CHESTER celebrated their first back to back victories of the season after a tense finale against the Iron.

Centre-back Sam Hughes scored the one goal of the game from close range in the 16th minute to secure all three points.

Chester made just one change to the side that celebrated a 2-0 home midweek win against Guiseley.

Goalkeeper Liam Roberts started in place of Jon Worsnop who was ill.

The Blues started well and took the game to the visitors with a succession of raids.

But Kane Richards completely missed a good low pass from James Akintiunde in the third minute, and Jack Cowgill was forced into a defensive headed clearance from a dangerous looking ball into the penalty box from Elliott Durrell.

But the Iron came closest to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute when Simeon Akinola smashed a long range shot which beat Roberts and crashed off the left post.

Braintree were forced to play with 10 men whilke Sam Matthews received treatment for a facial injury before he was substituted by Lee Barnard.

Brandon goodship forced Roberts to pull off a superb one-handed save in the 11th minute.

And Ryan Lloyd kept Dave Beasant on his toes three minutes later with a goalbound shot which the keeper did well to tip over his bar.

Sam Hughes broke the deadlock in the 16th minute after four successive corners by the Blues.

The centre-half tucked home a close range shot after Ryan Astles had nodded down a left-sided Durrell corner.

Durrell continued to put the Iron under pressure with a 19th minute effort which Beasant had to gather at the second attempt.

But Jerome Akimo countered in the 23rd minute with a powerful cross from the left edge of the penalty area which Astles sliced wide.

Richards hit back for Chester in the 27th minute with a powerful strike that Beasant did well to save.

Craig Mahon and Akintunde then provided a number of neat passing manouevres to torment the visitors as Chester continued tio dictate.

Akintunde tried his luck from 30 yards in the 40th minute, but his effort flew wide of the right post.

And Roberts looked relieved to see his defensive clearance minutes later find safety after hitting Michael Cheek inside the Chester penalty box.

Chester started on the front foot after the break, but Akintunde's left byline shot after good work by Mahon was tipped over by Beasant.

And Hughes saw his close range effort from a Durrell corner hit the right post before Iron cleared the danger.

Braintree pushed hard for an equaliser midway through the half, but Hughes and Astles both repelled a succession of crosses into the Blues penalty box.

James Alabi substituted Akintunde in the 65th minute in a bid to put fresh legs into their line of attack.

Alabi should have put Chester 2-0 up in a one on one with Beasant minutes later, but the Iron keeper made a good stop, and Durrell's 25 yard effort seconds later was deflected wide.

Braintree responded, but Hughes made a vital touch to deny Iron inside the six yard box, and Issac smashed a 25 yard shot which flew inches wide of the left post.

Goodship was then presented with a scoring chance from 10 yards, but fired over in a one on one with Roberts.

But Chester held on for all three points despite having to endure a nailbiting five minutes of stoppage time.

CHESTER (4-4-2): Roberts, Vassell, Hughes, Astles, Hunt, Durrell (Horwood 74), Shaw, Lloyd, Mahon, Akintunde (Alabi 65), Richards (Richards 82). Subs (not used): Hudson, Waters.

BRAINTREE TOWN (4-4-2): Beasant, Okimo, ashton, Isaac, Akinola, Braham-Barratt, Matthews (Barnard 14), Goodship, Corne, Cheek (Maybanks 78), Cowgill. Subs (not used): Williams, Lee, Strizovic.

REFEREE: Ryan Johnson (Manchester).


See Monday's Leader for full match report and pictures.