After the storming performance in the 3-0 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday the Blues Chester failed to start with the same intensity against Maidstone.
Wingers Tom Murphy and Bobby-Jo Taylor threatened for much of the opening 25 minutes as the Stones looked dangerous going forward.
Murphy went close before the Kent visitors edged ahead on 20 minutes when a deep Murphy cross found Anthony Acheampong who beat Ryan Astles to the ball to nod past Liam Roberts in the Chester goal.
Maidstone continued to threaten and went close again after Murphy effort but Chester were level on 31 minutes in superb style.
Kane Richards found space to feed James Alabi who checked back on Acheampong before composing himself and curling a 10-yard effort past Lee Worgan in the Stones goal.
That ignited a fire under Chester and went on the front foot for the remainder of the half but failed to find nudge themselves ahead.
After a tentative start to the second period Chester were behind on 57 minutes when Murphy's cross from the right wasn't dealt with by the Blues defence and Ben Greenhalgh bundled home from six yards to hand the Stones the lead.
The Blues defence were at fault for the third on 65 minutes when Alex Flisher was given too much time to turn his man in the area and rifle an effort beyond Roberts.
Chester laboured and didn't look like finding a way back into it and their cause wasn't helped when Alabi was shown a straight red after he slid in on Stones keeper Worgan after a ball through from substitute James Akintunde.
First off, Maidstone are no mugs and should do well in the National League.
Despite a tough start to life in non-league football's top flight the Stones looked full of confidence and took the game to the Blues.
Chester, apart from a spell from 10 minutes in the first half, struggled to find the levels they did on Tuesday and often lookd exposed on the flanks with Murphy especially causing plenty of havoc for much of the contest.
They had a platform on which to build in the second half and when they went behind the wind looked to have been taken from their sails and they never really regained their composure while their opponents grew in strength and stature.
The National League is three games old and, to be honest, just how Chester will shape up this season is still a mystery.
They have played two fancied teams and one side who still have a spring in their step after winning promotion last season so three points on the board isn't a bad return.
It very much seemed a case of it being 'one of those days' and the Blues will need to show a response, as they did against Dagenham, to help them build some momentum.
There was plenty of food for thought for McCarthy and, with Alabi suspended for the trip to Barrow on Tuesday, a reshuffling of the pack will be in order.
One to forget.
Liam Roberts: Made a string of good saves to keep the Stones at bay and looked a composed figure. The scoreline could have been much worse had it not been for him.
On a tough day, Roberts was one to emerge with a decent amount of credit. He looks a find.
Chester FC: Roberts, Horwood (Chapell 58), Vassell, Astles, Hudson, George, Shaw (Akintunde 70), Durrell, Hunt, Alabi, Richards (Mahon 58).
Subs: Worsnop, Waters.
Red cards: Alabi
Goals: Alabi 31
Maidstone United: Worgan, Mills, Lokko, Rogers, Acheampong, Paxman (Sweeney 75), Flisher, Evans, Murphy, Taylor (Dumaka 67), Greenhalgh (Hall-Johnson 82).
Subs: Coyle, Karagiannis.
Bookings: Paxman, Flisher, Greenhalgh
Goals: Acheampong 20, Greenhalgh 57, Flisher 65