Jordan Williams’ second half double saw the Blues fall to defeat on a wet and windy day at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.
The Barrow striker turned the game around in the second 45, after Ross Hannah’s 20th goal of the season had given Chester the lead at the break.
The visitors – starting the day two places above the Blues – had a glorious opportunity to take the lead early on; but Danny Livesey blasted over from close range.
Conditions were having a serious bearing on the game – with Barrow playing with the wind in the first half – allowing Williams some space to shoot; fortunately his volley crashed off the crossbar on 12 minutes.
The rain and the wind were wreaking havoc – never more so than when the Blues almost took the lead through a bizarre own goal – when Richie Sutton’s swirling header landed on the roof of his own net.
The resulting corner was cleared back out to Rooney – and he made his second attempt count; Joel Dixon saving well from Sam Hughes’ initial header, before the ball ricochet off Ross Hannah and into the back of the net.
Hannah then could have doubled the lead a minute before the break – as the ball deflected into his path – but Dixon saved well with his legs.
But the visitors improved in the second half early on; Ian Sharps denying Andy Cook with a superb last ditch challenge – before Thompson saved from Tomlinson.
Barrow’s momentum drew them level on 55 minutes - thanks to a superb solo goal.
Williams was the man, he skipped past Ryan Higgins and drove into the box; before firing into the far corner with the outside of his left boot.
Conditions were still having an effect in the second half – as the Blues looked to restore their lead – Hughes’ desire for the ball carved out a chance for Johnny Hunt, but he shot wide from a tight angle.
Andy Haworth – who had come on at the break – then tried his luck from range; but his shot was the wrong side of the post.
Then, the game took a turn for the worst for Chester, as Barrow scored the winner on 85 minutes.
The brilliant Williams was at it again, skipping past two challenges, and his shot proved too powerful for Thompson and found the net; via a slight deflection.
Steve Burr and his side were desperately scrambling for a leveller – just two minutes after Williams’ goal Hannah swivelled and fired just wide of the post; but the Blues ran out of time.
CHESTER: Thompson, Higgins, Heneghan, Sharps, Hunt, Shaw, Hughes, Rooney, Lloyd (O’Brien 78), Alabi, Hannah.
SUBS NOT USED: Worsnop, Waters, Mahon, Richards.
BARROW: Dixon, Sutton, Livesey, Grand, Wilmer-Anderton, Harvey, Parry, Donohue (Haworth 46), Cook, Tomlinson, J Williams.
SUBS NOT USED: Abbott, Lacey, Walker, S Williams.
SCORERS: Hannah 37; J Williams 55 & 85.
REFEREE: Robert Jones.