AFTER making over 100 appearances for Chester in a two year spell at the Swansway, you could forgive Ryan Astles for having mixed feelings about turning out against the Blues for new club Southport.

But after Saturday's 0-0 stalemate in the FA Trophy it was very much business as usual for the towering centre back who played his part in keeping his old teammates at bay.

"It was strange but you have to move on when you get a new club," said Astles. "I play for Southport now and I'm concentrating on playing for them.

"I had a great two and half years at Chester. Obviously it was tough with the results but it's a massive club and a great club to be at - when I left I wished them all the best for the future."

Following a stint at Northwich Victoria, Astles joined Chester in January 2016, and went on to be one of the Blues' most reliable performers in recent years, turning out 41 times in the National League in 2017/18.

He signed a two year contract with Southport in May this year, joining on a free transfer and despite a tricky start to the Sandgrounder's league campaign, the 24-year-old believes he made the right move.

"It was a very tough start and we didn't begin the season how we wanted to but over the last six weeks we've picked up and have to started to pick up a few results and I thought we showed today that we're hard to beat," he said.

"It was a terrible game with not much football played and it was very stop / start but we got a clean sheet and that's all a defence can ask for."

Following Saturday's draw, the sides will do it all again on Tuesday evening and Astles expects an equally tight encounter before Southport face Tranmere in an enticing looking FA Cup Second round tie at the weekend.

"Chester are well set up and hard to beat and you can see why they are up there but we've got them again now on Tuesday and we have to put the work in order to get through to the next round," he said.

"It seems to be working for them with the new managers and they've got the players they want and are picking up results.

"Tuesday is another game and in a competition we want to go far in and go to Wembley - we'll focus on it and the Tranmere game will come afterwards."