SPENNYMOOR TOWN won their first league game of the season thanks to a last-minute goal by Glen Taylor, but Chester left the Brewery Field furious about a sending-off that turned the game.

Taylor’s close range effort was his third goal of the season and his most valuable so far, but the key moment was the controversial dismissal of Chester centre half Danny Livesey for a second yellow card before a clanger by Chester keeper Russ Griffiths, who let Moors back into the game.

Manager Jason Ainsley thought that his side’s performance against a previously unbeaten team wasn’t the best of the season so far.

“I thought we played better than that at Curzon Ashton, and only got a point; and also in the second half against York but lost that game,’’ he reflected.

“I thought we looked a nervous team early in the game, but we steadily grew into it.

“Once we got over our nerves, I thought in the first half that we passed the ball around really well, but then we shot ourselves in the foot when they scored. The ball should have been cleared when it came into our box, and we wondered how we’d managed to put ourselves in that position again. We have conceded too many sloppy goals.

“It was a weird sending off. Their centre half was involved in a clash of heads and came off the field for treatment.

“He then went back on to the pitch for a free kick without any of the officials waving him back on. It was only when the ball had been in play for a few seconds that the referee realised what had happened, and the referee showed him a second yellow.

“Chester were adamant that the referee waved him back on, and that’s when it all kicked off.’’ He added: “I thought we got a little bit of luck for our equaliser, because AJ’s shot was a routine save for their keeper, but maybe we deserved that bit of luck.

“We had all the play after that and maybe should have scored our second goal before we did, but we kept on going, and got the points. We scored two of the scrappiest goals you’ll ever see and got some luck, but at least we picked up the points.”

Moors conceded after seven minutes when they failed to get the ball away, and Akwasi Asante broke through and rounded keeper Matt Gould.

They nearly equalised though when Livesey managed to get back on to the line to clear from Mark Anderson.

Chester should have gone further ahead when Simon Grand headed over, and they seemed to be in control of the game.

But then Chester were reduced to ten men just on the half-time whistle. Livesey was penalised and booked for dissent and went off for treatment to a head injury.

However, after treatment, he came back on the field without being checked by a match official, joined in play, and when the referee realised what had happened when Livesey played the ball, was shown a second yellow for entering the field without permission.

Chester joint manager Bernard Morley said: “We’ve been robbed. What happens to the referee after what I’ve seen today? Does he get a fine? Does he get suspended?

“I can’t tell him he’s had a bad game because he’ll send me off, Johnno can’t tell him he’s had a bad game and certainly the lads can’t criticise what he’s done because he’d get his cards out.

“It doesn’t make sense what’s happened. An experienced centre half like Danny isn’t going to come back on the pitch unless he’s invited to.”

It took Moors only six minutes to draw level at the start of the second half, but they needed some help from Chester keeper Russ Griffiths, who allowed a harmless-looking shot by Andrew Johnson to slip through his legs and into the net.

Taylor nearly made it 2-1 but was denied by a last-ditch tackle, but Chester broke away and nearly scored, when Anthony Dudley hit the post.

Taylor and Anderson both wasted chances before in stoppage time Adam Boyes went for the ball with Griffiths, and even though he was flat on the ground, managed to steer the ball to a delighted Taylor, who prodded home.

Morley added: “We’ve lost 2-1 without them doing anything. People will say that’s the sign of a good side, Spennymoor, but it’s not, they were poor today. We’ve outplayed them with ten men.”

Spennymoor Town: Gould, Magnay, Brogan, Chandler, Buddle (Williams 45), Curtis, McKenna, Ramshaw (Ward 58) Taylor, Anderson, Johnson (Boyes 75). Subs (not used): Roberts, Cogdon

Attendance: 1049