The long awaited return of the Tranmere Rovers rivalry couldn't have gone much worse for Chester FC.
On an occasion that demanded better, the Blues served up a dismal performance, going down 2-0 at Prenton Park in the first league game between the clubs since 1991.
Chester fell behind on five minutes in calamitous fashion, Liam Hogan heading into the net after keeper Jon Worsnop collided with team-mate Ben Heneghan as he attempted to punch clear.
It was one-way traffic in the first-half and Rovers got a deserved second in the 37th minute when James Norwood dribbled 40 yards through the defence and slotted past the exposed Worsnop.
The second-half wasn't quite as grim but the toothless Blues never looked capable of turning things around and John Rooney's missed penalty on 75 minutes summed the afternoon up.
Following the game, manager Steve Burr said his team had given themselves a 'mountain to climb' having conceded two soft goals.
Chester, who are 12th in the Vanarama National League table, welcome seventh-placed Grimsby Town to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm).