Bernard Morley refused to let Chester's 'car-crash' defending detract from a long-awaited home victory against Bradford Park Avenue.

Storm damage to the stadium meant it was 35 days since Blues fans had witnessed a game on home soil, but the home faithful were rewarded with a thrilling win.

Purists of the game will have been dismayed at some of the defending on show, but the Blues' 5-3 victory against the in-form visitors was an absorbing affair.

Two goals apiece from Dan Mooney and Anthony Dudley plus a Craig Mahon strike clinched Chester's second win of the season.

Despite some lax defending from the Blues' back line, joint-manager Morley was keen to accentuate the positives from a pulsating National League North clash.

He said: "We know it, the defenders know it, the team know it and so do the supporters - at times it was car-crash from us.

"But that's down to us to rectify that with them in training. We'll watch the game back with them an try to cut out those silly little errors and try to improve on that side of things.

"We've scored five goals and conceded three - which is a massive concern because that's 15 goals in the last four matches.

"But I don't want to take the gloss off the day. It's a great performance and the fans have got their money's worth. and we hope we can take that momentum into Tuesday night now.

"You're not going to play against a side all season that are as organised as they were.

"They've got experience there, and with age there are positives but there also negatives and I felt we really pushed on against them in the last 20 minutes.

" Our attacking play late in the game was really good and it's those fitness levels that are showing. We've not had as many games as other sides have had, so there's goodn signs there that there that we can still improve on."

A breathless start to the game saw Chester's Matty Hughes send a curling effort just wide of the post from the edge of the box, before the visitors took a third minute lead.

Bradford forward Jake Beesley made good progress down the Blues' left before cutting the ball back across the face of goal for midfielder Ben McKenna to side-foot beyond Chester keeper Grant Shenton.

The setback was only temporary as the Blues restored parity three minutes later when Dan Mooney prodded home from close range after Anthony Dudley's low ball into the box.

Galvanised by their equaliser, the hosts attacked with urgency and went close to a second when, from Simon Grand's long throw, Craig Mahon's sweetly-struck volley was tipped over the bar by visiting keeper Steven Drench.

The hosts went ahead in style on 12 minutes when a swift breakaway from a Bradford corner freed Mahon, who sped forward before finding full-back Simon Grand whose superb measured delivery was headed home by Dudley at the far post.

There was no let-up in the frenetic pace as some industrious pressing from the hosts saw Gary Stopforth intercept an errant pass and burst into the area, with his deflected shot looping onto the roof of the Bradford net.

Sustained Blues pressure was rewarded further on 33 minutes when Mahon received the ball 25 yards out and surged towards goal before nutmegging defender Mark Ross and squeezing his shot past Drench to make it 3-1.

Despite the Blues' superiority for much of the opening half, they were handed a huge reprieve when Dominic Smalley's poor back pass was intercepted by Beesley whose squared ball beat Shenton but Oli Johnson blazed over the crossbar with the goal gaping.

That reprieve was only temporary, however, as Bradford capitalised on increasingly ragged Blues defending as Jake Beesley made it 3-2 just before the interval, firing into an empty net after Shenton saved from Johnson's initial strike.

There was no improvement in the Blues defensiveplay after the break, with Bradford emerging the brighter and netting a deserved equaliser within seven minutes of the restart.

Conor Branson's flicked header from a corner was parried by Shenton only for Johnson to poke home to make it 3-3.

The obvious frailties in both teams' defences saw the game take on an ebb-and-flow feel with Chester's Hughes going agonisingly close to restoring the lead with a curling left-footed strike that rebounded off the crossbar to safety.

Bradford showed plenty of attacking verve too, with Shenton called upon to deal with a flurry of balls into the Blues box.

But the hosts' threat on the break was used to clinical effect on 74 minutes when the impressive Mahon intercepted a loose ball in midfield and freed Mooney who ran on before sweeping a fine left-footed effort into the far corner.

Refusing to let their lead slip again, Chester exerted more control over proceedings late on and ensured victory in the 89th minute when Dudley fired home his second of the contest from the penalty spot after substitute Luke Jordan was upended in the Bradford box.