BERNARD MORLEY hailed an 'unbelievable' performance from his players as the Blues stretched their unbeaten run to four games with victory at Boston United.

Second half goals from centre-half Steven Howson and forward Dan Mooney clinched a 2-0 victory for the Blues who climbed to 14th in the National league North standings.

Video and images by Rick Matthews

Victory was bittersweet for Morley, who suffered a family bereavement on Friday but took charge alongside joint-manager Anthony Johnson for the trip to Lincolnshire.

Reflecting on an an emotional afternoon, Morley said: “It was always going to be tough for us today.

"Me especially because I got some bad news last night, and obviously we got here. I always want to be around the lads and I think they dug in that extra 5 or 10 per cent.

"It wasn't just about me, but I asked them to dig deep, try and remember that they play for me, and to be fair they’ve rewarded me with that - unbelievable.

"In the first-half it was tough, end to end with not many chances created, but we wanted to keep a clean sheet and went in at half-time with a game plan.

"We came out second half and we just said at half time if we can add a little bit of quality to the game, we’ll win the game, and we’ve gone and done that and we could have scored a few more.

"From one to 11 and the substitutions, I thought we looked solid."

"It’s a shame, I don’t like bringing it up but we had a strong defence and were defensively strong and we’ve got to have a continuity of that.

"You’ve seen last Saturday against Bradford, we were making mistakes, Tuesday night, we made the odd mistake, but today we haven’t made any mistakes at all and have been rewarded with another clean sheet which is four in total."

Morley and Johnson made two changes to the side that played out a goalless draw with FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night, with the return of Gary Roberts to a three-man midfield, as well as Danny Livesey in defence.

The hosts began brightly when Nathan Arnold easily beat Burton for dead on the left-hand side, only to slam his shot into the back of defender Danny Livesey.

Boston continued to force the better of the chances, Nicky Walker not quick enough for a through ball, crashing into Chester ‘keeper Grant Shenton, the stopper thankfully able to continue.

The Pilgrims winger was back in the thick of the action, on the half an hour mark, having weakly placed a header into the arms of Shenton a shortly before the former Grimsby man drilled into the side netting.

The Blues produced their first meaningful effort on goal when Mooney’s long-range effort was safely caught by George Willis.

Having picked up a slight knock during the course of the first half, Blues right-back Dom Smalley was replaced by Jon Moran as the visitors' injury woes continued to mount.

But the Blues drew first blood in the contest on 51 minutes when Mooney’s floated corner was perfectly placed for Howson to steer his header into the net.

With the 100 travelling Blues now in full voice, Chester continued to press the Pilgrims’ backline with the diminutive Craig Mahon leaping highest to head Moran’s cross over the bar.

Chester steadily improved in the contest and dominated possession and chances and doubled their lead on 59 minutes when Mahon pounced on a loose ball in midfield and played Mooney in on goal as the on-loan Fleetwood winger slotted beyond Willis with a composed finish.

The hosts' frustrations grew when Akheem Rose’s cushioned knockdown was lashed home by Walker from an offside position, with the goal quickly ruled out by the referee.

The Blues immediately went down the other end with Mahon, the Irishman’s effort making contact with the arm of Abbott, but their penalty claims were waved away.

Desperate to reduce arrears, United spent the final 10 minutes and stoppage time throwing everything at Chester, but a resilient defensive performance yielded a deserved clean sheet.