HE may be standing at the other end of the pitch but Chester keeper Grant Shenton can clearly see where the Blues' current problems lie.

Chester, who drew a blank in the 1-0 home defeat to Curzon Ashton on Saturday, have managed just three goals in their last six league matches with two of those coming in the win at FC United.

The drought has seen Johnson and co-manager Bernard Morley’s side slip to seventh in the table, 12 points behind leaders Chorley and with just one win in six, the Blues are in danger of losing further ground on their rivals when they make a difficult trip to Spennymoor Town on Saturday.

“It was very frustrating to be so on top as we were in the first 20 minutes and not take advantage,” said Shenton reflecting on the Curzon result. “I think they changed their game plan a little bit and adapted to the way we started and hats off to them - they executed it down to a tee by absorbing the pressure and then exploiting us with pace.

“We’ve got an experienced back four and the same again in the middle with Robbo (Gary Roberts) and Sean (McAllister) and I think the only two times they were caught in possession they countered - in the first half I made a save and in the second half they scored but that’s football - you get punished for your mistakes.

“We went in at 0-0 and I thought we could have kicked on a little bit but again it was frustrating. We’ve been sat in the changing room for 30 minutes and we’ve been batting around different ideas about where it went wrong and where we are lacking but it feels like we’re banging our heads against the wall.”

A lengthy injury list has seen Chester down to the bare bones up front with Akwasi Asante and Anthony Dudley both missing from the line up against Curzon Ashton who were able to cope with the threat of teenage striker Lloyd Marsh-Hughes.

“We can always make excuses but we’re picking players to win a game of football and whether you’re 17 or it’s your first game you have 11 players on the pitch who need to be winning that game by any means,” said Shenton.

“From a defensive point of view it is frustrating because I think we have been quite solid for the last seven or eight games. We’ve conceded very little and I’ve not had many chances to deal with.”

Chester travel to the North East on Saturday where they will face a Spennymoor side full of confidence after they beat local rivals Darlington last week. An impressive 3-0 win against Sutton United also saw them progress to the last 16 of the FA Trophy this month and Shenton is under no illusions about the task facing the Blues.

“They’re a good side,” he added. “But I feel like we’ve upset quite a few of the teams towards the top and I don’t think that will be any different on Saturday.

“We are an honest set of lads and we all work our tripe off whether that’s me or the lads up front. It’ll come and we’re only going to be able to fix it ourselves - no one else is going to help us so the lads who cross the line on Saturday at 3pm will be the ones to put it right.”