CHESTER failed to get out of second gear in this crucial North One league encounter.
Altrincham were always on top and showed great passion and desire in their bid to remain in the league.
Chester started well but spilled the ball going over the line following a fine break by skipper Colin Ellis, although Simon Verbickas scored a penalty two minutes later to give them the lead.
Chester, now pressing again in the Altrincham half, were turned over and showed too much respect for the opposition as tackles were missed to allow the home side an easy score.
Almost immediately, Altrincham scored another simple try as Chester faded and the conversion points extended Altrincham's lead to 12-3.
Chester woke up and following patient build-up play, Steve Kelly broke through four tackles to power over for a great try to put his side back in the game.
But Altrincham ended the half with a try and a penalty to give them a 12-point lead - embarrassing for the visitors.
Chester were immediately back in the game in the second half and Steve Burke, who had a fine game, went over following good work from the back row and centre partner Matt Lloyd. Tom Foden added the extras to make the score 20-15.
It looked like Chester could be on for a comeback until Altrincham raised their game to score two tries in quick succession out wide.
Chester never gave up and as the game went on, they improved with the back row and centres working tirelessly. Following a powerful forward surge, Gareth Sanger scored a try from a driving maul to throw them a lifeline with 14 minutes left.
But they were playing catch-up rugby and lack of discipline led to a converted penalty for Altrincham to make it 33-20.
To compound Chester's misery, Altrincham scored with the last play of the game following a gamble by Chester that didn't pay off.
Chester's director of rugby Steve Dorrington was upbeat, focusing on the back row of Sheen, Sanger and Taylor, who worked hard, and the two centres Burke and Lloyd who also played well.
The Walker Smith Way man-of-the-match went to Taylor for yet another consistent display. nThe Chester team to meet Hull at home tomorrow (3pm) is: Woods, Goulding, Kelly, Campbell, Cottle, Sanger, Taylor, Sheen, Ellis, T Foden, Green, Lloyd, Burke, Brookes, Verbickas. Subs: Fitzgerald, Rylance, Parsley.
The seconds host Altrincham (3pm): Hughes, Turnbull, Bellamy, Dykes, Tennant, Sandland-Jones, Coakley, Scadeng, Lyle, Hollands, Wilbers or Woolgar, Eldrdge, Dewinton, Aldersey, Graham. Subs: Mansutti, Owens.