BERNARD MORLEY admitted the Blues lacked the quality to overcome a stubborn Guiseley outfit despite playing over 50 minutes against 10 men.

The visitors had taken the lead in the 19th minute when Kayode Odejayi nodded home but they faded as an attacking force following the dismissal of former Blue, Andy Halls, allowing Chester to draw level in the second half through Anthony Dudley’s header after which the Blues dominated possession but were unable to score a winner.

“We got ourselves back in the game after 55 minutes and you’re thinking we can really push on and maybe win,” said Morley, who watched the game from a seat in the stands.

“But sometimes you look at some of your players and you think they’re just not good enough to unlock sides like that and that’s what the frustrating thing is for us today.

“We said at half-time to be patient and that it might take until the 85th minute to get the first goal and then we push on from there. I don’t think we were desperate in our approach in the second half, but we need players to be able to unlock a game and add that little bit of special finish.

“I think that if we’d had that little bit more quality out wide today, especially when we came inside, we’d have got more quality into the box, but everybody’s worked hard and everybody’s disappointed in the changing room. It’s just those little things that we need to tweak here and there that will make us a good side consistently.”

Things started badly for Chester and barely improved for the next 40 minutes as the injury-ravaged side struggled for any kind of fluency in their passing. After three minutes the Lions wasted a fantastic chance as new midfield signing Sean McAllister lost possession on the byline with a forward pass finding Rowan Liburd who advanced on goal before scuffing his shot horribly wide.

Up front veteran Nigerian international Odejayi was proving a handful for the Blues back four, but it was Chester who crafted the next opportunity as McAllister made amends for his earlier error with a superb right wing cross that just evaded the head of Dudley and the sliding Craig Mahon at the far post.

Odejayi’s threat from free-kicks could hardly have come as a shock to the experienced Chester defence, but on 19 minutes they allowed him the freedom of the box to nod in Halls’ delightfully floated centre to give the visitors a lead which they subsequently battled hard to retain as former Blue, Kingsley James helped the Lions gain control of midfield.

With five minutes of the half remaining and with Guiseley looking comfortable, Chester got a break when a loose ball in midfield saw both Gary Roberts and Halls dive in for the challenge with the Guiseley skipper getting there fractionally after his opponent and subsequently receiving a red card from referee Amy Fearn. The Guiseley bench erupted in protest but Halls’ foot was off the ground and he had little control of the challenge.

Moments later Guiseley’s ire increased when Fearn refused their appeals for a penalty prompting some ugly scenes as former Chester boss Marcus Bignot and others on the visitors’ bench encroached on the pitch and hurled abuse.

Buoyed by the prospect of facing 10-men, the Blues began the second half in far better fashion with McAllister and Roberts able to take advantage of the increased space. An equaliser look likely and it duly arrived with Bradley Jackson motoring down the right wing before Roberts floated in a cross to the unmarked Dudley who with all the time in the world placed his powerful header past Marcus Dewhurst.

Guiseley were rattled and Mahon was the next to test the keeper with a curling shot from the edge of the area as the Lions retreated and prepared for a rearguard action.

Plenty of possession followed, but no clear cut chances came Chester’s way until Simon Grand placed a header just wide as the game moved into injury time with no further opportunities coming the Blues’ way with Morley confirming they would be without striker Akwasi Asante for next week’s visit of Curzon Ashton.

“It looked like a circus at times,” added Morley reflecting on some of the behaviour of the Guiseley bench. “There were five or six of them standing on the byline at times but it comes down to the officials and they’ve got to manage that.

“To be honest though that’s the least of my problems and I’m more worried about what we’ve done and I’m disappointed not to get the three points.”