GUISELEY’S three-game winning run ground to a halt after Chester’s James Jones scored the only goal of the game to give Marcus Bignot’s former side the three points at Nethermoor.

The Lions, who Bignot now jointly manages with Russ O’Neill, had a 100 per-cent holiday period with victories in the Vanarama National North over Farsley Celtic on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and at York City on the Saturday between.

But having won away at second-placed York, Guiseley failed to get anything from the visit of third placed Chester.

Guiseley centre back Hamza Bencherif picked up an early yellow card for a foul on Matty Waters as the visitors started strongly, and it was Waters who provided the game’s only goal as his 11th minute corner was headed home by Jones.

The home side put some pressure on the visitors’ defence around the half-hour mark. A Gabby Johnson shot was superbly blocked by a packed Blues defence but it was Chester who came closest to scoring as they almost added just before the break when Simon Grand headed another Waters corner against the bar.

There was a change for the Lions during the interval as George Cantrell was withdrawn, Scott Smith coming on for the second half. Chester’s Anthony Dudley, no stranger to Nethermoor having had a loan spell there from Bury, had a shot saved by Lions’ keeper Marcus Dewhurst and put another just over the bar - but the home side also had second-half chances.

Smith fired a shot inches wide, an Aram Soleman corner curled just wide of the far post and substitute Nathan Newall saw a shot superbly blocked by Kev Roberts in stoppage time.

Disappointed chief O’Neill said: “It was a real close game and it hurts to lose and to get done on a re-start.

“They beat Southport 4-0 in their last game and I think three of their four came from set-pieces so we knew what they were all about, but stopping it is another thing and you can see why they are where they are in the table.

“They work hard, they’re all over second balls and they’re well organised at set-pieces, for them or against them. We judge ourselves over these last five games, going back to Hereford, and the same players have done ever so well.

“You can’t judge us off this one game. I thought some of our players were a bit off it and whether that’s down to five games in such a short time I don’t know, but we can’t hold it against them.

“We just weren’t able to impose ourselves on the game and we’re frustrated.”

Chester’s joint manager Anthony Johnson was pleased to get away with all three points. He said: “They were dangerous at set-pieces and their long throw-ins are as good as anything so for us to get a clean sheet after what they’ve done in recent weeks is a good result.

“We had a chance before we scored, then we got the goal from a corner and we had the one with Grandy that hit the bar, so as much as we talk about their set-pieces, we’ve been a threat from them as well today.

“I thought it was a dominant display, both with the ball and without it. They had a late chance but I’ve just spoken to Kev and said what a block that is, we ask these players to put their bodies on the line and that’s exactly what he did, in the 95th minute.”