Substitute Anthony Dudley fired Chester into the first round of the FA Trophy in a 1-0 victory at Brackley Town.

The Blues made three changes from their league clash against Alfreton 14 days earlier, with Scott Burton, Gary Stopforth and Jamie Morgan all coming into the side for the clash at St James' Park.

It was the hosts who had the first half chance after 12 minutes in the wet conditions when a long ball over the top from Thierry Audel found Lee Ndlovu whose effort was slipped under the onrushing Russ Griffiths but Danny Livesey was back to clear.

Livesey then headed wide from a Matty Waters ball in, and skipper Burton blasted wide from a clever corner routine as George Glendon flicked on Waters’ corner at the near post.

Former Blue Shep Murombedzi threatened, but his shot was tame into Griffiths’ arms after spinning away from Livesey and then he fired a ball across the six-yard box which Brackley’s attackers failed to turn home.

Griffiths then had to be alert to make a strong low stop from Shane Byrne who had burst forward and fired in a dipping effort from 20 yards out.

The second half livened up as Brackley piled on the pressure, Matt Lowe wasting a few good chances from good positions before Griffiths did brilliantly to deny Ndlovu.

Jackson had opportunities up the other end but was twice denied by Danny Lewis – the second a rasping drive from 30 yards.

But on 73 minutes, the Blues made the breakthrough when Stopforth pressed high up the pitch, Jackson cut inside and then slotted it through for Dudley who timed his run to perfection and fired home the winner.

Brackley piled on the pressure late on but it amounted to nothing, as the Blues became the first side to win at St James Park this season and advance into Monday’s first round draw.