ANTHONY JOHNSON says the burden of scoring goals must be shared collectively between Chester’s squad.

The Blues head to promotion rivals York City on Saturday looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at Gateshead in midweek.

It was only the sixth league game this season that Chester have failed to find the net, but Johnson feels an over-reliance on Akwasi Asante has been costly this term.

Averaging a goal every 79 minutes, the talismanic Dutch striker has netted17 times this season.

The Blues’ next-highest scorers this term are centre back Danny Livesey and attacking duo Brad Jackson and Anthony Dudley with four goals apiece.

Speaking to reporters after Tuesday night’s defeat in the north east, Johnson said: “We didn’t really trouble their 18-yard box until the last 10 minutes when we had nothing to lose, but we can’t keep relying on our number nine having a good game or Simon Grand and Danny Livesey getting on the end of things.

“Other players need to step up and make things happen on nights like this, so we’re disappointed.

“Everyone talks about a lack of consistency and putting runs together, but if we can’t score we’ll take a nil-nil draw.

“It’s not ideal, but we’d keep another clean sheet, be hard to beat and come away with that.”

With their unbeaten league run in 2020 now ended, Johnson was left to rue his side’s inability to build on their fine home victory against Darlington last week.

With Chester 12 points adrift of the National League North summit, the Blues joint-manager is all too aware of Chester’s failings in terms of stringing results together and has played down the significance of the clash at second-placed York.

He said: “We know we’ve not been consistent enough and that’s why we’re not bothering King’s Lynn at the minute.

“We’ve lacked consistency and quality and there’s a reason we’re trying to bring new recruits in - we’ve lacked quality in certain areas of the pitch and we’re just not quite there yet.

“York is another big one, but it’s no more important than the Gateshead game.

“We knew we had a group of games coming up this week in Darlington, Gateshead and York who are teams that are all going to be affecting the top seven come the end of the season.

“We had a points haul in mind that we’d have been happy with and we’re well still on for that.

“But the Gateshead game sets us back a bit, especially after a bunch of good performances. Those flaws that we’ve seen this season have come back to bite us.”

Influential defender Livesey is a doubt for the game at Bootham Crescent with a hamstring strain.

Steve Watson’s second-placed York side head into the game buoyed by a narrow 1-0 victory over Kettering Town last weekend.