CHESTER City's search for a striker to bolster their promotion-chasing squad gained momentum last night when they again increased their offer for the Boston United forward Daryl Clare.

City have had two previous bids rejected by the Lincolnshire Club, with cash-plus-player offers both turned down. Last night Chester's ambitious chairman, Stephen Vaughan, spoke to his opposite number at Boston and changed the bid to an increased purely cash offer.

"We have made what we consider to be an extremely realistic offer, so now we will just wait developments," said Vaughan.

Clare, who missed Boston's weekend match against Torquay United because of a back injury, is out of contract at the end of the season.

He can start talking to other clubs on January 1, 2003.

Indications from Boston last night were that they were likely to circularise the former Grimsby Town striker's availability to other clubs in an attempt to create an auction for the player.

Vaughan is unlikely to be drawn into such a situation, however, and it could be that City may be prepared to wait until the New Year if necessary and try again to secure the player's signature.

City currently lie four points behind Nationwide Conference leaders Yeovil Town after gleaning just one point from their last two home matches.

Chester have been drawn away in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup to UniBond League club Radcliffe Borough.

The match will be played on Saturday, October 26.