THE brilliant Blues produced a second-half performance worthy of champions to effectively seal the Evo-Stik League First Division North title.
A goal behind at the break and with Skelmersdale United on their way to a 4-1 victory at Prescot Cables, Neil Young’s table-topping team roared back with Michael Powell, Michael Wilde and Robbie Booth strikes to spark scenes of unbridled joy among the 1,000-strong travelling support.
Going into Friday’s final game of the season at Garforth Town, only a disaster would prevent Chester from being crowned champions given they are three points clear of second-placed Skem with a superior goal difference of eight.
And don’t bet against the Blues signing off for the season in style with a win which would take them up to 100 points to go along with the 106 goals they have now scored.
They will certainly be brimming with confidence after they came from behind to beat a Fylde side who finish fifth and are now almost certain to play Skem in the play-offs.
The Lancashire outfit’s prospects of finishing third looked brighter at half-time thanks to Kevin Townson’s clinical 36th-minute finish.
A driven Paul Jarvis free kick was not cleared and the former Football League striker gave Richard Whiteside no chance from 10 yards out.
The visitors did not deserve to be trailing at half-time given they had been the better team for most of the opening period.
No-one was more impressive before the break than Booth who, along with Ashley Williams, has arguably been Chester’s top performer in the second half of the campaign.
The livewire winger set up Powell for an early chance before he forced Lewis Edge into the first meaningful save of the match after he turned his marker Mick Stringfellow inside out.
It was Booth who created the 62nd-minute equaliser as his left-wing corner was bundled into the net by Powell for the midfielder’s third goal in as many games.
With Young’s introduction of Chris Simm and Greg Stones proving to be a masterstroke, the Blues had the hosts on the rack and they went in front four minutes later when their tireless talisman somewhat fortuitously headed in a deep Chris Williams cross from the left.
It was the Wilde’s 37th goal of the season and it knocked the stuffing out of Fylde.
It therefore came as no surprise when Booth killed the contest four minutes from time by acrobatically volleying home from close range after Wilde had a goal-bound effort blocked.
It took his tally for the term up to seven and all but brought an end to Skem’s brave challenge.
While there is still work to do, try telling the army of Chester fans who invaded the pitch at the end of the match to salute Young and his heroes that the championship race is not over.
Fylde: Edge, Stringfellow, Doughty, Steel, Elderton, Kay, Mercer, Jarvis, Walwyn (Bell 57), Townson, Barnes (Kusaloka 83). Subs: Stevenson, Lawlor, Hills.
Goal: Townson 36.
Chester: Whiteside, Aspin, Horan, Taylor, C Williams, Powell, A Williams, Barnes (Stones 54), Wilson (Simm 46), Wilde, Booth. Subs: Judge, Barlow, Ruffer.
Goals: Powell 62, Wilde 66, Booth 86.
Referee: Ben Toner (Lancashire).