Chester missed the chance to snatch top spot in National League North as they were downed 1-0 at home by leaders York City.

A solitary Dan Maguire strike early in the second half proved decisive as the unbeaten visitors stretched their advantage at the summit to five points.

Played in front of a bumper 3,653 crowd at the Deva, the game failed to live up to it's top-of the table billing for much of the first half.

As the division's top scorers, the Blues came up against the league's meanest defence with York conceding just seven times in their previous 13 games.

Talismanic top-scorer Akwasi Asante was absent again for Chester, failing to recover full fitness after suffering a groin strain.

Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley deployed a 4-3-3 formation, with Anthony Dudley and Brad Jackson deployed either side of Matty Hughes in attack.

A lively start from the hosts forced an early corner, with George Glendon's delivery reaching Danny Livesey inside the box but the centre-back failed to get a shot away.

Full-back Joel Taylor saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, advancing well down the left flank and probing for an opening.

Dudley looked tidy in possession from the outset and his angled ball into the box found Jackson whose attempted ball across the six-yard box was blocked by veteran York defender Steve McNulty.

York looked composed and well-organised in midfield but failed to fashion an opening until the 26th minute.

It came when Kallum Griffiths collected a cross-field ball and sent a dangerous cross into the six-yard box which Blues stopper Russ Griffiths punched clear, before Jordan Burrow headed inches wide at the near post from a a follow-up cross.

On 31 minutes, McNulty did well to thwart another low Taylor delivery as Hughes lurked with intent at the far post.

The visitors' best chance came just before the interval when midfielder Andy Bonds drove a low effort into the box which clipped Alex Kempster and flashed inches wide of the post.

York were quicker out of the traps after the interval, with striker Jordan Burrow close to connecting with David Ferguson's cross before it was scrambled clear.

And the visitors were ahead on 57 minutes when Kempster collected a ball on the left flank and advanced to the byline to cross for Dan Maguire who took a touch before slotting beyond Griffiths.

Emboldened by their opener, York launched another attack two minutes later with Kempster racing clear of the Blues' defence before seeing his low effort thwarted by a vital clearance from Livesey.

The hosts' attacking three laboured against a well-organised and disciplined York midfield who effectively closed down the space on the right to nullify Jackson and Glendon's attacking instincts.

A double substitution on 68minutes saw the ineffective Hughes replaced by George Waring, with Danny Elliott coming on for Stopforth in an attack-minded switch.

After netting four in a midweek Cheshire Cup clash, Elliott was in bullish mood and soon tried his luck with a left-footed strike from the edge of the box which was comfortably saved by York keeper Peter Jameson.

Elliott should have levelled on 83 minutes when substitute Jamie Morgan curled a cross into the box but the well-placed Blues forward failed to adjust his body shape and allowed the ball to flash past him.

The hosts pushed hard for a point in the closing stages, with Waring inches away from connecting with Dudley's flicked header inside the box.

The hosts' efforts went unrewarded though as Steve Watson's York held on to extend their advantage at the top of the table.