NATHAN JARMAN provided the perfect birthday present for Blues boss Neil Young.
The Chester striker marked Young’s 38th birthday and his 100th league game at the helm with a 65th minute winning goal.
The victory puts Chester just two points behind league leaders Brackley Town with two games in hand.
And the Blues were good value for their success in the West Country after creating the majority of goalscoring chances and after enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
Chester made four changes from the side that suffered a 2-0 midweek defeat at Worksop Town in the FA Trophy.
Club skipper George Horan, on loan winger Danny Williams, midfielder Scott Brown, and striker Tony Gray, all returned to the starting line-up in place of Sean Clancy, Paul Linwood, Dave Hankin, and Levi Mackin.
Chester started brightly and carved out the first goalscoring opportunity following a strong run from Brown in the second minute which culminated in a fine ball to Craig Curran whose 18 yard shot was parried by home keeper Mike Green and Jarman’s follow up was then deflected wide of the mark.
Antoni Sarcevic maintained Chester’s positive start when he engineered a one two with Curran on the left edge of the area in the fourth minute, but Sarcevic’s touch proved too strong and ran harmlessly out of play.
Gloucester countered in the eighth minute, but Adam Mann’s 20 yard drive was blocked by Brown, and Lewis Hogg’s 25 yard free kick in the 15th minute was also bravely blocked by Brown.
Chester hit back a minute later courtesy of Ashley Williams and Danny Williams on the left who delivered a fine cross to Jarman whose low 15 yard shot was blocked and cleared.
Jack Harris attempted a spectacular 18 yard bicycle kick in the 18th minute which deflected off Wes Baynes and wide of the target.
And Gloucester continued their momentum in the 21st minute when Tom Webb disppossessed Ashley Williams on the halfway line and fed Mann whose fierce shot had to be gathered by John Danby at the second attempt.
Sarcevic was presented with a goal-scoring chance in the 23rd minute from Mike Green’s poor back header, but his attempted lob was easily held by Green.
And Gray and Sarcevic combined on the right flank four minutes later to try and tee up Jarman who was beaten by Tom Hamblin at the near post.
Chester looked a big threat as the half progressed and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 31st minute when Gray’s angled shot was blocked and Jarman was then denied by Green from six yards.
Danny Williams created space for himself in the 34th minute and saw his 15 yard shot crash against the inside of the right post.
And Brown steered a header towards goal after meeting a superbly judged right wing cross from Baynes in the 39th minute which Green superbly pawed wide of his left post.
Chester carved the first scoring chance after the break, but Jarman steered a header wide from Baynes’ right-sided cross.
But Gloucester countered in the 53rd minute when Webb twisted his way into space on the right edge of the area before seeing his cross shot saved by Danby.
And Hogg came within inches of putting the home club in front with a long range 62nd minute free kick which bounced a fraction wide of the right post.
Chester introduced substitute Dave Hankin in place of Gray in the 63rd minute and capitalised on Hankin’s presence two minutes later when the Blues broke the deadlock.
Hankin laid the ball back for Baynes whose delivery from the right edge of the box picked out Jarman and his right-footed drive from 20 yards arrowed its way into the right corner of the net.
Baynes came close to doubling Chester’s advantage five minutes later with a long range shot that flew over the bar.
And Gloucester faced an uphill task when Hogg was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Chester were in the driving seat, but Sarcevic’s 20 yard goalbound effort was cleared off the line in the 79th minute, and Curran’s volley from the edge of the box seconds later was superbly tipped over the bar by Green.
Baynes also came close to hitting the target in the final minute with a long range free kick which flew fractionally wide of the left post.
See full story in the Chester Leader