Wright revealed after the game that Eddie Johnson’s half-time withdrawal was due to a hamstring injury, making the striker a doubtful starter for Tuesday’s match at Darlington.
Chester: Danby, Linwood, Kelly, Roberts, J Vaughan, Barry, Hughes, Rutherford (McManus 63), Wilson, Lowe, Johnson (Harris 46). Subs: Rule, R Williams, Mitchell.
Aldershot: Bull, Blackburn, Day (Sandell 42), Charles, Straker, Soares, Harding, Davies, Hudson, Grant, Morgan.
Subs: Chalmers, Elvins, Newman, Jaimez-Ruiz. Goals: Morgan 83.
Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).