CHESTER were edged out in their National League Two North clash at South Leicester as the hosts claimed a 21-20 win.
Dominant in the first half, Chester were pegged back after the interval but spurned the chance to snatch victory when James McGovern missed a late penalty.
James Preston powered across the whitewash early on before James Robbins added the extras to put Chester 7-0 up.
The midlanders hit back with a converted score of their own, before Kyle Joseph ran in Chester’s second try with a storming run to the line.
Robbins duly despatched the conversion before slotting two further penalties to put his side 20-7 ahead at the interval.
The game’s momentum swung in the second half as South Leicester dominated both territory and possession.
Their concerted pressure was rewarded with two converted scores, which opened up a 21-20 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Chester’s hopes of snatching a late victory were dashed as McGovern sent his 74th minute penalty wide of the upright from 25 metres.
Jan van Deventer was left frustrated by his side’s ‘disappointing’ second half display.
The Chester coach said: “After playing all the rugby in the first half we fully deserved to be 20-7 up at half-time and put ourselves in a really strong position at that point.
“But after an excellent first 40 minutes, the second half really got away from us at times.
“South Leicester upped their game and we struggled badly in the first-phase plays and were second best line-outs and in the scrum.
“We weren’t able to exert pressure on the ball and really lost out in the possession stakes too, so we were living off scraps.
“We didn’t take the one chance we had at the end of the half to win the game, but we shouldn’t have let the game be taken away from us like that in the first place.”
The defeat saw Chester drop to 10th in the table, while South Leicester consolidated their place among the league’s top six sides.
Leaders Hinckley won 20-17 at home to Wharfedale while Sale crushed visitors Blaydon 54-12.
Huddersfield won 36-33 at Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Tigers while Otley were beaten 20-5 at home to Sheffield.