MICHAEL Kay scored with virtually the last kick of the match as the Blues came from behind to record their second win of pre-season.
Substitute Ben Mills turned in a Craig Mahon cross four minutes from time to cancel out Louis Hutton’s brilliant 62nd-minute opener.
And there was still time for centre-back Kay to settle the contest as he bundled the ball home from close range.
It was no more than Chester – playing their penultimate friendly before the Skrill Premier campaign kicks off in one week’s time – deserved for an impressive performance at a sun-kissed Deva Stadium.
If Neil Young was disappointed with the way his side threw away victory late on at AFC Telford United in midweek then he would have been delighted by the way they started against their youthful Premier League opponents.
City – featuring a string of youth internationals and one fully fledged international in Ivory Coast midfielder Abdul Razak – could have had no complaints had they fallen behind in the first 10 minutes.
Lewis and Nathan Turner – making their first appearances back in the blue and white stripes after completing their season-long loans from Leeds United, and looking like they have never been away – linked-up well in the fourth minute.
Nathan picked up possession in the middle of the perfectly prepared pitch and spread the ball out wide to his twin brother Lewis, who cut inside on to his left foot and fired over from distance.
A last-ditch clearance denied Mahon a certain goal two minutes later after Kevin McIntyre raced on to a measured pass down the line by Lee Pugh and fizzed over an inviting first-time cross.
McIntyre – playing on the left of a four-man midfield – was at the heart of everything the Blues did well in the first half.
In the 10th minute he sliced open the City defence with a threaded through pass that gave Jamie Reed a clear run on goal.
The ball sat up nicely for the fit-again frontman and he was desperately unlucky to see his left-footed half-volley loop over Eirik Holmen Johansen and come back off the bar.
The hosts hit the woodwork again later in the half after McIntyre kept alive a deep cross for Danny Harrison to head against the post.
But for all of Chester’s dominance and patient, probing football they would have conceded the first goal of an entertaining clash had Pugh not headed off the line from Wales Under 21s midfielder Emyr Hughes.
Pugh’s intervention ensured the teams went in level at the break – and it took a fine save from Johansen to keep the game goalless 10 minutes after the restart.
The Norway U21s goalkeeper got down low to his right to keep out a trademark acrobatic volley from the classy Gareth Seddon after Mahon and Lewis Turner combined down the right.
Winger Mahon then wasted an even better opportunity, lifting the ball over the bar – and the closed Harry McNally Terrace – after it broke to him in the box.
His profligacy was punished by Hutton in the 62nd minute.
The England U17s midfielder flicked the ball from his left to his right foot before volleying the ball beautifully past Martin Fearon to give City an undeserved lead.
It was a lead they would have doubled moments later had Fearon not flung himself across his goal line to keep out an attempt from substitute Jorge Intima.
It proved a crucial save as in the 86th minute striker Mills took full advantage of Johansen’s inability to deal with Mahon’s ball into the area.
And three minutes into injury-time Mills flicked on a header from fellow sub George Horan for Kay to net from inside the six-yard box.
Blues boss Young, who was missing Craig Lindfield and Alex Titchiner through injury, said: “I think it was the right result on chances.
“Some of the football they played at times was great to watch but I thought we set up well, had a good shape, stopped them playing in the final third and restricted them to very little.”
Chester: Fearon, L Turner, Kay, Linwood (Horan 73), Pugh (Heath 73), N Turner (Jarrett 73), Harrison (A Williams 73), McIntyre (Menagh 64), Mahon, Reed (M Williams 62), Seddon (Mills 76). Sub: Danby.