A much-improved second half display saw Chester come from a goal down to record a 2-1 victory over National League North rivals Bradford Park Avenue.

The Blues trailed to Billy Priestley's 17th minute opener, but hit back after the interval with strikes from Anthony Dudley and Akwasi Asante to sustain their promotion push.

French attacking midfielder Elton Ngwatala came straight into the Chester side after completing his switch to the recently renamed 1885 Arena.

Meanwhile, the aptly-named Matty Waters was called up to the Blues bench in place of Kev Roberts whose partner had gone into labour before kick-off.

The hosts started brightly, showing plenty of attacking intent early on as Joel Taylor forced a corner which was swung in by the full-back and sliced over the bar by Avenue forward Oli Johnson.

Brad Jackson then drove into the visitors' box before turning away from two defenders but his shot was deflected over for another corner.

Set-up defensively to contain and nullify, Bradford offered little as an attacking force - opting to bypass the midfield altogether at times and pump hopeful balls down the flanks.

One of those punts upfield was seized upon by Lewis Knight who raced down the right and sent a smart low ball into the box for the unmarked Johnson whose tame effort trickled wide.

It was a warning for Chester who fell behind on 17 minutes after Alex Hurst had tried his luck from 25 yards and goalkeeper Russ Griffiths was forced to turn the ball behind.

The resultant corner was whipped low across the six-yard box and steered home by Priestley.

Spurred into action after falling behind, the hosts chased an immediate reply as Taylor's free-kick from the edge of the Bradford box was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Joe Green.

A fine diagonal ball out of defence from Simon Grand then reached Taylor whose testing cross was palmed out by Green and cleared.

Chester's customary sharpness on the ball was sorely lacking at times.

With space at a premium in the final third, there was little penetration of the Bradford back line with midfielder George Glendon forced to try his luck from the edge of the box with a right-footed effort that skewed wide.

The hosts should have gone in level at the break, but Dudley contrived to head over the bar from six yards out from a smart clipped delivery from Taylor.

Whatever was said by Blues managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley at half-time clearly had an effect.

Chester hit their stride immediately as Jackson surged forward to win an early corner, which was lofted towards the far post and reached Grand who lashed a rising half-volley over the bar.

The leveller arrived on 49 minutes when Dudley latched onto a long ball and was left one-on-one with Green, who was beaten by a low, powerful finish.

And the home side were ahead just three minutes later when Jackson broke rapidly from midfield and carried the ball to the edge of the box before finding Asante who bent a right-footed effort beyond Green into the top corner.

Galvanised by his 13th goal of a prolific campaign, Asante looked hungry for more and only the post denied him adding to his tally when he connected with Taylor's cross two minutes later.

The resulting corner saw Danny Livesey's looping header cleared off the line as the Bradford goal began to lead a charmed life.

Gradually Chester assumed control of the contest, with Bradford's sporadic attacks causing little concern for the home defence.

A slow mist gradually rolled off the Dee estuary and crept across the pitch, but Chester refused to lose sight of all three points.

Lurking at the back post, Ngwatala came close to connecting with Jackson's low ball, but the ball skipped past him on the greasy surface.

Heading into the final five minutes, Glendon almost sold Griffiths short with an undercooked backpass but the Blues keeper was quick off his line to avert the danger.

Bradford's woes were compounded in the 89th minute when Isaac Marriot was shown a second yellow card after he clattered into Blues midfielder Gary Stopforth.

There was almost a third for Chester in time added on when substitute Danny Elliott whipped a left-footed free-kick just over the bar.