A HOTLY disputed goal was all that separated the Blues and promotion-chasing Darlington last night.
Chester caretaker boss Simon Davies was furious after seeing the Quakers claim all three points thanks to a controversial strike by Pawel Abbott in the 27th minute.
City winger Kevin Ellison looked to have been fouled in the build-up to the goal, but play was allowed to continue and Julian Joachim crossed for Abbott to score with a header.
Davies, taking charge of first-team affairs following Bobby Williamson’s sacking on Sunday, said: “The referee came up to me and apologised after the match and said he would review the incident leading to the goal.
“Apparently the fourth official and the assessor said that Ellison was fouled, and the Darlington manager went into the referee’s dressing room and also said he thought he was wrong, but unfortunately that doesn’t help us.”
The visitors battled gamely and probably deserved to claim a share of the spoils. Although City went close through Ellison and Chris Holroyd in the second half, they failed to find a way past Quakers keeper David Stockdale.
Davies handed Andy Mitchell his debut from the bench in the 77th minute but the youth team winger was unable to carve out an opening.
Darlington: Stockdale, Valentine, Foster, Miller, Parker, Joachim, Kennedy, Cummins (Austin 85), Gall (Wainwright 63), Ndumbu-Nsungu (Wright 64), Abbott. Subs: Kazimierczak, Blundell.
Goal: Abbott 27.
Chester: Danby, Vaughan, Roberts, Linwood, Wilson, Rutherford (Mitchell 77), Dinning, Ellison, Sandwith, Holroyd, Murphy. Subs: Palethorpe, Rule, Kelly, McManus.
Booked: Linwood, Roberts.
Referee: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire).