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Chester let their standards drop.

FOR the third successive game, Chester gave their opponents a two goal head start but this time the comeback attempt fell short.

It might have happened but for some excellent goalkeeping from Christian Dibble, but that shouldn't cover up a performance that fell below the standard set in the past few weeks.

Steve Burr made one change from the 4-2 win at Dartford with Danny Harrison replacing the suspended Kingsley James.

Nuneaton, without a win in six and hurting from a 5-0 hammering at Dover, gave a debut to keeper Christian Dibble, on loan from Barnsley.

Chester made a bright start with Craig Mahon curling wide and Dibble saving a scuffed John Rooney shot before the home side went closest when Anton Brown's overhead hook rolled past the post on seven minutes.

Rooney had Dibble scrambling with a free kick from 35 yards but Nuneaton were getting on top with right winger Dawson the main danger and took the lead on 20 minutes. Gash was proving a handful and his knockdown sat up for James Armson, whose first time finish gave Jon Worsnop no chance.

Michael Kay headed wide from a corner as the Blues tried to find a response but the lead was doubled on 23 minutes after Matty Hughes bundled over Armson.

Lee Fowler took the free kick and his low effort wrong footed Worsnop, suggesting the ball had taken a deflection off the wall.

Armson had a chance to make it three but fired straight at Worsnop and it took until 35 minutes for Chester to produce something of note when Hughes rolled Oates behind the back four but Dibble made himself big and blocked well.

Midfield was the main area of concern for the Blues without James to drive them forward but there were moments to cling to, including a fine chance before half time when Oates rounded Dibble but couldn't direct his shot on target.

replaced Harrison and Gareth Roberts for the second period, and the switch paid off less than five minutes after the Craig Hobson and Ibou Touray replaced Harrison and Gareth Roberts for the second period, and the switch paid off less than five minutes after the restart.

Oates appeared offside when he found acres of space down the right but the assistant kept his flag down and he sent over a cross that Hobson (right) glanced past the stranded Dibble.

a cross that Hobson (right) glanced past the stranded Dibble.

Hobson almost scored again a minute later, this Hobson almost scored again a minute later, this time meeting Hughes' cross but his header flew the wrong side of the post.

Nuneaton now began to look like a team unaccustomed to being in front with Dibble using his chest to keep out Oates' thumping strike.

Dawson twice forced Worsnop into action with good strikes but the momentum of the game had shifted in the Blues favour.

Dibble made a good save down low to keep out a Rooney free kick on the hour and an even better one on 75 minutes, pushing out an Oates shot after Hughes' backheel put him clean through.

Had that chance been taken Nuneaton might have folded but the hosts punished the miss with a third goal four minutes later.

Dawson, the clear man of the match, swept over a low cross from the right and sub Marcel Barrington slammed home from close range.

match, swept over a low cross from the right and sub Marcel Barrington slammed home from close range.

Chester sensed the game slipping away but kept on going and were rewarded with a second on 88 minutes.

Chester sensed the game slipping away but kept on going and were rewarded with a second on 88 minutes.

Sean McConville's corner flew across the face of goal and Hobson nodded home from two yards out at the back post.

corner flew across the face of goal and Hobson nodded home from two yards out at the back post.

There was time left for one more chance, Dibble making an excellent point blank save to prevent Oates finding the net and the home side clung on for the points.

There was time left for one more chance, Dibble making an excellent point blank save to prevent Oates finding the net and the home side clung on for the points.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2014
Words:723
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