NEIL Young had every reason to celebrate after Nathan Jarman handed him the perfect birthday present.
The former Colwyn Bay boss – who was turning 38 as well as taking charge of his 100th league game as Blues boss – saw his side move back into second place in the Blue Square Bet North thanks to Jarman’s 65th-minute winner.
Young, who has won 72 of his 100 league matches since quitting Bay for Chester, said: “We cut them open at times and they are a good side at home.
“The season starts now for us.”
Young made four changes to the team that started the desperately disappointing midweek FA Trophy defeat to Worksop Town as George Horan, Danny Williams, Scott Brown and Tony Gray returned to the starting line-up.
In a scrappy first half, it was Chester who felt they should have been leading at the break after man-of-the-match Danny Williams hit a post, and Antoni Sarcevic, Jarman and Brown forced saves from Mike Green in the Gloucester goal.
The Blues – who are now just two points behind leaders Brackley Town, with two games in hand – started the second half strongly too.
But it was the hosts who went closest to breaking the deadlock, through Lewis Hogg and Tom Webb, before Jarman struck.
The ball came the way of Wes Baynes after good work from substitute Dave Hankin, who had entered the fray two minutes earlier.
Right-back Baynes’ cross found the in-form Jarman, who volleyed in his ninth goal of the season.
The visitors had further chances, through captain Horan and Sarcevic, after Gloucester were reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute when Lewis Hogg was shown a second yellow card.
The Blues were unable to add to their lead but that did little to dampen the spirits of the magnificent 519 travelling supporters, who birthday boy Young paid tribute to after the match.
Gloucester: Mike J Green, Mike F Green, Mann (Harding 63), Coupe, Hamblin, Webb, Hogg, Goddard (Morford 74), Edwards (Rawlings 74), Davies, Harris. Subs: Holland, Mustoe.
Chester: Danby, Baynes, D Williams, Horan, Collins, Brown, Gray (Hankin 63), Sarcevic, Jarman (M Williams 89), Curran (Howard 84), A Williams. Subs: Linwood, Clancy.
Referee: Craig Hicks (Surrey).
Attendance: 852 (519 away).