Stoke City finally made their extra man count as they struck late on to earn a 1-1 draw against a Hull City side reduced to 10 men after under a quarter of an hour of their encounter at the KC Stadium.
Chester scored the only goal of the game when Hull opened the season with a victory at Queens Park Rangers last weekend but lasted less than 15 minutes before being given his marching orders for bringing down Glenn Whelan when he was through on goal.
Hull battled back bravely from that early setback to go ahead just before half-time when Nikica Jelavic pounced on a loose ball after Asmir Begovic's parry fell loose.
However, the numerical deficit finally took its toll on the home team as Ryan Shawcross bundled in an equaliser off the prostrate Allan McGregor with just eight minutes left on the clock.
Steve Bruce will have been delighted with the resolve shown by his gutsy outfit, with Thursday's UEFA Europa League play-off second leg to come, and a share of the spoils against former colleague Mark Hughes will have ultimately satisfied the home manager.
Hull predictably brought back a raft of players who had not featured in midweek, and the changes looked to have an impact in the early stages with the hosts looking jittery in defence.
The pace and power of Mame Biram Diouf troubled the hosts and they were made to pay for complacent defending on 14 minutes when Whelan intercepted a poor pass and was brought down by Chester as he ran at goal, Jon Moss brandishing a red card at the defender.
Stoke were unable to make their extra man count, and Hughes opted to replace Whelan with striker Bojan Krkic, who had dropped to the bench. But before the Spaniard could make any impact on the game, Hull went ahead when Begovic could only parry a long-range Tom Huddlestone strike and Jelavic pounced on the rebound to poke home a shot from an acute angle.
The hosts ended the half looking likely to add to their lead, Stephen Quinn seeing a glimpse of Begovic's goal charged down.
Hull goalkeeper McGregor had to get down well to keep out a Shawcross effort at the start of the second period, but the home team were more than holding their own in terms of possession and field position.
Peter Crouch was sent on to give Stoke more of a physical presence up front and fired one thunderous shot just over, but Diouf squandered a series of chances as Stoke's hopes appeared to be fading.
However, Hughes' men eventually hit back in controversial circumstances as Liam Rosenior's clearance clearly clipped Erik Pieters, though Moss awarded Stoke a throw-in.
They eventually flung the ball into the box, with Shawcross prodding home in off McGregor, the Goal Decision System confirming the ball had crossed the line to spare the visitors' blushes.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce: "Given the circumstances, I think you would accept a point after you're down to 10 men after 15 minutes. However, we feel there was an injustice, of course, and when you see it, how blatant it is, I just can't understand how the three officials can't get together and make that decision right.
"It's difficult to take and difficult for the players, because after their exertions in midweek and playing with 10 men for 75 minutes, the determination to succeed was manful to say the least.
"I got into trouble twice last year and vowed I wouldn't give the FA any more money, but we've already had two awful decisions. Last week [against QPR] it didn't count when he had a penalty go against us, but let's give the referee a hand as the fourth official has a monitor next to him."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "Relieved is one of the emotions, but also frustration, given the circumstances we found ourselves in. We didn't take the best out of that situation against a team with 10 men.
"First of all, we shouldn't have conceded a goal, because that makes it doubly difficult to overcome a side battling hard. In the second half, we needed to use a bit of guile and intelligence to understand what was required and we didn't do that to a large extent.
"But we kept going, we changed it around and we got Peter Crouch on, which helped as he gave us a different option, so we got something out of the game, but all credit to Hull on the day, who found themselves up against it and did really well.
"I suppose to get a point in our first away game is something to take out of the match, but we're not quite up to speed yet."
|31 Aug 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|15 Sep 2014||v West Ham (H)|
|20 Sep 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|27 Sep 2014||v Man City (H)|
|04 Oct 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Arsenal (A)|