CHESTER produced the perfect riposte to their disappointing derby defeat to Nantwich Town with a first-rate display.
Chris Simm (2), Iain Howard, Bradley Barnes, Robbie Booth and Matty McGinn did the damage as Neil Young’s side banished the memory of their Weaver Stadium horror show to make it three home wins on the run and move within three points of top spot.
Blues boss Young will have been particularly pleased with the reaction of Simm and Howard to being dropped to the bench against Nantwich as punishment for turning up late.
The duo were excellent throughout while fans’ favourite Barnes – out of favour and up for loan – also gave a timely reminder of his talents with a lively appearance off the bench.
Simm had already gone close before he broke the deadlock in the 16th minute.
A trademark McGinn long throw found the striker in acres of space inside the box. Simm let the ball drop before smashing a 10-yard shot past Steve Wilson to open his account for the campaign.
Chester’s second goal – 11 minutes later – came from the same source as another McGinn missile caused chaos inside the area, Howard doubling his tally for the term with an overhead kick which left Wilson clutching at thin air.
It was a sensational strike, but one which Howard came close to equalling shortly after when he saw a swerving 25-yard drive brilliantly turned over the bar by Wilson.
Unbeaten in their last four and play-off semi-finalists for the past two years, out-of-sorts North Ferriby offered little threat in a first half which the Blues completely controlled.
But the Yorkshire village outfit should have reduced the deficit four minutes after the restart. Wayne Brooksby showed pace and strength down the right before pulling the ball back for Gary Bradshaw who, from just three yards out and with the whole goal to aim at, somehow hit the post.
Bradshaw was made to pay for his profligacy in the 53rd minute when Simm scored his second goal of the match.
What an excellent goal it was too. Howard produced a superb piece of skill inside his own half before sending the man-of-the-match away down the left. Simm still had plenty to do, but he outpaced his marker before sliding the ball under the advancing Wilson.
The increasingly overworked Wilson made a fine save from Howard moments later before John Danby did just as well to deny Mark Greaves at the other end – ensuring he kept his first clean sheet of the season.
But the game was up in the 77th minute when Barnes netted with virtually his first touch, the midfielder rifling in from 12 yards out after Michael Powell and Simm combined to set him up.
Booth also broke his duck for the campaign three minutes later when he collected a cross-field pass from Liam Brownhill, cut inside and let fly with a spectacular effort from the corner of the box which Wilson could only help on its way into the net.
Still Chester came forward and three minutes from time McGinn was fouled in the box when trying to turn in the rebound after substitute Jamie Rainford chipped against the bar.
McGinn was the man to take the resulting spot-kick, sending Wilson the wrong way for his third goal in four games since signing on loan from Southport and rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
Chester: Danby, Brownhill, Taylor, Horan (Barnes 73), McGinn, Booth, Smith, Powell, Howard, Simm (Reed 78), McNeil (Rainford 60). Subs: Baynes, Judge.
Booked: Simm, Horan.
Goals: Simm 16, 53, Howard 27, Barnes 77, Booth 80, McGinn 87pen.
North Ferriby: Wilson, Williams, Greaves, Foot, Peat, Harsley, Morley (Jackman 71), Fry, Brooksby, Bradshaw, Larkin. Subs: Stirland, Leonard.
Booked: Bradshaw, Peat.
Referee: Natalie Walker (Preston).