CHESTER have claimed top spot in the Conference on the strength of their defence more than their attack.
But three goals in each of their last two matches may convince the doubters the promised land of the Football League could be just around the corner.
Manager Mark Wright seems to have found the final pieces of the jigsaw as City opened up a four-point lead with a professional performance at The Shay, which made Halifax realise just how far they have to go to even get close to their former Third Division rivals.
Halifax hardly threatened Chester, and when they managed a few long-range shots on target goalkeeper Wayne Brown was as safe as houses.
It wasn't exactly men against boys, but City looked a cut above their opponents from back to front and from start to finish and their victory was never in doubt once Ben Davies had given them the lead after 33 minutes, when he finished off a move featuring Scott Guyett and Daryl Clare.
The only low point of the game for City came eight minutes into the second half when Jamie Heard was stretchered off following a tackle which had yellow card all over it, but the referee saw nothing wrong.
It looked bad for Heard at first, but there was no serious damage, apart from stud marks on his sore ankles.
Five minutes later Chester doubled their lead when Danny Collins was on the end of a Kevin McIntyre free-kick to head home, only to be booked for over-celebrating in front of the Blues fans.
There was no stopping Chester now and on 65 minutes Guyett, who has added an attacking dimension to his game since returning to the side, claimed his second assist when he set up Clare to slide the ball home from close range, to confirm the Conference's top predator is getting back to his best at just the right time.
As City piled on the pressure, Clare had another chance, but fired over from a McIntyre pass and the indefatigable Davies brought a great save from Mark Cartwright in the Halifax goal.
Had either of these shots gone in City wouldn't have been flattered and Halifax could hardly have complained. It was the most complete away performance of the season and for 45 minutes at least Chester had the look of champions.
Manager Mark Wright is not yet ready to talk about titles, but there was no disguising his pleasure at the end of the game.
'To win 3-0 away is first-class football,' he said. 'It could have been more. I was really pleased with our performance. We did a lot of good things.'
Chester: Brown, Collins, McIntyre, Smith (Carden 71), Davies, Clare, Carey, Ruffer, Heard (Bolland 53), Rapley, Guyett. Subs: Twiss, Foster, Stamp.
Booked: Collins, Rapley, Smith. Halifax: Cartwright, Bushell, Monington, Mallon, Midgley, Lee (Allen 69), McCombe, Hudson (Owen 67), Sagare (Killeen 59), McAuley, Yates. Subs: Hockenhull, Farrell.
Booked: Bushell. Referee: C Oliver, Ashington. Attendance: 1,928.