Chester made light work of in-form Darlington to record a convincing 3-0 home victory.

A stunner from Brad Jackson handed the home side a merited first-half lead, before goals from Akwasi Asante and Danny Liveseyafter the interval extended their side's unbeaten run to four games.

Fourth-placed Chester handed a start to newly-signed winger John Johnston, just a day after he completed his move from National League North rivals Altrincham.

Top-scorer Asante returned to spearhead the hosts' attack after overcoming his latest groin injury and once again proved his worth to the promotion-chasing hosts.

Meanwhile, Alun Armstrong's Quakers side entered the clash in superb form after winning seven of their last nine league outings and climbing to sixth in the table.

There was an early glimpse of Johnston's pace early on as he tore down the left flank chasing a hopeful long ball.

The rapid 25-year-old then flashed a right-footed strike wide of the target from inside the box, following a flick-on from Simon Grand.

Playing with purpose and composure in the opening exchanges, the home side went close to an opener on eight minutes when buccaneering full-back Joel Taylor curled a dangerous ball into the six-yard box, with Asante just inches away from connecting at the far post.

A goal felt imminent and it arrived in style on 12 minutes when Jackson collected the ball in central midfield and drove at the visitors' defence before drifting wide and lacing a right-footed effort beyond Darlo keeper Chris Elliott and into the top corner.

Chester were well worth their slender lead, but they were almost pegged back minutes later when Stephen Thompson's flighted ball from the touchline reached Justin Donawa who rushed his first-time effort and skewed wide of the target.

The hosts' slick passing football continued throughout the half, with Gary Roberts clipping a ball into the box for Jackson whose header was tipped over the bar by Elliott.

The offside flag was up, but the move showcased the brimming confidence of the home side.

Darlo threatened only sporadically before the interval, though they did force two corners in quick succession on 35 minutes.

The second delivery from Thompson caused pinball in the Chester with striker Adam Campbell seeing two well-hit drives blocked by a cluster of defenders before the danger was averted.

The final opening of the opening 45 minutes came when Grand showed a classy first touch to bring down Gary Roberts' ball into the Darlo box, but the centre-back's first-time left-footed strike was lashed over the bar.

The early stages of the second-half were largely uneventful, with both sides lacking any passing fluency.

Slowly the hosts found their feet again with Johnston closing down an attempted defensive clearance and the ball reached Stopforth whose half-volley lacked conviction and ended up well wide.

The advantage was doubled on 55 minutes though when Taylor's corner reached Asante at the back post and the Dutchman made no mistake from close range.

Things got even better for the hosts four minutes later when Livesey stooped to head home from another fine delivery from Taylor.

Veteran defender Livesey threw himself at the ball and sustained a knock to the head in the process, which required treatment on the touchline and saw him return to the pitch sporting a bandage.

With the Blues in cruise control, Darlo pushed in vain for a foothold in the game, with Thompson curling a 67th-minute effort over the bar after he was teed up by Campbell.

Typifying his unwavering commitment to the cause, Liveseythen produced a heroic block to deny Thompson inside the box before Campbell's follow-up strike was gathered by Chester keeper Russ Griffiths.

Asante was replaced by Matty Hughes on 72 minutes, with Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley looking to keep their talismanic frontman primed for Tuesday's away clash at Gateshead.

Anthony Dudley could have added a fourth for Chester on 79 minutes, but his goalbound volley painfully smashed into team mate Grand, who was left prone on the ground afterward.

The remainder of the contest was effectively closed out by the hosts, who made it four successive clean sheets n the league.