A RECORD-BREAKING unbeaten league run that now stretches back 23 matches would not seem to suggest that Chester are in their poorest form of the season.

But Saturday’s unconvincing derby victory over Vauxhall Motors, secured by goals from debutant Brendon Daniels and substitute Nathan Jarman, did little to alter the belief that Neil Young’s men are currently suffering from a drop in their incredibly high standards.

It is to their credit, then, that they did enough to beat an in-form Motors side and maintain their 16-point lead at the top.

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Blues boss Young said: “You’re not going to play brilliantly every week as most of the teams we’re playing now have different mentalities.

“The likes of Workington and Vauxhalls are not going down and they are not going up, so they can go out and enjoy themselves and play without fear.

“You could see that with Vauxhalls, who played some great flowing football.

“But we know what we’re playing for, we know what the prize is, so it’s automatic that people will sometimes tense up a little bit when things don’t happen.

“But I can’t knock the lads.”

New boy Daniels capped an impressive first-half performance with a goal.

There were 12 minutes on the clock when the 19-year-old – a pacy and rangy winger signed on a month’s loan from Crewe Alexandra – turned the ball home after Antoni Sarcevic had been denied.

Chester failed to press home their advantage and Motors – who came into the game having taken 16 points from their previous 27 – had chances to equalise either side of half-time.

They were made to pay as two minutes from the end of normal time super-sub Jarman collected a cross from man-of-the-match Tony Gray and rifled home his 15th goal of the season.

Young said: “You’ve got to give credit to Vauxhalls as I thought they played some decent stuff.

 “At times I thought we were a bit sloppy, a bit apprehensive, while they played some free-flowing football.”

The Blues host Gainsborough Trinity on Wednesday (7.45pm).