CHESTER'S last home match at the Deva Stadium against Shrewsbury Town just under a fortnight ago saw them turn in their worst performance since the infamous days of the unpopular American coach whose name is rarely uttered in football circles these days.
Yet despite their woeful display against Shrewsbury, City emerged with a rather fortuitous 1-1 draw.
Yesterday, however, they were involved in another 1-1 draw, but this performance was arguably their best for some time, against a side that are running away with the Coca-Cola League Two.
With a little more luck City could easily have gleaned all three points, instead of the one that they achieved.
There was much in this offering for manager Ian Rush and his players to take heart from, defensively there were more competent than for many weeks, in midfield they totally outplayed their opposition, while up front they looked far sharper than they have done for weeks.
It is a measure of the change in the past two weeks, but despite going behind to an early goal, Chester showed great character in coming back and dominating the match for long periods despite the setback.
Scunthorpe took the lead in the third minute, when leading scorer Paul Hayes easily beat the advancing Wayne Brown, the youngster who is creating interest amongst a clutch of Premier League clubs, crossed to the far post where veteran striker Steve Torpey had a simple job to score from close range.
Rather than buckle under this early setback, City came back well and twice in quick succession Hessey and Branch brought out saves from Musselwhite.
The equaliser came after 18 minutes through Kevin Ellison. A smart move down the right saw the ball worked from Hillier to man of the match Stewart Drummond, the former Morcambe player played a delightful ball to the on-rushing Ellison who side-footed it home from six yards.
City still had chances towards the end of the first period, with Branch and Davies both shooting narrowly wide.
In the second half Chester's cause wasn't helped when on the hour mark, keeper Wayne Brown limped off with a back injury, Chris Mackenzie came on as substitute.
Still City were the better side with Hessey and Paul Carden both going narrowly wide with chances from the edge of the area.
Branch had a golden opportunity to push City into the lead, but a last ditch tackle from former Chester play Andy Crosby denied him the opportunity.
Chester appealed for a penalty when Ellison appeared to be brought down in the area, however referee Mr Woollmer, who otherwise had an outstanding game, waved Chester's protests aside.
After the match City manager Ian Rush reflected: "I thought we battered them for 85 minutes, and when you consider that they are the best side in the league and certainties for promotion, that can only be positive.
"Stewart Drummond had an outstanding game, but so did others. I thought Ellison and Carden played well, as did the new boys Hillier and Bayliss."
Rush continued: "We have been improving, and this is just another step along the road, but the sort of improvement I am looking for doesn't come quickly and we have to work hard to achieve that goal."
CHESTER CITY : W Brown (Mackenzie 60), Hillier, Hessey, Bolland, Bayliss, Drummond, Ellison, Carden, Branch, Belle, Davies (M Brown 77). Subs: Vaughan, Rapley, Whalley.
SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Musselwhite, Crosby, Byrne (Stanton), Hayes, Torpey, Barraclough, Ridley, Beagrie, Taylor, Butler, Sparrow. Subs: Jackson, Barwick, Parton, Evans.