Chester will go into their weekend break a massive 19 points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet North after they came from behind to beat play-off chasing Gainsborough.
Trinity had not lost their previous six league matches and looked every inch a form outfit in the opening 20 minutes.
They took the lead through Craig Nelthorpe and would have held on to it longer had it not been for an error from Jan Budtz, who handed man-of-the-match Tony Gray the softest of equalisers.
From that moment on the Blues dominated, Matty McGinn putting them in front before the first half was out and Nathan Jarman sealing a victory that stretched Neil Young’s unstoppable side’s record-breaking unbeaten league run to 24 games.
Chester boss Young said: “I’m so proud of the lads.
“I always knew it was going to be a significant game in terms of where we are in the league.
“Gainsborough were always go to be a tough test. They’ve proved that in the league and in the FA Trophy.
“But my side stood up and were counted.”
That Young made four changes to the team that started the unconvincing derby win over Vauxhall Motors was no great shock.
But what will have come as a surprise to the home supporters was his inspired decision to deploy wingers Dave Hankin and Danny Williams as attacking full-backs.
It was a tactical move aimed primarily at getting at Gainsborough in the wide areas while, in the case of Hankin, to offer extra height against a side threatening from set-pieces.
It was from an eighth-minute free kick that Trinity’s captain – and former Chester City hero – Darryn Stamp planted a firm header against the crossbar.
The hosts responded with a curling McGinn free kick that Budtz touched over the bar.
But there was an air of inevitability about Nelthorpe’s 20th-minute opener.
Stamp showed strength to hold off his marker on the edge of the box and awareness to lay the ball off to the unmarked midfielder, who smashed an unstoppable drive past John Danby.
Gainsborough were showing no signs of tiredness following their FA Trophy semi-final defeat to Wrexham and Danby was called into action by Dominic Roma.
A slice of luck got the Blues back into the match five minutes later.
Trinity goalkeeper Budtz fumbled a swerving long-range McGinn strike and the alert Gray showed his predatory instincts, reacting fastest to the rebound and prodding the ball over the line.
It was the improving striker’s sixth goal for the club and Chester’s 100th in all competitions this season.
The Blues went on to control the rest of the opening period.
Antoni Sarcevic brought a comfortable save out of Budtz and Hankin, getting forward from right-back at every opportunity, flashed an effort just past the post before McGinn put the finishing touch to a flowing breakaway move in the 35th minute.
Sarcevic played a one-two with Jarman before delivering a right-wing cross that found its way to McGinn on the opposite flank.
The former Southport man could have took a touch. Instead, with the laces of his trusty left boot, he unleashed a sumptuous first-time shot that rocketed past Budtz.
The Danish-born stopper was beaten for the third and final time 10 minutes into the second half.
A long throw was flicked on by George Horan and the ball broke for the in-form Jarman.
He expertly guided the ball past Budtz and into the net for his 16th goal of the campaign, taking him above Sarcevic to the top of the Chester scoring charts.
Gainsborough briefly threatened a fightback yet they were ultimately well beaten.
And the final scoreline would have been more emphatic had McGinn not side-footed over from 10 yards out following clever approach play from impressive strike-partners Gray and Jarman.
Chester: Danby, Baynes (Collins 87), Horan, Linwood, D Williams, Hankin, Sarcevic, N Turner, McGinn, Gray (M Williams 90), Jarman. Subs: Daniels, Trundle, Brown.
Goals: Gray 25, McGinn 39, Jarman 55.
Gainsborough: Budtz, Roma, Wilde, Waterfall, Hone, Clarke (Connor 73), Russell, Nelthorpe (Yates 55), Barraclough, Stamp, Hawkridge. Subs: Young, Stokes, Thompson.
Booked: Nelthorpe, Barraclough.
Goal: Nelthorpe 20.
Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire).