Chester FC manager Steve Burr will be desperate to increase his attacking options following this frustrating draw on a dismal bank holiday.

Ross Hannah's absence means the burden falls on Craig Hobson and when he went off injured after 23 minutes, the lack of forward depth was plain to see.

Chester created almost nothing before a John Rooney penalty gave them a fortunate lead on 65 minutes but the game Lions kept on going and grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 84 minutes via substitute Adam Boyes, and it was the visitors who looked the more capable of finding a winner.

Centre-back Ben Heneghan returned from suspension in a midfield role with Luke George ruled out. George Thomson and Kane Richards, who impressed off the bench in the 2-1 win at Macclesfield Town, replaced Tom Shaw and Craig Mahon.

The Lions shaded a flat opening 20 minutes with the best chance falling to Wayne Brooksby, but Jon Worsnop rushed out well to save. Chester hadn't got started when Hobson was forced off and Mahon made an earlier than expected entrance.

Unfortunately the change disrupted the Blues even more with the hosts devoid of ideas in a dismal first-half. Guiseley were not much better although might have nicked a goal when Nicky Boshell's deflected shot landed on the roof of the net.

Chester continued to toil in the second period with Worsnop saving well from Rob Atkinson and Jake Lawlor steering wide from close range. The Blues needed something to happen and it did on 65 minutes when Rooney's corner struck a defender on the hand and referee Joseph Johnson pointed to the spot following discussions with his assistant. Rooney converted the spot-kick and the hosts were ahead.

Feeling hard done to, Guiseley found themselves chasing the game with Worsnop saving well from replacement Boyes before Rob Atkinson fired the rebound into the net, although he was flagged offside.

Chester had cause to be upset with Mr Johnson minutes later when Richards broke down the left and burst into the box, where he appeared to be nudged to the ground but the referee booked him for simuilation.

The visitors continued to press and were rewarded with six minutes to go when Boyes stabbed home at the second attempt from close ranger after his header had been blocked.

Guiseley sensed the win was not out of reach with Worsnop saving from Boyes and Craddock late on, and in the end it was the hosts who were the more grateful to hear the final whistle.

Talking points

Selection: The manager's decision to start with Ben Heneghan in midfield allowed Michael Kay to continue in defence and George Thomson to operate in the role he seems most suited to. Things weren't working particularly well before Craig Hobson came off injured, but that threw the pre-game plans out of the window. Chester couldn't adapt with Thomson in the striking role and with neither Ross Hannah or Hobson to call on, a change to two up front with the speed of Kane Richards used through the middle might have offered more success.

Setting the tempo: For the second game running, the Blues failed to impose themselves on proceedings until midway through the second period. Chester can't afford to allow opponents to dictate the tempo of games because there will be times when switching on after an hour will be too late. Guiseley did an excellent job of frustrating them, stopping them finding a rhythm and breaking down moves. That will happen more and more and if the Blues are serious about a play-off challenge then they must do better.

Match facts

Chester FC: Worsnop, Higgins, Sharps, Kay, Hunt, Heneghan, Rooney, Thomson (Peers 76), Chapell (Shaw 76), Hobson (Mahon 23), Richards.

Subs: Forth, Tonge.

Goal: Rooney 65 (pen).

Booked: Hobson, Rooney.

Guiseley AFC: Drench, Toulson, Atkinson, Lowe, Parker, Brooksby, Lawlor, N Boshell (Boyes 68), Thompson (D Boshell 68), Hatfield, Dickinson (Craddock 62).

Subs: D Atkinson, Lockwood.

Goal: Boyes 84.

Booked: Hatfield, Toulson, Dickinson.

Referee: Joseph Johnson (Liverpool).

Attendance: 2,304.

Star man: Ben Heneghan.


Twelve points at the end of August is a fine return for the Blues, but the manager and fans know it could be even better.

This was the kind of game Chester should be winning, and need to be winning to push on from last season and challenge for a place in the top third.

Ross Hannah might not have scored as often as he would like so far, but without him the team look shorn of attacking threat. Craig Hobson stepped into the void at Macclesfield on the weekend, however for the best part of that game Chester showed the same limitations on show here.

Burr has said he will not rush into spending the £20,000 or so the club's Crowdfunder has brought in, and that's 100% the correct stance.

However, this performance and result underlines the need to find someone to get on the end of chances and support Hannah once he's fit as a matter of urgency in order to ensure this season's objectives can be achieved.