CHESTER suffered their first pre-season defeat against Division One North champions Fylde.
And the Blues will entertain Conference Premier club Southport tomorrow hoping to break their duck in front of goal after two disappointing displays in the final third.
Chester looked second best against The Coasters and could easily have suffered a bigger losing margin.
Michael Barnes netted Fylde's winning goal in the 74th minute and his side created the greater share of goal scoring chances.
Chester took time to find their stride, but midfielder Dave Hankin provided a purposeful right wing run in the sixth minute, riding a couple of tackles before seeing his cross headed clear by Adam Sumner.
The Coasters responded three minutes later when striker James Dean produced a snapshot 15 yards from goal which John Danby did well to turn found his left post.
Chester hit back in the tenth minute, but Wes Baynes dragged a 20 yard effort well wide of the target, and striker Nathan Jarman forced home goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe into a save.
Fylde looked a threat going forward with forward Blues midfielder Bradley Barnes pulling the strings from his central role.
Joe Booth illustrated the home club's desire to push forward in the 17th minute, but his shot bobbled wide of the left post from 18 yards.
And Harry Winter forced Danby into a fine save seconds later as Fylde continued to search for a breakthrough.
Danby had to stay alert in the 24th minute when he fisted away a fine left wing cross from Paul Jarvis.
Chester punctuated Fylde's initiatives in the 27th minute when Sean Clancy won possession on the edge of the area and attempted to pick out Adam Proudlock with a through ball, but Hinchliffe intervened by grabbing the ball at Proudlock's feet.
Dean came closest to breaking the deadlock for the home club in the 28th minute with a powerful shot from the left edge of the box which flashed inches wide of the far post.
Dean was proving a handful for the Blues' defence and executed a superb back flick in the 29th minute into the path of Booth whose shot was gathered by Danby.
Chester countered immediately when Paul Linwood's goal bound header was cleared after a left sided corner from Baynes.
But Fylde hit back immediately with a thunderous shot from Winter which flew a fraction wide following a neat lay off from Dean.
Jarman tried his luck from long range in the 32nd minute, but his attempt flew over the target.
Former Blues midfielder James McCarthy saw a goal bound effort pushed wide by Danby in the 33rd minute as Fylde looked stronger in the final third, and Jarvis, who was proving lively on the left flank, saw his goal bound shot deflect wide of the target three minutes later.
Substitute Dominic Collins replaced Baynes who was struggling with an injury seven minutes before the break.
Antoni Sarcevic and Robbie Booth replaced Proudlock and Mackin respectively before the second half, and Michael Taylor substituted captain George Horan in the 57th minute.
Jarman sparked Chester's first noteworthy attack after the break when he picked out Sarcevic who clipped a byline cross for Clancy who missed his overhead kick and the ball was cleared.
Fylde substitute Michael Barnes did well to beat Linwood in the 65th minute and attempted to pick out his attacking partner in the middle, but Taylor produced a much needed tackle to clear the danger.
Chester trialist Daniel Ting replaced Hankin in the 67th minute, but the home club maintained their momentum when Jarvis found Joe Booth in space, but his close range shot flew over the bar.
And Fylde deservedly took the lead in the 74th minute when Adam Sumner's cross fell to Michael Barnes who stroked the ball into an empty net.
The home club could easily have increased their advantage towards the end when Ting had to make a goal line clearance and Mike Galliers shot wide eight minutes from time in a one on one situation.
AFC FYLDE (4-4-2): Hinchliffe; Jarvis, Sumner, Hughes, Steel; Barnes, McCarthy, Booth, Barnes; Dean, Winter. Subs: Pybis, Mitterrand, Kay, Galliers, Malin, Kusaloka.
CHESTER (4-4-2): Danby; Baynes (Collins 38), McGinn, Horan (Taylor 57), Linwood (Moyo 75), Mackin (Booth 46), Clancy, Powell, Hankin; Jarman, Proudlock (Sarcevic 46). Subs (not used): Fearon, Smith.
REFEREE: D McNamara.
See full story in the Chester Leader