CHESTER battered Margate into submission to retain top spot in the Conference - and, in doing so, rack up a postwar record of 17 matches without defeat.
It was an impressive second-half display by the Blues, who took more than an hour to break the deadlock. But once the Margate defence was breached, there was only going to be one result.
After the hiccup against Accrington Stanley in midweek, manager Mark Wright needed a convincing result - and he got one.
'We knew Margate couldn't do any more than they had done in the first half and we knew they were tired,' he said.
'And we knew that if we were patient we were going to score goals. I was more than pleased with our second-half performance.'
Against a limited Margate side more interested in spoiling than being positive, Chester were always on top in the first half but failed to make their possession count.
They had several chances, with Kevin Rapley's shot hitting team-mate Daryl Clare near the line, Shaun Carey firing wide from 25 yards and goalkeeper Phil Smith having to deny Ben Davies twice in rapid succession on the stroke of half-time.
City's unbeaten record never looked in danger, but the longer the second half went on, the more it looked as if it could be one of those days, especially when Smith produced another great save from Clare.
But fans needn't have worried. On 68 minutes, the relentless pressure paid off when a superb move on the left, featuring Alex Smith and Kevin McIntyre, ended with Davies slotting the ball home.
Wayne Brown had been virtually a spectator, but still showed alertness and agility to tip over a long-range shot from Darron Annon as the visitors at last showed some appetite for goalscoring.
It was only a matter of time before the Margate defence would crack again, but they were a shade unfortunate when skipper Graham Porter deflected Daryl Clare's shot past replacement goalkeeper Charlie Mitten in the 82nd minute from a cross by substitute Darryn Stamp.
City were now home and dry, but the third goal was welcome to emphasise their superiority as another slick link-up between Smith and McIntyre ended with Stamp sweeping the ball into the net.
Chester: Brown, Collins, McIntyre, Smith, Davies, Clare, Brady (Foster 58), Carey, Ruffer, Guyett (Bolland 72), Rapley (Stamp 58). Subs: Carden, Harris.
Booked: McIntyre, Carey. Margate: Smith (Mitten 70), Annon, Murphy, Edwards, O'Connell, Porter, Leberl, Keister (Watson 78), Clarke, Piper, Sigere (Stadhart 75). Subs: Zoricich, Pullman.
Booked: Smith. Referee: D Richardson. Attendance: 1,971.