CHESTER edged closer still to the Blue Square Conference North title with yet another home victory, this time a battling 2-0 triumph over a spirited Gloucester City.
The hosts made the most of the winter-worn pitch in the early stages, which set the scene for their early breakthrough.
Striker Tony Gray showed Blues boss Neil Young he was right to start today's game, chipping an effort past Gloucester keeper Mike Green with just eight minutes on the clock to put Chester a goal to the good.
Gloucester put up a determined but mistake-riddled performance, creating few clear-cut chances, but their best chance to equalise came from a lapse in concentration in the Blues defence.
Danny Andrew pounced on a ball the Chester players assumed was heading out of play and whipped in a cross which saw Darren Edwards head the ball, forcing Chester keeper John Danby into a fine save.
Chester doubled their lead with their 90th league goal of the campaign. Matty McGinn fed a dangerous ball into the area ready for Tony Gray to net his second, only for the unfortunate Tom Hamblin to clip the ball into his own net after 43 minutes.
With Gloucester posing little threat in the second half, the match fizzled out as a spectacle, although the arrival of substitute Lee Trundle injected some excitement to the game. His best effort on 74 minutes saw superb control of the ball to lob Green, only for his shot to tap the left post.
Substitute Ashley Williams was similarly unlucky with his injury-time shot which looped over everyone but bounced back off the crossbar.
The win keeps Chester 16 points clear at the top of the table after Guiseley's 1-0 win at Solihull Moors. Despite the Blues' season points tally edging into the nineties, they still require five more wins from their last eight games at present to be mathematically guaranteed the title.
Chester FC: Danby, L Turner, Horan, Linwood, McGinn, N Turner, Sarcevic, D Williams, Hankin (A Williams 77), Gray, Jarman (Trundle 71).
Subs not used: M Williams, Collins, Brown.
Goals: Gray 8, Hamblin (og) 43.
Gloucester City: Green, Green, Andrew, Coupe, Hamblin (Rawlings 52), Webb, Hogg, Harris (Mullings 73), Edwards; Liddiard, Mann (Morford 64).
Subs not used: Mustoe, Holland.
Referee: Andy Hendley (Halesowen).