ANTHONY JOHNSON believes Chester’s knack of scoring late in games is a measure of their fighting spirit.

Twice already this season the Blues have plundered injury-time equalisers, with Akwasi Asante’s 92nd minute penalty at Kettering Town in midweek following a last-gasp leveller from Gary Roberts against Altrincham a week earlier.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home clash with National League North newcomers Gloucester City, joint-manager Johnson believes that a ‘never-say-die’ mentality will serve his side well this season.

He said: “People might look at recent results coming through and say: ‘Oh, Chester have been lucky there and snatched an equaliser’.

“But to me that’s testament to the desire this team are showing over the course of 90 minutes and that’s something we’ve tried to instil in the lads we have here.

“If you look at the stats - a lot of games at this level are won and lost very late in games, so it’s nothing new.

“Coming from behind late on and getting a point or all three is a trait all the best sides have and it’s pleasing for us as managers that we see those commitment levels right through to the final whistle.”

Substitutions at key times helped Chester to break down a resilient Kettering side, who were forced to defend for the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

The introduction of Matty Hughes and Asante from the bench made the difference for the Blues, the former winning the penalty that was converted by the Dutch striker.

With a near full-strength squad available, Johnson is pleased with the variety of attacking options now at his disposal.

He added: “Bringing Matty (Hughes) on along with Danny Elliott gave us a different type of focal point, and with Akwasi coming on we had the pace and power to cause Kettering problems.

“It’s good to have these options available to us now when we need to make changes and it’s pleasing to see these players come on and make a positive impact.”

The Blues now face Gloucester side, who came from two goals down to claim a thrilling 3-2 victory at Kidderminster Harriers in midweek.

Trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, goals from Joe Parker, Marlon Jackson and Joe Hanks completed a comeback victory with on-loan Birmingham City keeper Zach Jeacock saving a late penalty to secure City’s victory.

Johnson insists the league newcomers will be full of confidence ahead of their trip to the Deva and cannot be underestimated.

He said: “They’ll be flying after coming from two down to win at Kidderminster. There’s obviously quality there if they’re picking up results like that and winning at Blyth on the opening day.

“We had them watched when they played Altrincham recently and we’ve got a decent idea of what they’’re about.

“We won’t underestimate them at all and we’ll be treating Saturday like a cup final. We’re looking for another home win and if we can do that it will make the away point we picked up in midweek seem like an even better result.”

Chester have been drawn away to Runcorn Town in the first round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.

The game will be played on week commencing October 28, with a date to be confirmed in due course.