HOCKEY: AFTER a good start, Chester went behind after 15 minutes against the run of play.
This incensed them and, after a well-worked routine, Craig Duffy levelled the score.
It wasn't long before further influential work from Harvey Shaw and Russell Anderson gave Duffy the opportunity to give his side the lead.
Chester maintained the dominance as Matt Thomas kept a steady ship at the back.
Also influential was the injured Dave Pearson on the sideline who provided constant vocal support. Unfortunately, two short corners ensued for the opposition in the dying minutes - both were converted and that sealed Chester's fate.
Man-of-the-match was Russell Anderson. Southport 8 Chester 2nds 2: The scoreline shows what happens when a team like Southport are riding high at the top of the league and seemingly everything they touch turns to gold.
Chester tried to stay with them and, for short periods in the first half, managed to apply some pressure on the home side. It was short-lived.
Chester did show some pride, however, always pressing forward looking to score goals and being rewarded with Carl Lee converting a penalty corner and Andy Tooky scoring from open play.
A special mention should be made of umpire Lee Ible, who had to cope with a great deal of pressure from the home side and showed maturity beyond his years.
Chester 3rds 0 South Cheshire 1: Once again, Chester were made to pay for their inability to finish.
They dominated the game from start to finish but were unable to convert the numerous chances.
At the end of the first half, South Cheshire managed to build a rare attack and, with their first well-taken strike on goal, took the lead.
Early in the second half, Chester were awarded a penalty corner when Richard Evans' shot was stopped by a foot on the line. However, the resulting penalty stroke was not converted.
Chester continued to press and should have won comfortably. But it was not to be.
Trinity 3rds 7 Chester 6ths 0: Chester travelled with a young side to Manchester to take on the league leaders, who hadn't lost a match so far this season.
Trinity played a fast game using the width of the pitch to good advantage and stretched the Chester defence right from the start.
Despite some good saves from Roger Watts in goal, Chester trailed 4-0 at half-time.
They settled down in the second half and played some good hockey, until the defence decided to join the attack and left gaps at the back which the home side took advantage of.
This was a spirited performance from Chester but the opposition was much stronger all round.
Chester Ladies 3 Harrogate Ladies 1:
Chester put on another good performance against the Yorkshire girls and won well. Goal scorers were Fran O'Neil (2) and Alex Gill (1).
Timperley Ladies 2 Chester Ladies 2nds 3: The fast pitch at Timperley set the pace of the match. Chester used this to their advantage, letting the ball do the work, and within 10 minutes Mel Coulson converted a well-rehearsed short corner.
Timperley responded two minutes later, but Chester were not to be outdone and skipper Donna Jones struck an excellent shot from the edge of the D within another two minutes.
Amy Devlin was unfortunately injured by a high ball to the knee just before half-time and took no further part in the match. Chester, now without any substitutes, had another two minor injuries, but the players played on.
Timperley took advantage after half-time and equalised, before Chester settled back into the game with some excellent individual skill from Philippa Brooking, who passed to Dawn Nancollas to sweetly put away the winning goal.
Chester Ladies 3rds 2 Ellesmere Port Ladies 1: Chester were down to 10 players before the match even started, but despite this they kept a cool head against Ellesmere Port. Alison Hones scored both of Chester's goals, the second in the final minute of the game.
Chester Ladies 4ths 1 Northop Hall Ladies 0: Chester put pressure on Northop Hall from the whistle, with a number of opportunities created by some excellent build-up play from Juliette Old, Katy Knowles and Rachel Walker.
The decisive goal for Chester came in the second half by an accurately-placed ball by Old, who hit a stunning strike into the net. Anyone interested in playing hockey is welcome to join Chester Hockey Club. Contact Janet Bickle on 01606 781931 or Ian Boothroyd on 01244 318805.