Chester City 0 Mansfield Town 1

Mansfield Town produced a dogged display to earn a precious win at Chester City which gives them hope of climbing out of the relegation places.

Matt Hamshaw's goal was enough to grab the points and inflict yet another defeat on a Chester side that are now in free-fall.

The game was a dour affair, with few chances. In fact, it took until the 25th minute for the first real threat on goal when Ian Holmes found space to fire an effort on goal which was easily claimed by keeper John Danby.

A minute later Simon Brown followed this up with a volley that flew over the bar.

At the other end Kevin Ellison stumbled past two defenders and the ball ran kindly allowing him time to measure up a left-foot effort which was well saved by Carl Muggleton.

Holmes also tried his luck with a low shot from the edge of the box on 27 minutes, but this did not trouble Danby who was easily able to claim the ball.

On the half-hour mark Stephen Dawson had a great opportunity to put his side ahead and he slid the ball past the onrushing Danby but also the wrong side of the post.

The deadlock was broken on 49 minutes when Simon Brown slipped the ball inside a static Chester defence to set up Hamshaw who fired a low shot which flicked off the legs of the Chester keeper before finding the back of the net.

Neat footwork by Kevin Roberts created a half-chance for the midfielder and his shot through a crowded penalty area was parried by Muggleton.

A break in play came on the hour mark when the referee was caught full in the face by Kevin Ellison's attempted pass, the force of blow leaving the official requiring attention before he could continue.

The Stags were increasingly on the back foot as Chester looked to get back into the game, but the home side produced little in the way of a goal threat.

The best chance for a leveller came 13 minutes from time when Ellison's bullet header, after he had been expertly picked out by Roberts, was superbly tipped over by Muggleton.