Match ends, Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 2.
Chester 0-2 Tranmere Rovers
Chester have been relegated from the National League with four matches still to play following a home defeat by neighbours Tranmere.
Rovers, by contrast, kept their play-off semi-final hopes on track as goals from Andy Cook and James Norwood sent Micky Mellon's side up to fourth, just a point adrift of automatic qualification through to the semi-finals with two games in hand.
Rovers made a promising start and Norwood saw a header come back off the crossbar just eight minutes into the contest.
But Tranmere did go ahead in first-half stoppage time when Jeff Hughes' cross picked out Cook and he made no mistake in heading past Andy Firth.
Norwood made the game safe in the 64th minute when he latched onto a ball from the back to round Firth and roll the ball into the net.
The loss signalled the imminent end of a five-year stay in the fifth tier for Chester, whose manager Marcus Bignot is to leave the club at the end of the season.
Report supplied by Press Association.
Chester manager Marcus Bignot told BBC Radio Merseyside:
"Obviously it's a sad day for the football club, but many clubs have experienced relegation and bounced back.
"The important thing now is how the football club is going to bounce back from this.
"You look at these last three months, we've lost a CEO, two chairmen, four directors, (and) nine contracted players we've had to move out.
"Today we're facing Tranmere, we're can't lose and half the team aren't coming out of the first-team budget.
"We were competitive in large parts of that game but ultimately, the club, where we are, relegation was inevitable."
- 35AndersonBooked at 39mins
- 16VoseSubstituted forBrownat 80'minutes
- 22CrawfordBooked at 56mins
- 9WhiteSubstituted forArcherat 66'minutes
- 7TollittSubstituted forHarrisat 84'minutes
- 15NorburnSubstituted forWallaceat 81'minutes
- 10NorwoodSubstituted forManganat 74'minutes
- 11JenningsBooked at 57mins
- Simon Barrow
Second Half ends, Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 2.
Substitution, Tranmere Rovers. Jay Harris replaces Ben Tollitt.
Substitution, Tranmere Rovers. James Wallace replaces Oliver Norburn.
Substitution, Chester FC. Nathan Brown replaces Dominic Vose.
Substitution, Tranmere Rovers. Andy Mangan replaces James Norwood.
Substitution, Chester FC. Jordan Archer replaces Harry White.
Goal! Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 2. James Norwood (Tranmere Rovers).
Connor Jennings (Tranmere Rovers) is shown the yellow card.
Tom Crawford (Chester FC) is shown the yellow card.
Second Half begins Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 1.
First Half ends, Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 1.
Goal! Chester FC 0, Tranmere Rovers 1. Andy Cook (Tranmere Rovers).
Myles Anderson (Chester FC) is shown the yellow card.
First Half begins.
Lineups are announced and players are warming up.