Anthony Johnson labelled Chester's 8-1 annihilation at Blyth Spartans 'an embarrassment' and questioned the commitment of his players.

The Blues joint manager fumed in his post-match interview after witnessing the club's heaviest defeat since a 7-1 reverse at Brighton 18 years ago.

Video and images by Rick Matthews

All of the early season positivity engendered by two strong performances in their league openers evaporated on a miserable afternoon in the north east.

First half goals from Dan Maguire, Kieran Green and Jamie Holmes had put Spartans 3-0 ahead at the interval.

Any hopes of a second half fightback were ended when Sean Reid netted a fourth on 55 minutes and Blues' misery was compounded when midfielder Gary Roberts was shown a straight red card soon afterwards.

From there Chester capitulated as a Steven Howson own goal, and strikes from Adam Wrightson, Nathan Buddle and Dan Maguire extended the lead, with Gary Stopforth netting the visitors a consolation in the meantime.

Johnson said: "I've never been involved in anything like that in my life. To the supporters who've come here to fill the ground after all the bad results they've had through the years - what else can you say except that it's embarrassing.

"I'm shaking, I'm that mad. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

"I actually thought we were a lot worse in the first half than we were in the second, where there were a few mitigating circumstances because we're still trying to get into the game and have had a man sent off.

"But it was easy for the opposition. It's difficult to put into words without getting personal with one or two of the players and I'm not going to stand here and do that, but saying I'm embarrassed is me being kind and trying to bite my tongue.

"It's important that they understand what's just happened. We conceded seven against Liverpool in pre-season and now we've just conceded eight.

"I've just gone in there and told one or two of them 'just rip your contracts up and leave the football club', because after some of that performance I wouldn't dare turn up again.

"I feel the same about myself, to be honest, I feel embarrassed about walking out on Tuesday night in front of so many people - so God knows how one or two of them are feeling

"But in a frightening sort of way it's a decent thing that it's happened so early in the season because it will certainly put the lads' feet back on the ground

"To get beat and conceded that many goals at this level of football is just not right. I don't think it was anything to do with cockiness, we were just poor.

"The first couple of chances they got, they put in the net so we're two-nil down and you want to see how the players respond.

"Then they got a third and in the second half we're trying to push and get ourselves in the game, but every time we went forward they looked like they were going to score.

"You'd like to say it's a one-off, but the proof's in the pudding over the next couple of games."

After taking four points from impressive showings against Spennymoor Town and Curzon Ashton, this was a chastening experience for Chester against a Blyth side that had lost both of their opening games.

The hosts were ahead after 14 minutes when a mistake from Dominic Smalley saw his misplaced back pass fall kindly to Maguire who beat Grant Shenton from close range.

That advantage was doubled four minutes later when a lofted ball over the top of the Blues defence fell kindly for Jarrett Rivers, whose cross was met by the big centre half Green.

Second best throughout the opening stages, Chester almost shipped a third on 24 minutes, but Shenton did superbly to repel a fierce drive from Maguire.

The respite was on temporary, however, as Blyth's good play on the left saw the ball worked towards Holmes, who put it beyond the reach of Shenton.

After the break the scoring continued unabated, with Reid powering home a 55th minute header from a Blyth corner.

Chester skipper Roberts then received his marching orders as he was shown a straight red card after a late tackle in the middle of the park.

From the resulting free kick Blyth made it 5-0 as the Blues defence failed to clear Rivers' cross before Blues centre half Howson turned the ball into his own net.

A sixth goal followed on 66 minutes when substitute Adam Wrightson netted with virtually his first touch as he cut in from the right and slotted beyond Shenton.

Chester reduced arrears when Stopforth found space on the edge of the Spartans box and his well-struck shot beat home keeper Peter Jameson on 70 minutes.

But there was no let-up from Spartans as Buddle fired home from close range to make it 7-1, before Maguire sealed the rout in injury-time as he tapped in from Wrightson's unselfish squared ball.