Chester FC continued their fine run of form and increased the gap to ten points over third placed Brackley Town, but not without surviving a late scare after dominating for 85 minutes.
Goals from Dave Hankin, Ben Mills and George Horan saw Chester well incontrol before a late brace from Steve Diggin nearly rescued something for the hosts.
The scoreline was complimentary to The Saints as Chester were dominate from the first minute, George Horan getting on the end of a Matty McGinn corner only to see his effort cleared off the line by Eddie Odhiambo, who once played for Chester City as Eddie Anaclet.
The Blues continued to push and on-loan winger Danny Williams nearly opened the scoring when he got on the end of Nathan Jarman’s cross-come-shot, Williams hit the bar from close range, on an angle.
Their pressure would pay off and it was the other winger, Dave Hankin, who broke the deadlock. Matty McGinn’s corner again causing problems as Paul Linwood headed it back across goal, Saints ‘keeper Billy Turley punched it as far as Hankin who finished superbly to give Chester the lead in the 22nd minute.
Eleven minutes later and one became two as Ben Mills scored his first goal since returning to the club on a permanent basis, also his tenth of the season. Hankin again was involved as his cross was deflected by Curtis McDonald into the path of Mills who gleefully headed home from close range, giving Turley no chance.
Chester started the second half as they had played during the first, and it was Billy Turley’s terrific double save that prevented them from increasing their lead, first saving from Mills, then from Hankin.
Ben Mills was involved again, and should have had Chester’s third when he got on the end of Nathan Jarman’s cross, after Horan had put him through, Mills, completely unmarked, with the goal gaping saw his glancing header go just passed the far post.
Despite Brackley working hard there was only one side that looked likely to score and that was the visitors, Danny Williams’ cross picked out Nathan Jarman, but he, like Mills earlier, couldn’t direct his header on target.
In the seventy fourth minute Chester got their third, as a Wes Baynes corner found George Horan, who was unmarked at the back post and put the ball home from close range.
After all their pressure Chester’s defence came undone as substitute Gary Mulligan crossed the ball for Steve Diggin to put it home from close range with three minutes remaining.
One quickly became two, and flattered the hosts as Mulligan again crossed and this time Diggin’s fantastic header beat the diving Danby as the game went into injury time.
Moments later and Antoni Sarcevic broke free from the last man and rounded Turley only to see his effort from a tight angle rebound off the post.
Brackley threw everyone forward for a free kick in the last minute, including Turley, but they were unable to find the equaliser.
Chester: Danby, Baynes, McGinn, Horan (c), Linwood, D Williams (Howard 92), Hankin (Turner 76), Sarcevic, Jarman (M Williams 86), Mills, A Williams
Subs: Gray, Denson
Brackley: Turley, Corocoran, McDonald, Odhiambo (Sandy 67), Austin, Nisevic, Story (Winters 45), Solkhon (c), Diggin, Robinson (Mulligan 67), Walker
Subs: Clifton, Walker
Goal Scorers: Chester: Hankin (22), Mills (33), Horan (74). Brackley: Diggin (87, 90).
Man of the Match: Dave Hankin
Referee: Mr D Cook
Assistant Referee: Mr A Bayliss, Mr A Dine
Match report by Chris Graham