TIGERS were outplayed and beaten 2-0 by the league leaders on a blustery afternoon in Chester.
An ugly game, in terms of a lack of entertainment, ended with an ugly melee and a loss of composure on both sides.
Two goals from the impressive Michael Powell gave the home side victory as Tigers failed to match Chester all over the park.
The first half an hour was scrappy, despite an excellent pitch and two teams known for trying to play football.
The blustery conditions spoiled a number of early attacks, balls over the top going too far or being held up.
Jamie Jackson was lively for Tigers early on, getting into the channel and putting the ball into the six yard area, only to see Chester clear.
For the hosts Alex Brown curled a free-kick over Jon Worsnop’s bar and Matty McNeil’s size caused problems for centre-half pairing Luke Shiels and Michael Jacklin.
Mark Hudson’s excellent in-swinging corner was nodded into the net by Shiels who thought he’d given Tigers the lead, but Gary King was adjudged to have fouled keeper John Danby.
At the other end a corner was missed entirely by Worsnop and Michael Taylor couldn’t get his header on target.
Another set-piece gave the hosts the lead.
A free-kick whipped into the box was allowed to drop and Michael Powell knocked it past Worsnop to delight the home supporters.
As the first half drew to a close Worksop came under increasing pressure and Worsnop’s wayward kicking failed to provide release, the ball just coming back at the visitors repeatedly.
But Simon Clark’s men reached the interval just one goal down, hoping to bring their recent stellar second half form onto the pitch with them from the dressing room.
The opening few minutes of the second period saw Worksop struggling in possession and inviting Chester to attack them.
Burbeary gave the ball away in the middle and allowed McNeil to set Robbie Booth free down the centre, Shiels having to get back and clear.
The centre half was needed seconds later to knock the ball out of his own six yard box after McNeil took down a corner with a lovely touch.
While Tigers may have been struggling to put together anything resembling cohesive football, their hosts were able to carve out chances.
Matty McGinn drove a dangerous ball across the Worksop box and Powell headed well wide.
When a Worksop corner came to nothing, Chester broke with pace and only a foul by a combined effort from Chris Wood and Steve Gardner halted the attack.
Antoni Sarcevic took the dead ball and whipped it over the bar.
Clark made a change on 66 minutes with the introduction of Luke Sharry, taking the place of Burbeary who had been ineffective on the right.
Chester doubled their lead before the replacement could make any real impact on the game however.
A ball down the left had Tigers at full stretch, McNeil slid it acorss the box and Powell found the net for his second of the day.
Teenager James Wilson made his debut from the bench, Gary King coming off after a disappointing display.
A late surge from the visitors saw them win a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right and a corner on the same side, but they failed to take advantage.
The game descended into ill discipline after a late challenge on Jackson by Baynes.
The Chester player was spoken to by the referee and then booked for dissent, while Powell got into a spat with several Worksop players to earn yellow, along with Jacklin.
Wood was next in the book for flying into a challenge on Sarcevic, drawing another crowd of players and both of the referee’s assistants.
The final whistle brought yet another melee, Taylor going after Hudson and Worsnop coming out of his box to remonstrate with the Chester player.
Pushing and shoving ensued and stewards were required to settle everything down bringing a sour end to a match that was comfortable for the title favourites.
The stats tell the tale with six efforts at goal for Chester and only one for Worksop.
Clark will try to pick his men up in training this week before next Saturday’s visit of Tamworth in the FA Trophy.