THIS WAS just the sort of performance and result that Chester needed after their lacklustre New Year's Day showing against Northwich Victoria, with City comfortably overcoming lowly Kettering Town at Rockingham Road.
It wasn't pretty stuff, a heavy pitch and the home team's perilous relegation worries ensuring that an expansive, free-flowing game was never on the cards.
But Chester turned in a workmanlike and, arguably more importantly, a professional, disciplined performance that saw them totally nullify all the Northamptonshire side could muster.
Kettering created hardly any worthwhile efforts from open play, their two brief glimpses of the Chester goal coming from set pieces by Goodwin that City keeper Wayne Brown dealt with comfortably.
Chester reverted to their well proven 3-5-2 playing system, with Welsh under-18 international Lee Woodyatt returning to the right wing-back position, which gave the Deva outfit a much more solid and convincing look.
Woodyatt and his fellow defenders were impressive, but the man who really took the eye was midfield player Ben Davies.
The former Kidderminster Harriers player, who seems to be improving with every game, covered every inch of the ground, with a style reminiscent of a young Paul Scholes.
At times the youngster was helping his defenders, then in the blink of an eye he'd pop up to link well with his strikers and cause havoc among the beleaguered Kettering back line.
Davies it was who orchestrated the only goal of the game after 36 minutes. An inswinging corner taken by the player from the left was knocked on by Bolland to in-form Darryl Clare, who kept up his impressive scoring record by bundling the ball over the line from close range.
In the second period City had chances to increase their lead and give the scoreline a more realistic look. But Ian Bowling, in the home goal, made a string of impressive saves.
Two stops in particular stood out, the first from the returning Ryan Sugden and the second from Davies.
The final scoreline didn't fairly reflect Chester's command of the proceedings, but after the events of the festive period they can take satisfaction from a job well done.
Manager Mark Wright revealed there could well be some player movement at the Deva Stadium in the next few days.
"I'm hoping to bring some new players into the club, but first I have to move some players out," he said. "However, there will be movement."
Kettering Town: Bowling, Howarth (Haran 82), Matthews, Norman, Diuk, Inman, Goodwin, Murray, Piercewright (Asombang 68), Murphy, Parker (Shutt 78). Subs not used: Dancy, Gourley.
CHESTER CITY: W Brown, Ruffer, Bolland, Hatswell, Woodyatt, Davies, Kelly, Carden, Twiss, Clare, Sugden. Subs: M Brown, Lancaster, Cameron, Brady, Worsnop.
REFEREE: Mr G Simpson (Harrogate).