After nine months, six days and 16 hours of waiting, Chester FC ended their home hoodoo with a 2-0 success over Maidehead United to usher in the Marcus Bignot era in style.
A Ryan Astles goal on six minutes and a second-half Ross Hannah penalty brought smiles to the faces of the Blues faithful who had not seen a success at home since beating Aldershot Town in December 2016.
But that record - the worst in the club’s history - was banished with a confident and entertaining display that bodes well for new boss Bignot.
Following the unveiling of Bignot as Blues boss on Wednesday there was understandably an air of positivity around the Swansway Chester Stadium and cautious optimism that what had been thus far a thoroughly miserable 2017 with Chester winless at home since December 2016.
And Bignot showed his hand early on, recalling Tom Shaw to playing duties and a place in the starting line-up.
There was also a spot alongside Bignot in the Blues dugout for new assistant manager Ross Thorpe, a coach well known to the new manager due to the pair having worked together at Solihull Moors. While not a well-known name, Thorpe’s experience in non-league football is vast and varied, especially in relation to the Midlands.
There was no place in the squad, though for Harry White or goalkeeper Conor Mitchell as Bignot opted to add an extra outfield player to his bench at the expense of a back-up stopper.
And Bignot couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his era as manager.
There were six minutes on the clock when a Lucas Dawson free kick was whipped to the back post and the loose ball picked up by James Akintunde who fed the ball into John McCombe who tried to get a shot away, but there was Astles to slam high into the roof of the net from eight yards to give Chester the lead for the first time in a home game this season.
The confidence visibly started to come back into the Chester squad, certainly going forward, as Akintunde went close and Ross Hannah found space to operate in as the Blues took the game to the Magpies, who came into the clash sitting in fifth place in the National League table.
At the other end Harry Pritchard saw a 20-yard free kick easily held by Alex Lynch while James Comley shot well over from 25 yards on 16 minutes after finding some room.
But Chester could have doubled their advantage on 25 minutes after some superb work by Akintunde to chase down a long ball, wrestling away from his marker before, when one-on-one with the keeper, squaring to Hannah who shot over under heavy pressure from Dean Inman. It was almost too unselfish from Akintunde.
With every second ball won, every committed challenge, Chester fans were roaring on the home side.
And they were getting plenty of joy down the left hand side in the opening 45 minutes with Lathaniel Rowe-Turner marauding his way from full back.
Rowe-Turner latched on to a back heel from Hannah and raced into the area, cutting the ball back to Akintunde with his left foot but the Blues striker, so impressive in the opening 45 minutes, got his feet in a muddle and couldn’t connect and the chance went begging.
Jake Hyde fired a curled effort at Lynch from 20 yards following a Dawson mistake at the other end but Chester kept on coming forward.
The revved-up Rowe Turner did superbly well to beat two markers on the lefty and rolled the ball across the face of goal before the ball eventually reached Kingsley James whose low effort was cleared off the line by Rene Steer.
Akintunde’s pace and willingness to battle for every ball was causing mayhem for the Maidenhead back line and he went close again before the half was out, fashioning some room with his left foot only to see his low 18-yard effort cannon back off the legs of Alan Massey.
After being warmly applauded off at half time Chester began the opening exchanges of the second half in much the same vein as they had approached the first.
Moving the ball around with pace and purpose and winning the second balls, Chester were dominating the contest although struggling to land the knockout blow.
But with just a one-goal cushion Chester looked vulnerable and Lynch had to be alert to save low from Harry Pritchard’s well-struck 25 yard free kick.
For all their good play Chester were profligate in the final third.
Hannah did well to turn his marker and played a deft pass into Shaw who looked odds on to find the net only to struggle to connect and tamely shoot at Pentney.
And Craig Mahon had a great chance just before the hour mark after some superb work from Akintunde saw him jink past his marker, free James on the right whose cut back found Mahon who saw his effort blocked by Inman and out for a corner.
Maidenhead fashioned arguably their best chance of the game on 65 minutes when substitute Sam Barratt’s cross found the head of Adrian Clifton who could only steer his effort at Lynch from eight yards.
Chester carried on searching for the second goal and came close on 68 minutes when Dawson won the ball bravely on the halfway line, setting Akintunde free with the Blues striker holding it up and laying off for Dawson who saw his first-time strike pushed away by Pentney.
But that elusive goal was soon to come.
A ball into the Maidenhead area was handled by Inman and referee Matthew Donohue pointed to the spot, allowing Hannah to coolly slot past the despairing dive of Pentney to make it 2-0.
Maidenhead tried to push for a late goal and make for a grandstand finish, with Barratt’s fierce free kick drawing a fine save out of Lynch, but the Blues held firm for a vital three points to provide a much-needed panacea for the long-suffering home support.
Chester: Lynch, Halls, Rowe-Turner, McCombe, Astles, Mahon (Joyce 80), James, Dawson, Shaw (Turnbull 80), Akintunde (Bell 88), Hannah. Subs not used: Davies, Sheron.
Goals: Astles 6, Hannah 73 (pen).
Maidehead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer (Kilman 78), Odametey (Smith 60), Massey, Inman, Comley, Hyde (Barratt 60), Pritchard, Clifton, Upward. Subs not used: Peters, Goodman.
Referee: Matthew Donohue.
Star man: Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.