Boston United’s topsy-turvey season continues to frustrate as the Pilgrims suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Chester.
After bossing the first half they were second best after the break, the Blues clinically taking three points thanks to Steve Howson and Dan Mooney.
United’s fantastic start of four wins from five matches has been turned on its head as they have now last four of their past five.
Nicky Walker was by far the hosts’ most potent goal threat, but as he becomes more of a disciplined striker the Pilgrims desperately miss his tireless running an creativity on the flanks.
But with the exception of Walker, who still couldn’t properly test Grant Shelton despite four decent chances, Boston’s attack again lacked spark as the first half’s almost-but-not-quite turned into hopeful long balls following the opening goal, yet again the marker of who will go on to win the contest.
It was a familiar tale in the first half for the Pilgrims as they were firmly on top but lacked the killer pass or vital touch in the final third.
Blues keeper Shelton - who received treatment for a hamstring injury in an opening 45 which also saw Boston’s Ryan Qualter have his head bandaged following a collision - made routine saves to deny Walker, twice, and Nathan Arnold.
Walker also forced an effort into the side netting and Ben Davies drove a hopeful hit over from distance.
At the other end George Willis made his only stop of the first half when Dan Mooney’s effort from distance arrived at a comfortable height.
Chester began the second half much brighter and after Matty Hughes had drilled an effort wide they took the lead through Steve Howson.
The big defender was just too strong in the box, earning himself a yard and powering home a header after connecting with Craig Mahon’s deep corner in the 51st minute.
And it was 2-0 seven minutes later as the Pilgrims’ defence was cut apart with a through ball that sent Mooney sprinting on goal, the Chester man setting himself before confidently slotting beyond Willis and being mobbed by the delirious away fans.
Walker thought he had opened his Pilgrims account when he smashed the ball high into Shenton’s net, but an offside flag maintained the Blues’ two-goal advantage.
Willis denied Mooney his second with a firm save as the visitors continued to look far, far better than their first-half showing had suggested, pulling off an even better one-handed stop as Hughes looked set to kill the game.
UNITED: Willis, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Middleton, Qualter, Wright, Abbott, Rose (Ceesay 69), Walker, Arnold (Margetts 78); Subs (not used): Wafula, Marriott, Harris.
CHESTER: Shenton, Smalley (Moran HT), Grand, Burton (Hughes 35), Livesey, Howson, Mooney (Jordan 89), Stopforth, Dudley, Roberts, Mahon; Subs (not used): Pritchard, Murray.
REF: Tom Parsons.
ATT: 1,188 (100).
STAR MAN: George Willis - Two fine saves that kept the score down, left exposed for the Chester goals.
GOALS: CHESTER - Steve Howson (51), Dan Mooney (59).
BOOKINGS: UNITED - Max Wright (58); CHESTER - Simon Grand (61), Jon Moran (77).