CHESTER fell to a third successive league defeat on a chastening afternoon for the Blues which saw them lose 4-1 at fellow promotion hopefulls Kidderminster Harriers.

With forward duo Akwasi Asante and Anthony Dudley both returning from injury there had been high hopes that Chester could get their play off push back on track after defeats to Spennymoor and Curzon Ashton.

But despite Asante giving the Blues a 38th minute lead, there was little the visitors could do as Kiddy roared back with two goals before half time before the Worcestershire outfit added two more in the second half and gave returning manager Mark Yates the perfect start to his second spell in charge.

Chester were under the cosh straight from the kick off with Liam McAlinden looking lively down the host's left and Milan Butterfield showing some nice touches in midfield.

Despite Asante, George Waring and Dudley all playing in advanced positions, the trio quickly looked isolated with the Blues sporadic long balls easily dealt with by the home defence.

Frustrations grew and Waring went into the book for a late challenge before Joe Ironside had the first sight of goal with a long range chip over Grant Shenton's bar.

The dangerous McAlinden, who was giving Matty Thomson a torrid time down the flank, then went even closer with a run into the area that resulted in a cross shot going narrowly wide.

Moments later Thomson inevitably went into the book for a pull back on McAlinden with an opener for the hosts feeling like it was on the cards so it was a huge surprise when the first goal went to the visitors.

A couple of corners gave warning that Chester could threaten before a neat link up between Dudley and Asante on the edge of the box found the big Dutchman latching on to a through ball and slotting coolly past Brandon Hall.

The goal was totally against the run of play but far from capitalising on their good fortune the Blues were almost immediately pegged back thanks to a stunning volleyed finish from the edge of the area by Declan Weeks who met Butterfield's lay off perfectly and saw his 20 yard shot soar into the top corner of the net.

With three minutes left until half time, Chester just had to hold steady but as the half entered injury time a corner from the far side found Ironside standing right by the keeper and with Shenton flapping he nodded into an empty net.

Things improved slightly after the break with the hosts willing to concede more possession to Chester but this did little to help the visitors create any chances.

Kidderminster looked comfortable and with 20 minutes left they made the game safe with the third goal their dominance deserved. A quick free kick released McAlinden down the left who crossed only for Shenton to claw at the ball and deflect it straight to Ryan Johnson who stabbed home.

The game was up for Chester who were increasingly chasing shadows across the Aggborough pitch and on 85 minutes Harriers scored a fourth after substitute Ed Williams advanced unhindered to the edge of the Blues' box before placing a low shot past a diving Shenton.

It ended a miserable afternoon for Chester who were totally outplayed by one of their supposed rivals for the play offs. On this evidence that ambition is fast disappearing.