Chester FC 2 Vauxhall Motors 0
MOTORS were left to rue what might have been as they suffered a derby defeat at champions-elect Chester on Saturday.
Carl Macauley’s men, trailing to Brendon Daniels’ 12th-minute opener, were in the ascendency before and after half-time.
But Obi Anoruo wasted a glorious opportunity before former Tranmere Rovers defender Paul Linwood produced a superb piece of defending to deny Ashley Stott a certain goal.
The let-offs led Blues boss Neil Young to making three substitutions.
And it was one of his replacements – Nathan Jarman – who made the game safe two minutes from time.
Young, whose team are 16 points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet North table, had words of consolation for the visitors.
He said: “We have to give great credit to Vauxhall. I thought they played some decent stuff and they overloaded us at times in midfield, hence why we had to make the substitutions.
“It is going to be difficult for us at this stage of the season because, without being disrespectful to Vauxhall, they are playing to improve while we are playing under pressure.
“I thought we were a bit sloppy, a bit apprehensive, while Vauxhall played some free flowing football.”
Debutant Daniels, signed on a month’s loan from Crewe Alexandra, gave the hosts a dream start when he bundled the ball home after Zac Jones had saved from Antoni Sarcevic.
Motors should have equalised in the 40th minute through Anoruo.
But the former Wrexham striker dragged his shot horribly wide when clean through on goal.
Stott went closer nine minutes after the restart as he saw a clever lob cleared off the line by Linwood.
Chester – now unbeaten in 23 league games and 28 matches at home in all competitions – sealed victory with a fine late finish from Jarman.
But it was Vauxhall who would have had the last word had John Danby not made super stops from Tom Rutter and Louis Barnes in injury-time.
Vauxhall: Jones, Wainwright, Hannigan (Kocsis 84), Nicholas, Barnes, Anoruo (Moss 77), Noone, Clair, Rutter, Mahon, Stott. Subs: Martindale, Ellison. Attendance: 2,912.