YET another poor display away from home saw ten men Chester concede four second half goals to play off rivals Altrincham who took full advantage of Blues skipper Scott Burton's dismissal in the 51st minute.

Chester will argue the pivotal nature of Burton's sending off after an encouraging first half saw them dominate possession and go in goalless at the break, but in truth this was an absolute horror show of a 45 minutes as Josh Hancock scored twice for the hosts between Joe Piggott's opener and John Johnson's last minute strike.

In contrast to their last away outing, where they conceded to Bradford Park Avenue after just 30 seconds, Chester began well and through the work of the tireless Burton and Gary Roberts they were soon controlling midfield and dictating play.

Dan Mooney had the first sight of goal on ten minutes when his 25 yard pea roller proved to hot to handle for Alty keeper Tony Thompson who dived to his left and parried the ball away.

Despite their possession this proved to be the best chance for Chester who despite some incisive play down the wing from Mooney and Craig Mahon couldn't carve out any more clear openings. What was impressive though was the work rate with visitors nullifying the home threat with some combative tackling and swift closing down.

At half time hopes must have been high in the Chester dressing room that a bit more effort would see the chances arrive so what happened next was as inexplicable as it was inexcusable.

Burton had been a commanding figure in the centre of the pitch but he'd already picked up a booking for tugging Hancock's shirt when he leapt into a tackle with Sean Williams leaving the referee Mr Andrew Kitchen no choice but to brandish a second card just five minutes into the second half.

Cue the calamity as Chester folded in alarming fashion conceding the opener a minute after Burton's dismissal when Hancock dribbled into the area down the left before squaring the ball for Piggott who slid in to get the ball over the line.

The visitors were at sixes and sevens and 12 minutes later Alty doubled their lead through John Johnston executed a fine run to the byline and Chester could only partially clear his cross straight to Hancock who smashed the ball home from 15 yards.

Barely five minutes afterwards the game was well and truly up for Chester when Altrincham notched up a third with 20 minutes remaining when Grant Shenton spilled a headed effort from Jake Moult with the loose ball finding Hancock who bundled the ball home from close range.

Sean McAllister and Ben McKenna both made their returns from the bench after injury replacing Mooney and Mahon but it was a now a case of damage limitation with Chester completely overrun in midfield and conceding corner after corner.

As the clock ticked past 90 minutes a fourth came thanks to Johnston who drove a low shot past Shen from just inside the area to round off another dreadful performance on the road for a Chester side slipping further and further away from play off contention.