Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy admits his young side will have to 'grow up quicker' after slipping to their third defeat in four games.

Despite a second-half fight back at Barrow last night, the Blues were beaten 3-2 at Holker Street with ex-Chester striker Ross Hannah's effort and one-time Blues target Jordan Williams's brace handing the hosts the three points.

But, as has been a running theme during the opening four games of this National League campaign for Chester, defensive mistakes and glaring individual errors cost them dear.

And with McCarthy's side one of the youngest and most inexperienced in non-league football's top flight this season, the Blues boss knows that they will have to learn fast.

"I can defend the work rate but we were naive and made some mistakes, which I can put down to people being young but they have to grow up a bit quicker now,” said McCarthy, whose side travel to Boreham Wood on Saturday (3pm).

"The response was good but we have a young team that are making some mistakes, which has hurt us.

Elliott Durrell takes on Barrow's Moussa Diarra

"We have seen four teams now and nothing has frightened us. I don't fear people. Defensively we can't carry on like that, though.

"I don't need the players to get nervous and feel under any pressure. I'm quite happy to come and accept results if they work hard. We'll iron out the mistakes and change some people around. I can make some changes if I have to so players realise that 'I can't do that'."

The Blues were more than a match for their big-spending hosts for much of the first period until Elliott Durrell under hit a back pass to Liam Roberts that allowed Hannah to nip in, round the Blues keeper and score.

And three minutes later it was 2-0 as Chester, as was the case against Gateshead and Maidstone United previously, failed to regain their composure and allowed the hosts to double their advantage almost immediately.

James Akintunde makes it 3-1

It was rough on the Blues who had, to their credit, matched Barrow blow for blow for much of the opening 45 minutes.

"That's a pattern now which we have to fix,” said the Blues boss.

“I have to see why that has happened. When you concede a goal you go back to your shape, you don't chase all over the pitch and react to it, you actually go tighter.

Ross Hannah opened the scoring for Barrow

"But the Elliott Durrell's back pass. He wants to get on the ball and is full of confidence but to roll it back like that completely changed the game. It was a game where we were on top.

"We've come away to Barrow, big things are expected of them, and we've caused them a lot of problems.

"I think I am calm enough to say that we were a real threat against them and you could see by their bench that we had them in all kinds of shapes.

"I can pick out some positives. They (Barrow) know that they have been in a game."