Phil Parkinson struggled to contain his frustration after Chester escaped two possible red cards and denied Altrincham their first win of the season with a deflected equaliser four minutes into stoppage time at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday night.

Striker George Waring was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow after catching Tom Hannigan with a high boot early in the second half, while referee Richard Holmes appeared to reach for his pocket then change his mind after the already-booked Simon Grand committed another foul soon after.

A deflected 20-yard shot that left keeper Steven Drench wrong-footed added insult to injury for Parkinson, just as it seemed an early own goal would prove enough to reward Alty’s defensive discipline with all three points.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow, coming in the 94th minute, especially another deflected goal,” said the Alty boss, whose side opened their campaign with a 3-1 home defeat to York City last Saturday. “If that shot goes straight through, Drenchy saves it. We are disappointed, but we would probably have taken a draw at the outset, just to get the season up and running.

“The defensive discipline we showed was great, but I just think we’re not quite clicking yet. There were a few sparks pre-season I was really happy with, but we just look a little bit disjointed on the ball at the moment. We’re playing some great stuff at times but then making decisions we don’t normally do.

“We knew exactly what Chester were going to do. They have their way of playing, getting it in to their big man up front, but we coped with that all night long, until a deflection four minutes into added time let them back in it. It wasn’t a bad point, when you consider they are full time outfit under a management team who have won this league with Salford City. I think our fans needed to see we can come to a place like this and get something.”

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