CHESTER must not allow Alfreton Town to dictate the pace of Saturday’s clash at the Deva, says Anthony Johnson.

The Blues are out to end a five-game winless run in National League North, a sequence of results that has seen them drop to third in the table and eight points behind leaders York City.

Alfreton are currently just a point outside of the play-off spots and joint-manager Johnson is wary of the threat posed by the Derbyshire side.

“We know exactly what to expect from them this weekend,” he said.

“There will be some bombs being dropped and lots of long balls for us to deal with all afternoon.

"They’ll look to put our back four under as much pressure as possible from the start and try to squeeze the living daylights out of us.

“The onus is on us to go and get that win, though, and we can’t get dragged into that type of game.

"We’re at our best when we get the ball down and play with a high-tempo and it’s up to us to impose our own strengths in the game.

“We’ll look to control the game as much as possible and play on the front foot. If every player does that, there’s no reason we shouldn’t get the win we’re looking for on Saturday.”

Chester head into the clash buoyed by a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Brackley Town last weekend, where Brad Jackson’s superb strike secured a point.

The Blues were forced to withstand plenty of pressure from the Northamptonshire side, with goalkeeper Russ Griffiths taking the man of the match plaudits after a succession of key saves.

Johnson praised the steady improvements in Griffiths’ recent performances and believes the 23-year-old is growing in stature.

Johnson said: “Like most goalkeepers, Russ has made mistakes he knows he shouldn’t have made.

“Russ came into a club with big expectations and I think he’s getting used to that know.

"He’s had one or two very decent games lately, particularly at Brackley, where I thought he was excellent.

“He commanded his area really well and I thought his communication was good too, so I’m sure he’s looking to maintain those standards now.”

Alfreton’s solid start to the campaign has tailed off badly in the last month, with the Reds losing four of their last five league games.

After last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to Spennymoor Town, boss Billy Heath told Ripley and Heanor News: “We’re disappointed with the goals because they’re cheap again. It’s not a great sign when we keep giving away cheap goals.”

Chester top-scorer Akwasi Asante could return this weekend after training with the squad this week, with centre-back James Jones sidelined with an ankle injury.

Saturday's other National League North fixtures: Bradford PA v Kings Lynn Town; Curzon Ashton v AFC Telford Utd; Farsley v Gloucester; Guiseley v Kettering; Spennymoor v Southport.