Chester FC extended their lead at the top of the Blue Square Bet North to 16 points, as all other games in league were postponed. Goals from Nathan Jarman, George Horan and Marc Williams gave The Blues a 3-0 lead at the break. A superb free kick from Jack Laird, his fourteenth of the season, got one back for the visitors before Wes Baynes saved the best for last, unleashing a dipping strike from over thirty yards.
Chester started the game brightly, with a Dave Hankin cross causing problems for the visiting defence as they put it behind before they were able to clear the resulting corner.
The Blues continued to apply pressure and Nathan Jarman saw his effort cleared off the line as he did well to head the ball with the back of his head, while facing away from goal.
Stalybridge were keen to show that they had an offensive presence themselves though and Mitchell Austin's quick counter attack found Leon Osborne who'd got between Danby and the Chester defence but he could only flick his effort over.
Ashley Woodhouse spilled a Craig Curran effort from the edge of the area to Nathan Jarman but he was up and spectacularly saved the rebounded effort to keep Chester out.
The pressure paid off in the eleventh minute as Jarman got his breakthrough, Matty McGinn's ball in got caught between the bodies of Jarman and the visitors defender before falling to Jarman who hammered it home from nine yards out.
Woodhouse was on hand again to prevent The Blues from doubling their lead as he turned away a Dave Hankin header, which he appeared to react to late.
On an afternoon where he had picked up his Player of the month, along side Neil Young's Manager of the month award, Antoni Sarcevic caused the Stalybridge defence plenty of problems, closing down Woodhouse, who spilled the ball, then backheeling an effort towards goal which was cleared by the Stalybridge defence.
Ashley Woodhouse, the visitors second choice 'keeper, was having a brilliant game though and made a stunning double save with twenty five minutes played. Hankin ran on the overlap to Jarman and fired an effort across goal that Woodhouse palmed away, straight to Antoni Sarcevic, who looked set to add his fifteenth of the season, connecting perfectly with the effort only for Woodhouse to push the ball away from the ground.
Chester didn't have to wait too long for their second as Stalybridge sat further and further back, another ball in, this time from a McGinn corner lead to George Horan heading the ball home from close range.
On the stroke of half time Chester made it three, Nathan Jarman's header from Dave Hankin's cross forced Woodhouse into another save but he couldn't keep hold of it and Marc Williams scrambled the ball home.
Chester continued to dominate proceedings as Wes Baynes' ball over the top found Nathan Jarman but he could only shoot wide from a tight angle.
Stalybridge earned a free kick and with their first shot on target got a goal back, and what a strike it was too. Substitute Jack Laird, who'd only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes, unleashing a fine curling effort into the top corner, leaving John Danby stranded. More worryingly for The Blues was that Danby remained on the floor after the goal, clutching his lower back, before eventually returning to his feet but clearly in some discomfort.
Stalybridge seemed to play with a renewed confidence after the goal but Chester did a good job of thwarting any serious pressure and managed to protect any further efforts of note at Danby's goal.
With the clock running down Chester added their forth with an absolutely stunning goal from Wes Baynes. The ball broke to the right back, at least thirty yards out, and sat up perfectly for him to unleash a dipping effort that snuck under Ashley Woodhouse's crossbar.
Chester: Danby, Baynes, McGinn, Horan (c), Linwood, Turner, Hankin, Sarcevic, Jarman (Mills), M Williams (Brown), Curran
Subs: Collins, Brown, Gray, Mills, Howard
Stalybridge: Woodhouse, Lees (c), Warburton, Ryan, Egerton (Laird), Hayward, Bleau (Pepper), Buckley, Bembo-Leta, Osborne (Gregory), Austin
Goal Scorers: Chester: Jarman (11), Horan (27), M Williams (43). Stalybridge: Laird (65).
Man of the match: Chester: Craig Curran. Stalybridge: Prince Hayward.
Referee: Mr Matthew Bristow
Assistant Referee: Mr Matthew Donohue, Mr Dominic McDonald
Match Report by Chris Graham