Chester City 2, Cardiff City 0: FOR the second successive game, Chester made a team from a higher division look ordinary, fuelling optimism for a successful first season back in the Football League.
But, only the naive would get carried away by results and performances from matches with nothing at stake, and no-one was quicker to point that out than City manager Mark Wright.
'There were a lot of good things from the game and to win again was great, but we've got no points,' he said.
What was pleasing, though, on the evidence of this and the victory over Walsall on Saturday, was the quality of the passing which was even better than last season.
Newcomers Kevin Ellison and Stewart Drummond look to have added guile, power and experience to the midfield and the arrival of Richard Hope and Sean Hessey has given Wright plenty of defensive options for the challenging season to come.
And with goals yet to be conceded, there is every reason to be quietly confident that City can more than hold their own in the higher sphere.
The bookies have made them second favourites for the League Two title and to emulate Doncaster's feat of going straight through the division from the Conference.
Their judgement will come under more serious scrutiny following the league opener at Notts County next month.
Meanwhile, there was much to enjoy on Tuesday.
Cardiff played their strongest line-up in the first half and never brought Wayne Brown into action. While at the other end, Martyn Margetson had to make a fine one-handed save from Kevin Rapley following a pass from the rejuvenated Andy Harris.
It wasn't until the stroke of half-time that City made the breakthrough. Trialist Paul Weller, the former Burnley midfielder, linked with Rapley for another trialist, Mike Sheron, to cleverly fire past Margetson.
Wholesale second-half changes by both sides - Kevin McIntyre was the only City player to stay on from start to finish - didn't help the fluency of the play and there was big disappointment when Darryn Stamp limped out of the game with an achilles problem, less than 20 minutes after being sent on.
His second-half strike partner, Michael Branch, carried on where he left off on Saturday by doubling City's lead on 69 minutes with the help of a deflection following Ben Davies's cross.
Cardiff, who were having their first pre-season outing, will probably put this defeat down to rustiness, but Chester couldn't have had a better start - and there is still Daryl Clare, Andy Watson and Paul Carden to come.
Chester: Brown (Mackenzie), Handyside (Hope), Vaughan (Edmondson), Hessey (Belle), Collins (Bolland), Weller (Roberts), McIntyre, Ellison (Drummond), Harris (Davies), Rapley (Stamp), Sheron (Branch).
Cardiff: Margetson, Weston, Croft, Bolland, Collins, Gabbidon, Robinson, Bullock, Lee, Earnshaw, Parry. Subs: Barker, Warner, Campbell, Thorne, Page, Kavanagh, Anthony.
Referee: E Evans, Manchester. Attendance: 1,080.
Two goals from Branch (32, 41), following Kevin Ellison's second-minute opener, earned City a 3-0 win over Walsall on Saturday in front of a crowd of 1,335.