Chester ended a run of six games without a win to keep alive their survival hopes with a deserved victory over Eastleigh.

Ross Hannah fired home a first-half brace to give the Blues the advantage, despite being pegged back by Mark Yeates’ equaliser. The Blues had to survive constant spells of pressure from Eastleigh in the second period but sealed the points in stoppage time through James Akintunde’s back post finish.

Marcus Bignot’s side move up to 22nd in the National League with this win, although they remain five points adrift following Barrow’s 1-0 win at Maidstone, but this will give Chester’s hopes of staying up a major shot in the arm.

Bignot rang the changes from the 1-0 loss at Woking, with former Wrexham winger Dom Vose – signed on an expenses-only deal on Friday – coming into the side along with fit-again Myles Anderson, Tom Crawford, Hannah and Andy Halls, who made his 28th start of the campaign moving to within just two games of triggering a new one-year contract extension.

Dropping out were Kingsley James – who has joined relegation rivals Barrow on-loan – Harry White, Akintunde, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and Shep Murombedzi, who left the club prior to kick-off and is set to join Brackley Town.

The Blues made a positive start to proceedings with Blacon duo Crawford and Gary Roberts looking to dictate matters in the centre of the park.

Chris Zebroski looked to get the better of Shaun Hobson but the young defender marshalled him out of play during a fairly tame opening 10 minutes.

Jordan Archer was pushed out of the way by Ryan Cresswell when chasing down Sam Hornby's long punt downfield, before the game sparked into life with a flashpoint as Cresswell saw yellow for pushing Hannah to the ground after accusing the 31-year-old forward of kicking out at him.

Hannah picked himself up though and was on the scoresheet on 19 minutes. Craig Mahon did superbly well to intercept the ball off Sam Wood, and poked a clever pass into the path of Hannah, who took a heavy touch but managed to chip the ball over Graham Stack into the net.

However, just 60 seconds later and Andy Hessenthaler's visitors drew level. Ryan Astles got in the way of Zebroski's initial effort but it fell to the feet of Yeates and, with Hornby stranded, he rolled the ball into the net from 12 yards out.

Vose didn't see much of the ball in the opening half hour but when he did his quality was clear to see as his lofted ball into Hannah's path almost saw the Blues striker get in for a second.

Mahon surrendered possession in a dangerous area needlessly with Ryan Broom bearing down on goal but blazing over from 20 yards before Williamson was felled 25 yards out by a rash tackle from Anderson.

From the resulting free-kick, Yeates forced a fine save from Hornby who tipped the shot over the bar.

The Blues soon got back on the front foot with a decent period of possession brought to a halt as Archer strayed offside when looking to break the defensive trap.

Chester retook the lead on the stroke of half-time and it was that man Hannah once again. Halls' deep cross was spilt by Stack under pressure from Roberts and the ball fell to the Sheffield-born striker at the back post who tapped home.

Sam Togwell was cautioned in first-half stoppage time for a rash tackle on Roberts, with the Blues going in at half-time in the box seat.

Just four minutes in the second period and Hannah almost had his hat-trick, smashing a fierce shot which struck the underside of the bar and bounced clear.

Vose's free-kick fell to Hannah inside the area who quickly turned and shot at the near post with Stack pushing it behind for a corner.

Hornby was called into action twice in quick succession at the other end to deny Sam Matthews and Yeates, who cut in from the left and fired a shot towards the top corner which the stopper parried clear.

Zebroski threw himself to the floor in a bid to win a 70th minute penalty, much to the disgust of Astles, before Zebroski forced Hobson into a push in the corner which saw the Blues defender enter the notebook.

Hornby juggled to hold onto Cresswell’s header, before Hannah was adjudged to be offside and entered the notebook for throwing the ball over Stack’s head as the keeper attempted to restart the game.

James Constable’s late penalty claims were waved away, Hannah earned a free-kick on halfway after a cynical challenge from Gavin Hoyte before Hannah’s free-kick was palmed clear by Stack.

Vose’s dazzling skill created the third goal for substitute Akintunde, turning superbly past Wood and crossing along the floor for the striker to tap into an open goal and send the Blues fans home jubilant.

Chester: Hornby 7, Halls 7, Hobson 7, Astles 7, Anderson 6, Mahon 6 (Akintunde 71), Crawford 7 (Dawson 89), Roberts 7, Vose 7 (Waters 90), Archer 6, Hannah 9; Subs: Firth, Waters, White.

Eastleigh: Stack 5, Hoyte 5, Togwell 4, Cresswell 5, Wood 5, Yeates 7, Zebroski 6, Broom 5 (Matthews 57), Hollands 6 (Constable 76), Boyce 5, Williamson 6 (McCallum 70); Subs: Obileye, Miley.

Attendance: 1,604

Man of the match: Ross Hannah – his first-half brace and all-round energy helped the Blues secure a vital victory.