Chester recorded their opening victory of the National League North campaign after with an impressive 3-0 win at Curzon Ashton.

First half goals from Simon Grand and Anthony Dudley gave Blues a deserved 2-0 lead at the interval, before John Pritchard netted a third on the hour mark.

Blues managerial duo Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley fielded the same 11 that started their absorbing, but goalless, opening day stalemate with Spennymoor Town.

Dominic Smalley had Chester's first sight of goal inside five minutes, collecting Anthony Dudley's cross-field ball before curling a low left-footed effort towards the bottom corner that was gathered by Ashton keeper Cameron Mason.

The visitors were handed a reprieve minutes later when a through-ball played in Ashton forward Chris Sharpe, who contrived to blast his first-time effort inches over the bar.

And after soaking up a decent spell of Ashton pressure, Chester seized the initiative with a 23rd minute opener.

Mason, who had done superbly in the first instance to repel Gary Stopford's close range shot, was beaten by Simon Grand's bullet header from the ensuing corner.

Ashton responded well to the setback, with full-back Daniel Morton making good ground down the right flank before firing a dangerous ball into Chester box that was smashed clear by Danny Livesey.

The hosts could have levelled on 35 minutes, but Connor Hughes failed to connect with Chris Rowney's smart delivery to the back post. And they were punished two minutes later when Dudley latched onto Gary Roberts' ball over the top before rifling a low right-footed finish beyond Mason.

A healthy following of Chester fans were in good voice as their side's ruthless finishing proved the difference at the interval.

The victory owed as much to Chester's sound defensive discipline as their attack, with their impressive ability to switch from a three-man to a five-man back line when required.

And the visitors extended their lead on the hour mark when Smalley's floated delivery to the far post was prodded home by Pritchard.

From there, the visitors maintained their superb workrate and closed the game out effectively as the hosts threatened, but only sporadically.

On 81 minutes, Joe Guest jinked his way towards goal from the Ashton midfield but fired over the bar.

Tyrell McKenzie attempted to reduce arrears by cutting in off the right flank minutes later but his shot sailed over Shenton's bar too as Chester held firm to preserve their clean sheet.