PHIL Parkinson struggled to contain his frustration after Chester escaped two possible red cards and denied Altrincham their first win of the season with a deflected equaliser four minutes into stoppage time at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday night.

Striker George Waring was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow after catching Tom Hannigan with a high boot early in the second half, while referee Richard Holmes appeared to reach for his pocket then change his mind after the already-booked Simon Grand committed another foul soon after.

A deflected 20-yard shot that left keeper Steven Drench wrong-footed added insult to injury for Parkinson, just as it seemed an early own goal would prove enough to reward Alty's defensive discipline with all three points.

"It was a bitter pill to swallow, coming in the 94th minute, especially another deflected goal," said the Alty boss, whose side opened their campaign with a 3-1 home defeat to York City on Saturday.

"If that shot goes straight through, Drenchy saves it.

"We are disappointed, but we would probably have taken a draw at the outset, just to get the season up and running.

"I'm just baffled a little bit by some of the decisions that were made, and Chester can count themselves very fortunate not to have ended the game with nine men.

"I can't understand how some yellow cards were given out, yet two of their players managed to stay on the pitch for similar offences after already being booked, especially when you look at Sean Williams' second yellow against York.

"It's the inconsistency that astounds me. You try to keep the players calm and doing the right things, but they are going to get very frustrated when they see inconsistent officiating.

"I still don't think we are quite clicking yet, but we will get there.

"The team as a whole defended as if their lives depended on it, and it was important the fans saw we can come to a place like this and get something.

"But there is more to come from us – a lot more."