CHESTER CITY'S five-game goal drought finally came to an end on Saturday as they comprehensively overcame hapless Rushden & Diamonds.
This Coca-Cola League Two performance was light years better than the one turned in against Cheltenham Town in midweek, and the transformation was apparently brought about following a "clear the air" meeting between players and management on Wednesday.
Some of the recent mystifying tactics and team selections were dispensed with, and a good oldfashioned 4-4-2 formation employed, with the starting line-up containing nine players who were with the club at the beginning of the season.
Without doubt the key to the weekend success was the midfield unit of Drummond, Carden, Davies and Branch, who controlled events in the middle of the field and provided the springboard for Chester's first home league victory since October.
It's probably churlish to highlight one performance, but the return of City's inspirational captain Paul Carden to the heart of the engine room was a joy to behold.
Michael Branch adapted well to his role on the left of midfield, and he gave the left flank a presence that had been absent since the transfer of Kevin Ellison to Hull.
There is still a couple of personnel weaknesses that need to be addressed, and one of those could be rectified this week if an offer to Morecambe for City's former striker Michael Twiss is accepted.
City chairman Stephen Vaughan confirmed yesterday that a bid for the ex-Manchester United player had been lodged with the Christie Park club.
Chester totally dominated the first half against Rushden, and took a deserved lead after 15 minutes. Loan player Taiwo Atieno took advantage of a flap by keeper Worgan to stab the ball home from close range.
Sean Hessey doubled the home side's advantage after 38 minutes, Hessey thundering home a direct free-kick from 20 yards.
Rushden's resistance was breached after 75 minutes, Joe O'Neill registering from close range after Carden's 18-yard pile-driver had been parried.
Billy Sharp registered a consolation goal for the visitors four minutes from time, but it was definitely a case of too little too late.
After the game City's management duo of Ian Rush and Mark Aizlewood sent out Paul Carden to conduct the post-match press conference.
He said: "We had a meeting in the week and all the players got a few things off their chests, I thought from the first minute we took control. Today all the lads dug in and worked hard, and I thought we got what we deserved."
CHESTER CITY: W Brown, Edmondson (Hillier 83), Bolland, Hope, Hessey, Drummond, Carden, Davies, Branch, O'Neill, Atieno. Subs: Mackenzie, Vaughan, Elokobi, Harris.
RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS: Worgan, Connolly, Allen, Gulliver, Hawkins, Bell, Burgess, McCafferty, Dove (Gray 42), Littlejohn (Hay 46), Sharp. Subs: Kelly, Dempster, Chalmer-Stevens.