Match ends, Lincoln City 1, Chester FC 0.
Lincoln City substitute Harry Anderson netted a first-half winner as the Imps beat Chester to go clear at the top of the National League table.
Just six minutes after coming on for the injured Lee Angol, a hard, low cross from the left broke kindly and Anderson scored from close range.
In a game of two red cards, Danny Cowley's side climb three points clear of Tranmere Rovers, beaten at home by Forest Green.
But Lincoln were given a stern examination by a battling Chester side still needing points to be sure of staying up.
The hosts had to play a man short from the 75th minute after substitute Alan Power was sent off for a late challenge on Chester captain Luke George just three minutes after coming on.
But Chester then had Kane Richards red carded at the start of the seven minutes of injury time for a late challenge on Bradley Wood, an incident that culminated in an angry mass exchange between both benches.
Nathan Arnold and Elliott Whitehouse both shot over from an angle before the break for the Imps, but Chester pair Wade Joyce and James Alabi both struck powerful drives only just over.
And a mix-up left Richards clear on goal only to be denied by a superb piece of defending by Sean Raggett, who got back to clear the danger.
After the break, Alabi had a low left-foot shot cleared from almost off the line, Chester were denied a penalty when Richards went down under Alex Woodward's challenge, and it need a spectacular save by Paul Farman to claw away Elliott Durrell's long-range drive.
- 1FarmanBooked at 90mins
- 5WaterfallBooked at 32mins
- 4WhitehouseSubstituted forPowerat 72'minutesBooked at 75mins
- 30WoodyardBooked at 68mins
- 34KnottSubstituted forGinnellyat 68'minutes
- 31AngolSubstituted forAndersonat 30'minutes
- 5HudsonSubstituted forVassellat 67'minutes
- 10DurrellBooked at 43mins
- 14JoyceSubstituted forHuntat 87'minutes
- 21LloydBooked at 53minsSubstituted forDawsonat 87'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 15RichardsBooked at 90mins
- Alan Young
Second Half ends, Lincoln City 1, Chester FC 0.
Lucas Dawson (Chester FC) is shown the yellow card.
Paul Farman (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card.
Kane Richards (Chester FC) is shown the red card.
Substitution, Chester FC. Johnny Hunt replaces Wade Joyce.
Substitution, Chester FC. Lucas Dawson replaces Ryan Lloyd.
Alan Power (Lincoln City) is shown the red card.
Substitution, Lincoln City. Alan Power replaces Elliot Whitehouse.
Substitution, Lincoln City. Josh Ginnelly replaces Billy Knott.
Alex Woodyard (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Chester FC. Theo Vassell replaces Blaine Hudson.
Ryan Lloyd (Chester FC) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Second Half begins Lincoln City 1, Chester FC 0.
First Half ends, Lincoln City 1, Chester FC 0.
Elliott Durrell (Chester FC) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Lincoln City 1, Chester FC 0. Harry Anderson (Lincoln City).
Luke Waterfall (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Lincoln City. Harry Anderson replaces Lee Angol.
First Half begins.