A BRILLIANT backs to the wall performance from ten man Chester saw the Blues record a much-needed 2-0 victory against FC United of Manchester on their first ever visit to the Red Rebels' Broadhurst Park ground.

With just two wins on the road all season, and coming off the back of a difficult Christmas period, which saw the Blues pick up just one point from a possible nine and fail to score in three consecutive games, this looked a difficult match, despite the struggling Mancunians recording just one victory at their impressive new digs this campaign.

But after going ahead through Anthony Dudley's header after 15 minutes, the visitors held firm under intense pressure and shrugged off the second half dismissal of George Green to add a second in injury time thanks to captain Gary Roberts' brilliant team goal.

FC United began well, knocking the ball about confidently in midfield where captain Harry Winter showed some nice touches, with Chester content to sit back and attack the host's defence on the break. The tactic should have brought the opener in the eighth minute when Dudley closed down a shaky looking Lloyd Allinson in goal with the ball breaking to Craig Mahon who somehow scuffed his shot wide from 12 yards with an empty net to aim at.

Elliot Simmoes had the first sight of goal for United when his 25 yard volley was comfortably caught by Grant Shenton, but a minute later the Blues were in front with a large dose of good fortune thanks to an error from Allinson who fumbled Dudley's downward header from a Mahon cross from the left over his line at the far post. It was a dreadful mistake and gave Chester a barely deserved lead which they clung doggedly to for the rest of the half.

With the returning Danny Livesey making a huge difference at the back and adding a threat from set pieces, Chester allowed their opponents the majority of possession, but rarely looked threatened and it was Dan Mooney who next went closest with his dipping shot causing Allinson to fumble again as the ball bounced in front of him.

Johnson and Morley made a change at half time with 17-year-old Lloyd Marsh Hughes coming on for Cain Noble as the Blues added some fire power up front and going three at the back. Despite the alteration it was United who started the better with Shenton saving well from Chris Sharp's piledriver before Chris Lynch grazed the post with a 20 yard volley. Chester were under pressure and with the hosts piling forward the game became a backs to the wall operation with defender Matthew Waters coming on for Dan Mooney.

Suddenly with 20 minutes to go Chester's task got that much harder when, as the Blues broke down the middle, Green tried to gain an advantage by hauling back Lynch and received a second yellow card having been booked earlier in the half.

Chester dug in and with United being restricted to pot shots from distance and Marsh Hughes proving a willing runner up front, the prospect of three points began to become a tantalising prospect. On 75 minutes Shenton pulled off the save of the game as he leaped to tip over Kurt Willoughby's powerful drive with United failing to bundle the ball in from the ensuing corner.

Jon Moran came on for Mahon as United continued to pour forward, but apart from Shenton saving low from Simoes, Chester continued to hold firm. With the referee indicating five minutes of added time, obstinacy turned to glory as Dudley broke down the left before finding Marsh Hughes who coolly laid the ball off to the onrushing Roberts on the right hand edge of the area, with the skipper making no mistake as he slid the ball past Allinson for a stunning breakaway goal and clinch the Blues' first away win since September.