Bernard Morley described Chester's 1-0 pre-season win at former club Ramsbottom United as a 'great workout' but admits there's plenty of room for improvement.

Morley and Anthony Johnson were afforded a warm welcome back at Ramsbottom on Tuesday night where John Pritchard's second-half penalty sealed their first victory in charge of the Blues.

Although pleased to have emerged with a win - which would have been more comfortable had Pritchard not missed another penalty shortly after his opener - Chester struggled for any fluency on a bobbly surface and their passing wasn't of the standard expected by the new joint-managers.

“Absolutely, great workout,” Morley said. “We’re not going to start analysing performances at this stage, it’s all about getting the miles in the legs.

“We’re getting that togetherness, getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and trying to apply it on the football pitch.

“At times we weren’t great but we’re not going to over-analyse at this stage. We’ve kept a clean sheet and made a good start.

“The youngsters came on, worked hard, got stuck in. Everything you don’t expect from a youngster, they give us. But we’ve only got 12 senior players, so they will be an integral part of things moving forward."

Chester included three trialists in their starting line-up, including a former National League centre-back and two strikers, with 'one or two' signings expected ahead of Saturday's trip to Runcorn Linnets.

“I thought the trialists did alright, they have come in and don’t know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses straight away, but they worked hard from the front, especially the two centre-forwards," he continued.

“I thought the trialist at centre-half did really well, he’s come in and first thing he’s done in pre-season. He dictated, and his experience shone through at the end.

“The pitch didn’t help but it gives us a platform to build on and we’ll see them again in training Thursday and see if they’ve improved in terms of fitness.”

Summer signing Gary Stopforth produced a combative midfield display while Morley also praised Craig Mahon for the energy and control he delivered having been introduced as a second-half sub.

“Gary applies himself like we manage,” he said. “He has heart, desire and determination.

“In terms of ability and final passes, execution, Gaz as well as everyone will know he needs to improve on that.

“He’s honest with himself and he knows he needs to get better, but not too much.

“Mahony has come on and got himself on the ball and settled us down. He had a lot of energy in and around him with the youth, they did his running for him! But he got on the ball, dictated the play really well.”