It was a tough night for Farsley Celtic at the Citadel, finishing the 90 minutes with nine men as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to in-form Chester.
Second-half goals from Kole Hall and Kurt Willougby would send the Cestrians home with all three points, the visitors proving to be the more clinical side on the night.
Although it was a goalless first half, both sides looked threatening going forward.
Farsley started brightly, as Frank Mulhern robbed Liam Edwards of the ball and burst into the penalty area, but Chester’s Harry Tyrer made a smart save low down to deny the returning forward.
Only four minutes later the Celts came close to scoring the opener again when a Tom Allan long throw caused problems, Andy Butler bringing it down, but his looping volley skimmed the top of the post on the way behind.
Again, Farsley knocked on the door. Only ten minutes in Carlton Ubeazuonu missed a huge chance firing a volley over from inside the six-yard box when unmarked.
The hosts then thought they had the lead when Mulhern put the ball into the net from close range, but the linesman quickly halted celebrations as his flag went up for offside.
However, after being pinned into their own half for the opening quarter of the match, Chester soon found their feet. Adam Thomas began to cause Farsley problems down the right wing, as he looked to cut inside onto his stronger left foot in order to deliver.
After half an hour, Thomas found room for a shot as he spun inside the penalty area, but a viscous strike flew just past the near post.
Thomas then got onto the end of a cross from the left, as Max Dearnley was called into play for the first time, pulling off a fantastic diving save up to his right.
Dearnley was forced to make another good save as the half drew to a close, Kurt Willoughby taking the ball down expertly and firing down low to the keepers’ right, only to be denied superbly by the Farsley man.
Similarly to the first half, Farsley started the second half as the stronger of the two sides.
A fantastic, acrobatic over-head kick from Ubeazuou from another long throw nearly gave Farsley the lead, but it was straight at Tyrer.
Then, moments later Lewis Butroid found himself with space on the left. He decided to take the shot on first time, and struck it well, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.
However, also like the first half, Chester grew into the game. In the 68th minute, Chester captain Declan Weeks dug out a cross from the by-line and stood it up perfectly, falling to Kole Hall who drove it venomously into the back of the net.
Only ten minutes later, Farsley’s hopes of a comeback were stung, as Kian Scales lunged into a challenge in the middle of the park, and referee James Bancroft deemed it to be worthy of a straight red card.
An already frustrating night for the Celts was made worse, as Willoughby doubled Chester’s lead. He was played through and used his pace well to get a yard on his left foot, and drive across the face of goal into the bottom corner.
It would go from bad to worse for Farsley, Tom Allan picking up a second yellow card in an off-the-ball incident, before Isaac Assenso also received his marching orders after the final whistle.
The Celts now have a 10-day break, and a chance to regroup, ahead of a return to action in the league against Peterborough Sports on Saturday 3rd December.