IN-FORM Chester battled their way to within a point of National League North leaders Chorley after seeing off bottom of the table Nuneaton Borough 3-2 in an enthralling game which should have been much easier for the Blues.

A goal each in the first half for Danny Livesey and Anthony Dudley was followed by another wonderful strike from teenager Dan Mooney but Nuneaton stormed back with goals from Carl Baker and Adam McGurk spoiling a near perfect night for the Blues who extended their unbeaten run in the league to 11 games.

Before the game, joint manager Bernard Morley had warned of complacency against a side with just two wins to their name this season and following the news last week that Nuneaton had secured their future thanks to new owner Nick Hawkins this could have been far from the home banker it looked on paper.

Straight from the kick off, Nuneaton, perhaps buoyed by the news their future was secure, refused to play to the form book with a confident start that inmediately had the Blues defence rattled.

As early as the 4th minute Chester keeper Grant Shenton was called into action saving low to his right from a Dior Angus shot with Nuneaton enjoying plenty of possession around the host's box.

Craig Mahon had the first sight of goal for the Blues with a long range drive which was easily handled by Cameron Belford in nets for the visitors but it was clear from joint manager Anthony Johnson's exasperated shouts from the touchline that something just wasn't clicking for Chester.

It was slightly against the run of play and a little harsh on the visitors then when despite their decent start to the game they found themselves a goal down after 17 minutes following Chester's first real opening of the match.

As is often the case the goal came from Mahon, who playing his 200th game for Chester, cut in from the right and drove a cross into the area which found its way on to Steve Howson's head before Belford's fine save saw the ball rebound to Danny Livesey who headed in.

Three minutes later and the lead was doubled and it was that man Mahon again whose cross was completely missed by Dan Mooney allowing the loose ball to drop to a onrushing Anthony Dudley who drove his low shot into the left corner of the net.

From then on it was all Chester as Nuneaton's confidence went the way of their electricity last month and completely run out. First Jon Moran saw his header from a Mahon corner deflected over before the same player watched another knock down blazed over by Simon Grand from close range.

Just before the break Dudley was forced to receive some treatment for a cut to the head following a clash of heads with James Wesolowski with both players substituted at half time and taken to hospital.

If the loss of one of their goalscorers was a blow, Chester didn't show it as they continued to cruise through the gears and the Blues soon found themselves three goals to the good through man of the moment Mooney whose habit of scoring spectacular strikes continued as the Welshman cut into to the right hand side of the box before creating an angle with his first touch and then smashing the ball past Belford with his second.

Unsurprisingly, the third goal prompted the Blues to take their foots off the pedal but they got a sharp reminder of Nuneaton's threat when just before the hour they grabbed one back through Baker whose shot from inside the area took a deflection and looped over a despairing Shenton.

What followed will have made uncomfortable watching for the host's joint managers as the three goal cushion suddenly looked in jeopardy as Nuneaton flooded forward and Baker began to pull the strings.

Mani Dieseruvwe wasted an excellent chance to score his first goal for Chester when he hit the ball over but from then on it was panic stations for the under pressure hosts as McGurk and Courtney Richards both missed chances before McGurk increased the tension when he headed in at the far post with just nine minutes left.

With the rain lashing down and the wind in their faces it was an uncomfortable closing period for Chester who just about hung on with the crowd also playing their part as an increasingly tired back four managed to hold firm until the final whistle and leave the Blues just a point off the top of the table.