CHESTER'S miserable Christmas continued as they fell to a second consecutive away defeat after going down 2-0 to old football league rivals Hereford.

Despite a difficult start to life in National League North, the Bulls had enjoyed a run of four home wins in all competitions before this fixture and with Chester only winning twice on their travels this season, this always looked a tricky prospect especially without the injured trio of Akwasi Asante, Gary Stopforth and Danny Livesey.

Hereford almost went ahead in the opening minute when a back-pass by Simon Grand was closed down by James Roberts but the ball trickled wide for a corner.

At the other end, Chester replied and Bradley Jackson, making his first start for the Blues, saw his close-range effort saved by Matt Yates who then gathered at the second attempt.

An already depleted Chester side suffered further when full back Matt Thompson left the field on a stretcher with a suspected broken leg after 16 minutes with the Bulls almost breaking the deadlock from the restart as Kyle Finn got to the byline and crossed for Tom Owen-Evans but the midfielder failed to connect.

After much probing the opening Hereford goal came after 30 minutes when James Roberts beat his man down the left before crossing to Danny Greenslade to fire home from inside the box.

George Lloyd should have doubled Hereford's lead on the 34th minute after Greenslade sent a searching ball across the box which just evaded the striker. At the other end Yates saved again blocking Craig Mahon's headed effort.

Cheltenham loanee Lloyd almost made it two before the break after a neat one-two with Tommy O'Sullivan released the striker but he put his effort wide.

In first half stoppage time Lloyd went close again after James Roberts found him with a ball over the top but the striker sent his effort over.

Chester started the second half with much more purpose, but it was Hereford striker Mike Symons who went close first with a header at the back post which flew wide from a Kyle Finn free-kick.

Any home nerves were settled in the 72nd minute when the Bulls doubled their lead after Finn's ball into the box was only half cleared by Steven Howson allowing Jordan Cullinane-Liburd to head it back into the danger area where Symons bundled the ball home.