CHESTER'S alarming slump continued on Saturday, but such was their domination, they should have been home and dry before Liam Dickinson's late goals wrapped up the points for Coca-Cola League Two's bottom side.
City have now lost 10 of their last 11 league outings, and the latest loss means the club's long-suffering supporters may have to make plans for trips to the likes of Woking and Canvey Island next season.
Relegation is a distinct possibility, and despite their improved display, there are still major concerns.
The central defensive unit continues to be unimpressive, while the strike force are still regularly under-achieving.
With centre-back Luke Dimech out with a sore throat, Sean Hessey, who hadn't played for three months, was swiftly promoted to the starting line-up.
The home side gave a debut to new signing Paul Tait, and he turned in a man of the match performance which augers well for the remainder of the campaign.
City had chances early on as Davies, Blundell and Drummond, all going wide with efforts, while at the other end Griffin rattled the home side's crossbar.
Ten minutes into the second period Chester appeared to have taken the lead as Justin Walker's thunderous drive hit the underside of the bar and rippled the net when it bounced upwards, but inexplicably St Helens referee Chris Foy waved play on.
Against the run of play Dickinson gave the visitors the lead on 77 minutes. Artell appeared to have a through ball covered, but he wasted too much time and the tall striker nipped in to poke past Gillet.
Substitute Ryan Lowe restored parity four minutes later, latching on to a delightful flick from Tait and placed the ball past Spencer.
However, with a draw looking inevitable, Michael Branch messed up a short corner, the ball was played quickly down field by Stock-port, where Dickinson shrugged off Hessey's weak challenge to register an undeserved winner.
Chester manager Keith Curle said: "We probably created enough chances to win two games.
"We're guilty of naive defending. The first one came from our own throw in, the second from a short corner we tried, when we should be putting the ball into their box.
"We played with good energy and commitment, and we passed it well but we were a bit rushed in the final third.
"Winning was second nature for us early in the season, but we have to turn it around quickly, the only place you can do that is on the field."
CHESTER: Gillet, McNiven, Artell, Hessey, Regan, Asamoah (Branch 61), Drummond, Walker, Davies, Tait, Blundell (Lowe 56). Subs: S Vaughan, J Vaughan, El Kholti.
STOCKPORT: Spencer, Clare, Williams, Beharrall, Robinson, Hamshaw (Malcolm 77), Allen (Wolkski 69), Briggs, Griffin (Singh 62), Bramble, Dickinson. Subs: Howarth, Le Fondre.
REF: Mr Chris Foy (St Helens).