Stalybridge Celtic 0 Chester City 4
CHESTER CITY'S renaissance, that has now seen them go 13 matches unbeaten, continued apace on Saturday as City demolished a pedestrian Stalybridge Celtic side with a performance of panache and style that augers well for the future.
Admittedly, Stalybridge are are on the crest of a slump at the moment - Saturday's hammering was their fourth consecutive defeat, but the professional way in which City went about their business was a joy to watch.
Chester boss Mark Wright has transformed the club in the nine weeks he has been in the Deva Stadium hot-seat, and after inheriting a dispirited bunch, he has begun to mould a squad that could possibly bring back former glories to the Deva.
Wright made three changes to his starting line up at Bower Fold, with Mark Williams, Brian McGorry and Lee Woodyatt all returning. The recall of Williams and Woodyatt were master strokes.
In the centre of defence Williams gave extra solidity and control, while Woodyatt's mobility added an extra attacking option that had been missing in the previous match against Scarborough.
The most surprising thing about Saturday's victory was that City only won by a four-goal margin and it took 36 minutes for the first goal to come.
City's on-loan players Michael McElhatton and Chris Tate, who had spurned two easy chances early on, set up the goal for leading scorer Mark Beesley, who rifled an unstoppable effort from 15 yards.
Two goals in a four-minute spell early in the second half settled the match as a contest.
After 54 minutes Lee Woodyatt's free-kick found Tate on the six-yard line and the tall striker stooped and headed a simple goal.
The third goal was a stunner. The home defence only half cleared another deep Woodyatt cross, the ball came to McElhatton 20 yards out and his exquisite curling effort beat the despairing Walker all ends up.
McElhatton gave the scoreline a more realistic look in injury time, when he rifled an 18-yard shot past the hapless Walker.
A delighted Mark Wright was naturally upbeat after the match.
"It was an extremely professional performance, and the lads showed today that they are capable of anything," he said.
"There is still a long way to go this season, but if we can continue in this vein of form, then we have nothing to fear."
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC: Walker, Murphy, Woods, Wood (Mike 67), Perkins, Peacock, P Beesley ( Williamson 70), Parr, Pickford, Iyorinde, Courtney (Turley 74). Subs: Wharton, Fish.
CHESTER CITY: W Brown, Woodyatt, Bolland, Williams, M Rose, Carey, Brabin, McGorry, McElhatton, M Beesley, Tate. Subs: Spink, Haarhoff, Blackburn, Whittaker, D Brown.
Referee: Mr Carl Boyeson (Hull) ATT: 1002...SUPL: