CHESTER brought the curtain down on an up and down season with an entertaining 2-2 draw at ten man Alfreton.

There was nothing at stake for either side but the Blues will wonder how they didn't emerge with an away win after dominating for long periods against the injury hit Derbyshire outfit and producing an excellent performance which saw them take the lead twice through Akwasi Asante and George Waring.

A fine late equaliser from Josh Wilde denied the visitors the three points they deserved with the full back completing his brace with a superb volleyed effort just nine minutes from time, but this was a game which epitomised a season in which ultimately too many draws have cost Chester a play off place that was theirs for the taking.

With the shackles off and the freedom of knowing they were playing for pride, Chester immediately looked the part, stroking the ball around nicely and taking advantage of the strong wind behind the backs.

Just before the quarter hour mark, Craig Mahon, who was full of direct running all half, did well to win a free kick on the edge of the box prompting the Blues to pull out one of their trademark free kick routines as Gary Roberts feinted to shoot before passing to Anthony Dudley who stroked it on to Asante to find the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the season.

It was a stunning move and one right from the training ground that spurred Chester on to surge forward in search of a second. Waring was the next to have a chance after being put through by Asante before seeing his shot well saved by the feet of Tom Nicholson who did well again moments later to block an effort from Bradley Jackson who sprinted on to a short back pass and got there just ahead of the onrushing keeper.

Alfreton looked a bit of a mess as half time approached and Nicholson was at again just before the break after Mahon danced his way into the box and unleashed a shot which took a wicked deflection before the keeper readjusted and saved well.

It was as commanding a half of football that Chester had produced for a while and the pattern looked set to continue in the second half when at the mid-point of the half referee Scott Simpson brandished a red card at Alfreton's Tom Allan following a lengthy discussion between the two that was less than cordial.

Down to ten men, all looked lost for the hosts but just two minutes later they were level when Danny O'Brien surged down the right before placing a high cross into the middle of the box which was met by full back Wilde who bundled the ball home for a surprise equaliser.

With the hone support still rubbing their eyes in disbelief, Chester took advantage as they retook the lead two minutes later through Waring who placed a header beyond Nicholson after Burton had headed Mahon's deep cross back across goal.

That really should have been that for the visitors as they went in search of a fourth consecutive away win but Alfreton would not lie down and with nine minutes to go until full time Wilde chested the ball down 25 yards out before slamming a volley past Grant Shenton into the top corner for a brilliant leveller.

It was quite hard to comprehend how Chester weren't winning and for the rest of the game they flooded the opposition box and almost grabbed a winner when Waring's hooked volley came back off the post with Nicholson beaten.

And so the the season ends with a tinge of disappointment despite a decent finish to the campaign that has seen joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley oversee just one defeat in the last nine games. The hard work starts now.