CHESTER FC fans were tickled pink after an enjoyable match saw the Blues regain some much-needed home form with a 3-0 win against Lancaster City.
Before the game, fans, players and coaching staff alike had all dressed up in pink attire to show their support for the club's Think Pink charity initiative, in aid of the breast cancer care unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
And in a refreshing change from recent matches, Chester started the game brightly and with visibly more confidence in all areas of the pitch.
Their early stranglehold on the game soon paid dividends in the form of Iain Howard, who put Chester ahead after only seven minutes on the clock.
A beautifully worked set of passing saw Michael Wilde receive the ball near the 18-yard box, where he chested it down and quickly passed to Howard, whose precise right-footed strike from 12 yards out put the ball past Lancaster keeper Martin Fearon to make the score 1-0.
The Blues' early dominance would be a recurring theme throughout the game, with Chester winning the majority of tackles in the middle third of the pitch, and defending in a more assured manner.
With 20 minutes gone, Chester doubled their lead thanks to an excellent piece of team build-up play. Greg Stones whipped through a 30-yard pass to Wilde, who put in an inch-perfect throughball for Howard to notch up his second of the day by chipping it over the keeper from close range.
Lancaster had one chance of note in the first half, when a throw-in from the visitors allowed Paul Jarvis to weave his way outside the Chester 18-yard box, and was given far too much time to have a shot, but his effort went narrowly wide of the goal.
The second half began much the same as the first, with the Blues showing bursts of total domination, and it wasn't long before Kyle Wilson stretched the home side's lead.
After 55 minutes, Wilde was on the receiving end of a well-placed throughball and he took the opportunity to run toward the edge of the Lancaster 18-yard box, where he crossed the ball to the unmarked Wilson, who clinically fired in to make the score 3-0.
Three minutes later, in an all-too familiar scenario for the Blues this season, a Chester player looked to have been fouled in the penalty area but no penalty was given.
The unlucky recipient this time was Antoni Sarcevic, on loan from Crewe Alexandra, who was felled in the box but the referee took no action.
Referee Gordon Johnson was to heap further misery for Sarcevic late on, when a late challenge and a coming-together resulted in him receiving a second yellow, his first harshly coming from a first-half scramble.
Despite the sending-off, this had been a good performance for Sarcevic, who was signed this week. Indeed, overall the squad looked in much better shape and the Blues were fully deserving of the three points.
Chester FC: Richard Whiteside, Stuart Jones, Chris Williams, George Horan, Carl Ruffer, Antoni Sarcevic, Bradley Barnes (Michael Aspin 82), Greg Stones (Stuart Graves 87), Kyle Wilson (Alex Titchiner 74), Michael Wilde, Iain Howard.
Lancaster City: Martin Fearon, Rob Henry, Neil Marshall, Andrew Teaghe, Farrell Kilbane, Rob Wilson, Mike Rushton (Billy McKenna 70), Adam Farrell, Josh Kenworthy (Alex Johnson 34), Max Rothwell, Paul Jarvis (Danny Hattersley 45).
Referee: Gordon Johnson.