MANAGER Andy Hessenthaler admitted his Eastleigh team had disappointed him for the first time in his managerial tenure at Chester on yesterday.

The 3-1 defeat was branded “not acceptable” by the boss who saw his side undone by two individual errors and a late breakaway goal at the Deva Stadium.

Cash-strapped Chester, without a win in five games, went ahead on 19 minutes when Craig Mahon played in Ross Hannah to lift the ball over Graham Stack after some careless play by the Spitfires.

Mark Yeates replied instantly from Ben Williamson’s lay-off, firing home at the second attempt after his initial shot had been blocked.

But Eastleigh were architects of their own downfall once again just before half-time when Andy Halls’ looped cross wasn’t dealt with by Stack and Hannah cashed in with his second of the game.

Hannah might have more but, having rattled the underside of the crossbar early in the second half, he had a shot palmed away by Stack.

The Spitfires had chances to get back on terms but, in throwing numbers forward late on, they exposed themselves at the back, allowing debutant Dominic Vose to cross for James Akintunde to tap home.

Eastleigh have now conceded 55 goals – the National League’s third worst defensive record.

It wasn’t a great problem all the time they were scoring for fun but, after a fabulous run of nine games unbeaten, they have now lost the last two to drop to 13th in the table.

It means victory away at Maidenhead United on Tuesday (7.45pm) is vital if they are to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

“We said before the game that the work ethic had been tremendous for the last nine or ten games but the problem is that we’ve kept conceding goals and it’s caught up with us now,” said Hessenthaler.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the performance last week (a 2-0 home defeat by Boreham Wood) but after today everyone has got to look at themselves.

“We can’t keep conceding goals the way we are.

"It's up to myself and the coaching staff to get that right but, ultimately, it comes down to the players. They've let us down today."