CHESTER joint boss Anthony Johnson warned his players they are on borrowed time at the Deva if there is even a hint of them writing off the rest of the season after a late equaliser from Ahmed Obeng saw ten man Leamington strike another blow to Chester's faltering play off chances.

Everything looked rosy when Ben McKenna's first goal for the club gave the hosts the lead in the 47th minute and the Blues' task looked to have become even easier when the visitors were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Jordan Murphy with a little over ten minutes to go.

But the Brakes had other ideas and despite offering little threat throughout the game they pinched a goal in the 83rd minute when Obeng fired past Grant Shenton to equalise and leave Chester wondering what might have been with the Blues finishing the game five points outside the top seven.

"I am staggered and actually lost for words about some of those individual performances," said Johnson. "It is a pattern now and is something that doesn't seem to be going away.

"If there are one or two in there who think they can down tools they will be out of the door because there are young lads who missed out on the squad today, let alone the team, and it is difficult to look them in the eye after a performance like that from some of the lads who started.

"At this moment in time we lack a lot of things: when you've done what we did in the first half of the season we should be pushing on now and in fact it's the opposite. We've gone through the injury malarkey but that's not there any more and we get paid to find answers to what's gone wrong and we've got to do that.

"I can't look at any positives after that and it is very tough after the confidence the lads had before the game and the plans we had to think that none of it came to fruition."

The first half was a total non-event and with both sides struggling with the high wind and a sticky pitch, chances were at a premium after the visitors almost took a shock lead in the opening minutes when Grant Shenton tipped over a looping shot from Colby Bishop.

Danny Livesey had the first sight of goal when he headed a Craig Mahon corner straight into the arms of Tony Breeden before a Steve Howson effort from a Mahon free kick sailed over over the bar five minutes later with set pieces offering the most likely way for the breakthrough to be made.

At the mid-point of the half Mahon had a shot charged down but it was the Brakes who registered the best chance of the game so far when a clever corner fell to Joe Clarke whose effort struck Murphy and wrong footed Shenton who managed to dive on the ball as it was heading for the far corner.

Little else of note took place so perhaps it was the sight of Blues goal scoring legends Jimmy Humes and Hugh Ryden being inducted into the Chester FC Hall of Fame during the break which inspired the hosts who took the lead just a minute after the restart.

It was full back Matty Waters who started the move down the left with the 21-year-old putting in a low cross which was dummied cleverly by Anthony Dudley allowing the ball to land at the feet of McKenna who placed an accurate shot into the far corner for his first goal for the Blues.

A collective sigh of relief seemed to go around the Deva following McKenna's strike as the Blues finally began to show some class and confidence with the ball and enjoy some much-needed possession.

Gary Roberts went close with a direct free kick before the struggling Akwasi Asante made way for George Waring in the 66th minute as the Blues went in search for the all-important second goal which would make the game safe.

A Roberts pile driver was blocked superbly by Jamie Hood before the Blues received a boost on 79th minutes when Murphy received his marching orders for a second bookable offence, but instead of the incident making the game safe, the Brakes charged forward and with seven minutes of normal time left Obeng shrugged off his marker on the edge of the area and beat Shenton with a powerful strike that the keeper should have done better with.

Four minutes of injury time offered no consolation for the Blues who were left to rue a game that got away and one which leaves Chester five points from the play off chances and their hopes of a quick return to non league's top tier slowly disappearing.

"It was an awful, awful game," added Johnson. "But Leamington got what they deserved because I thought for large parts of it they were better than us. It hurts me to say that a team who just want to play long and scrap for second balls have come here and got away with a point."