The defensive problems that have dogged Chester FC so far this season as they were beaten 3-2 at Barrow, despite a late fightback having been three goals down.
Goals from ex-Chester striker Ross Hannah and a brace from Jordan Williams had the Bluebirds 3-0 up midway through the second half but goals from James Akintunde and Theo Vassell set up a grandstand finish.
With the Blues needing a response to the 3-1 loss at home to Maidstone on Saturday the contest started as an open and attacking affair with both sides having opportunities.
For Barrow, Hannah went close early on with a low near-post effort while Liam Hughes saw his 20-yard curled effort gathered by Roberts.
Chester had chances through an Elliott Durrell free-kick from the left which was beaten away by Dixon while Tom Shaw and Ryan Astles both should have done better with headers from eight yards out.
But the Blues went behind on 39 minutes when Durrell gifted the hosts the lead with a woefully short back pass to Roberts and Hannah rounded the Chester custodian and fired home into an empty net to open his account for the season.
And instead of looking for an immediate response the Blues were 2-0 down three minutes later when the visitors allowed their heads to drop and Barrow found space for Hannah on the right whose rasping effort was beaten in the air by Roberts and nodded home from close range by Williams, dealing a hammer blow to the Blues at the end of the opening 45 minutes.
There was no response early in the second period and Chester were 3-0 down on 57 minutes when a misplaced pass from Kane Richards saw Williams pick up the ball and beat Theo Vassell with ease before rifling past Roberts to seemingly put paid to any hopes of a Blues fightback.
But Chester rallied and a substitute Akintunde pulled one back on 67 minutes when he fired home from close range from a low Astles cross.
And it was 3-2 just three minutes later when Akintunde turned provider, beating his man and crossing low for Vassell to find the net from close range.
The Blues continued to press and find an equaliser and Ryan Lloyd squandered a great chance to level matters three minutes before the end when he found himself through on goal but Barrow regrouped and managed to foil his close range effort.
Richards had a late chance to level the contest but he couldn't find the target from a Chapell cross and flashed his header just wide.
But the clock ran out on Chester and they were left to rue a third defeat in four games.
Sugar coat it all you want, Chester have lost three games out of their opening four and have shipped nine goals in the process.
At Barrow they hit the self destruct button and leave empty handed from a clash that they were more than capable of getting something from after being in the mix until gifting the hosts the lead on 39 minutes.
Frailties both defensively and mentally led to the second and when the third went in it looked game over.
Chester, to their credit, rallied and the introduction of Akintunde and Lloyd made a difference and they showed some character to make for some tense moments towards the end for the home faithful.
But Boreham Wood on Saturday now looks massive for Jon McCarthy and his side. They simply must achieve something from the trip down south in order to give their campaign a kick start.
James Akintunde: While only on for a short while, Akintunde changed the complexion of the game along with Lloyd and was involved in both goals.
While his contribution may have only been limited to 30 minutes at Holker Street he has surely doen enough to warrant a go from the start for Saturday's trip to Boreham Wood.
Barrow AFC: Dixon, Beeley (Parry 46), Anderton, Diarra, Murray, Harvey, Meikle (Haworth 77), L Hughes, Harrison, Hannah (Bennett 81), Williams.
Subs: Coughlin, Turnbull.
Bookings : Diarra, Williams
Goals: Hannah 39, Williams 42
Chester FC: Roberts, Vassell, Hudson, Astles, Horwood, Joyce, Shaw, Durrell (Akintunde 60), Chapell, Hunt (Lloyd 60), Richards.
Subs: Worsnop, Mahon, S Hughes.
Bookings: Hudson, Horwood
Goals: Akintunde 67, Vassell 70
Referee: Ryan Johnson (Manchester)
Attendance: 1,351 (103 from Chester).