Chester were knocked out of the Cheshire Senior Cup at the first hurdle after losing on penalties at Altrincham.
Goals from Nyal Bell and Harry White saw the game go the distance in a 2-2 draw with the Northern Premier League side – but Alty snatched it 7-6 in the shootout.
The hosts were impressive in the opening stages – and deserved their lead when Simon Richman intercepted a pass and brilliantly smashed home from 25 yards.
However, Richman’s game soon turned sour – as he was shown a straight red card for a two-footed tackle on Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.
Marcus Bignot’s side responded after the break – equalising as Bell combined with Harry White to cooly slot beyond home keeper Tim Deasy.
Rhain Hellawell then went close for Chester – following a deflected shot which struck teammate Harry White – and debutant Ryan Rainey was twice superbly denied by Deasy in a matter of seconds.
The Blues played the extra-time period with ten men as Andy Halls and Lucas Dawson came off – with 16 year old Lloyd Marsh-Hughes the only player to come on.
Alty restored the lead in the first half of extra time as Blues academy graduate Tom Peers finished from Sheridan’s low cross.
But Chester bit back – as Harry White levelled with a super sweeping finish on the 120 minute mark.
The penalty shootout was lengthy – decided when Marsh-Hughes’ pen was saved by Deasy as the Blues fell at the preliminary round stage.