EVEN by Chester City's standards it had been a bizarre week, but the team poured oil on troubled waters with one of their best performances of the season.
To maintain their focus during their preparations for a testing match against in-form Southend United, not knowing whether manager Ian Rush and coach Mark Aizlewood were staying or going, was a considerable feat by the players who bounced back impressively from their 5-0 humiliation at Shrewsbury the previous weekend.
With four successive victories behind them Southend must have fancied their chances against a team in disarray, but it wasn't obvious which was the team from the upper end of League Two.
City were up for it from the start and seemed to be determined to shoot at every opportunity - a refreshing change after the weeks of tentative attacking play which had rarely threatened goals.
With Michael Brown crying off because of illness Rush decided to give Michael Walsh only his second start, a brave decision which paid off inside the opening 10 minutes when the youngster calmly took his chance after the returning Michael Branch had tested goalkeeper Daryl Fla-haven.
With that advantage Chester looked confident and unfazed by Southend's reputation and Robbie Foy and Branch proved to be a handful for the visitors' defence.
But Chester paid a heavy price for conceding a free-kick outside the box before the break and Mark Gower fired home the equaliser which Southend hardly deserved.
City have earned a reputation this season as a kick and rush - no pun intended - side, but they showed what they are capable of just after the break with a gem of a goal, started and finished by Ben Davies with considerable help from Branch.
It could have been short-lived joy and Rush won't have been impressed by his side conceding another free-kick just out-side the box which almost cost them a second goal as Gower sent his effort just wide of the post.
There was disappointment to follow for Chester who were made to pay for Branch missing a golden chance set up by Foy as Freddy Eastwood luckily deflected in an equaliser.
Having been six minutes away from an unexpected victory the draw could have been a disappointing result, but in the context of Chester's recent form it almost felt like a victory and will have provided a welcome boost for a manager under severe pressure.