CHESTER must improve their ‘awful’ away record to have any chance of landing a play-off spot this season, according to joint-manager Anthony Johnson.

Currently eighth in the National League North standings, Chester have collected 12 points from their 15 away outings this term.

The Blues head to promotion hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday looking to build on a 4-1 home success over Boston United.

And with 12 games left, Johnson believes his side are in the midst of a season-defining run of fixtures.

He said: “People can’t really question our home record, which has been excellent and is second only to Chorley’s, I think.

“It’s our away form that has let us down this season. It’s been pretty awful and that’s something we’re looking to address in the games we’ve got ahead of us.

"Beating Boston was pretty vital, because they’re in a similar position to us - pushing to get into that top seven - so we’ve managed to edge ahead of them now.

“Winning our next three games could potentially push us into that top four and that’s why these games against the teams around us are so vital.

“We want our destiny to be in our own hands come the end of the season and to do that we need to be taking more points on the road.”

Chester’s reverse fixture against Bradford produced a thrilling 5-3 victory for the hosts, with a brace apiece for Anthony Dudley and Dan Mooney complementing Craig Mahon’s strike.

The Yorkshire club’s form has faded badly of late, with no victories in their last seven league games.

Johnson hopes to exploit the hosts’ vulnerabilities, but does not expect another all-action affair.

He added: “We’ll set up to win the game, as me and Bernard (Morley) always do, but there won’t be any naivety on our part.

"It was an open, exciting game last time, but we can’t afford to be silly. We looked like we had some sharpness back in our play against Boston and hopefully that will continue to improve now the injury situation is looking a bit rosier.”

Striker Akwasi Asante could miss out after aggravating a knee injury, while midfield duo Gary Stopforth and Ben McKenna, and defender Simon Grand are also sidelined.

Leaders Chorley can take advantage of Stockport County’s day off from league action with three points at home to Ashton United. County drew level with Chorley at the top after their midweek 3-2 win against Southport.

In-form Spennymoor, who are still in the title hunt, host Leamington hoping to follow up their impressive 2-0 win at Altrincham on Tuesday.

Saturday’s other fixtures: Blyth v Kidderminster; Curzon Ashton v Altrincham; Guiseley v Alfreton; Southport v FC United; York City v Nuneaton.