A Ross Hannah double ensured Chester FC's progression into round two of the FA Trophy in grim conditions at AFC Telford United.
Steve Burr opted for a 4-4-2 formation for the trip to New Bucks Head for a clash against the National League North's bottom side.
A heavy, boggy pitch didn't make for great football but the Blues did what was required without ever really having to extend themselves too much.
Hannah gave the Blues the lead on 11 minutes when he reacted quickest to Tom Shaw's parried shot, side-footing past James Montgomery.
His second came on 32 minutes, latching on to a through ball from Ryan Lloyd before making his way into the area and lashing past Montgomery into the roof of the net.
Luke George was lucky to escape receiving a second yellow for a poorly timed challenge on Jack Rea but the Blues were full value for the win.
Lloyd, the excellent Danny Hattersley and Hannah all went close to making it three while Calum Hassan and Jack Deaman went close at the other end. But anything other than a Chester win never really looked on the cards and the Blues go into the hat for round two.
Danny Hattersley a boost: Hattersley's arrival may not have greeted with much fanfare but he did an excellent job against the Bucks.
He won his headers, battled superbly and provided a foil for Hannah to do what he does best – score goals. With the poor conditions it was a game that was always likely to be reliant on the long ball at times, something which played to Hattersley's strengths.
His role alongside Hannah in a 4-4-2 provided Chester with a constant threat up front and keeping hold of him for a longer stint may prove a shrewd move.
Rooney a non-starter...again: Switching to a 4-4-2 again, Steve Burr saw no place for John Rooney and opted for Tom Shaw and Luke George in the centre of the park.
And while Rooney came on owing to George having escaped a second yellow card in the first half, his omission from the starting line up was a surprise given his regular starting role.
Rooney was a fairly anonymous figure in the second half and struggled in the boggy conditions. But it appears he is now not a definite starter, a role that he isn't used to occupying, how he responds will be interesting.
AFC Telford United: Montgomery, Dawson, Brownhill, Wynter, Slade (Deaman 41), Tilt, Clancy, Rea, Hassan, Rowe, Austin (Reid 77).
Subs: Campion, Wilkinson, Gorman.
Chester FC: Worsnop, Higgins, Hunt, Sharps, Heneghan, George (Rooney 42), Shaw, Chapell (Mahon 72), Lloyd, Hattersley (Hobson 87), Hannah.
Subs: Forth, Whitmore.
Goals: Hannah 11, 32.
Booked: George, Hannah.
A win against Telford was a must. The poor league form that the Blues have endured in recent weeks has seen a cloud form over the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.
Now, a win over s side bottom of the league below and void of confidence is hardly the stuff of legend but it was a triumph that Chester desperately needed and keeps alive their interest in an FA Trophy that could prove to be their season saviour.
They will face far sterner examinations in the league but this game felt pivotal for the Blues and their progression in the Trophy will be a huge relief to Burr and gives them something to build on in the league.
The switch to 4-4-2 worked and Hattersley and Hannah appear to be forging a good understanding. Dreadful conditions didn't make for a great game but a win's a win, and this was extremely important.