CHESTER’S President’s Cup campaign ended at the semi-final stage as Lancaster snatched victory in extra-time at the Giant Axe.

The Blues played for the majority of the night with only 10 men following the early dismissal of defender Michael Taylor.

Steven Beck’s second-half strike drew the visitors level, cancelling out Dave Swarbrick’s opener.

But sub Alex Johnson struck in the second period of extra time to eliminate the Blues, who had battled valiantly all evening.

Chester had started the match sluggishly, with Lancaster quickest to every ball.

And the hosts were rewarded for their bright start on 17 minutes when Swarbrick burst into the area and had his heels clipped by right-back Taylor as he was about to shoot for goal.

It was a clear scoring opportunity so there was a double punishment for the Blues, with Taylor red-carded and Swarbrick stepping up to confidently dispatch his spot-kick past Adam Judge.

Despite being a man down, the Blues slowly began to play with more confidence.

With Robbie Booth pushed forward to partner Chris Simm in attack, they finally began to pose problems to the Dolly Blues’ defence.

As half time approached, Alex Kenyon volleyed narrowly wide for Lancaster before Simm flashed an 18-yard volley just past home keeper Martin Fearon’s post.

The second period was only seven minutes old when Young decided to introduce leading scorer Michael Wilde from the bench. Wilde had been feeling unwell all day but, with Chester staring down the barrel of a rare away defeat, the prolific forward came on for Booth.

Three minutes later, the Blues drew level.

Simm created the goal with a break down the right. His fizzing shot from a tight angle deflected off a defender but fell invitingly for Beck, who coolly side-footed home from six yards.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half.

Liam Wynn powered through midfield and saw a stinging shot pushed out by Judge with five minutes of normal time remaining. Then Wilde sent a looping header just wide from Greg Stones’ searching free kick.

Neither side could find a breakthrough, so extra time was required.

The only two chances in the first half of extra time fell to Chester, George Horan and Wilde heading just wide from long balls into the box.

But Lancaster managed to find a winner just one minute into the second period of extra time.

Sub Mike Rushton chased a long pass and went clattering into Judge as the Blues keeper ran out of his goal. The loose ball fell to fellow sub Alex Johnson, who had the simple task of rolling it into an empty net for 2-1.

Chester battled bravely but were unable to find a leveller as their night ended in disappointment.

Lancaster: Fearon, Henry, Kenyon, Duggan, Marshall, Wynn, Hattersley (Johnson 93), Rothwell, Swarbrick, Hall (R Wilson 72), McKenna. Subs: Nightingale, Rushton, S Wilson. Booked: Kenyon, Henry.

Chester FC: Judge, Taylor, Stones, Horan, Ruffer, Booth (Wilde 52), Barnes, A Williams, Simm, Beck, Wilson (S Jones 21, C Williams 90). Subs: Field, St Juste. Booked:  Simm, A Williams, Barnes. Sent off: Taylor.

Referee: Matthew Parry.  

Attendance: 324.