CHESTER boss Anthony Johnson is unsurprised by the clubs emerging as early frontrunners in National League North.

The unbeaten Blues have climbed to third in the table and head to Spennymoor Town on Saturday chasing a fourth successive victory.

York City currently set the pace in the division, with Norfolk’s Kings Lynn Town just a point ahead of Chester in second.

Reflecting on the opening month of the campaign, joint-manager Johnson says the battle for a place among the top six is shaping up as expected.

“I fully expected York and us to be where we are,” he said.

“But your teams like Brackley, Spennymoor and Altrincham will all end up in those positions too. It’s just the norm, that’s what happens.

“Some take longer to hit their form than others. But we saw last season with Stockport who had a poor start but then went on a ridiculous run to win, while Chorley had been top all season. So the teams who are at the top at the minute are who I expected to be there.

“You’ve got a couple of surprise packages, but the likes of King’s Lynn have got an unbelievable front line with the likes of (Michael) Gash and (Adam) Marriott - it’s as good as anything.

“So they’re going to cause teams problems in this league, especially at home because you need your passport to get there so it’s always going to be a graft.

“It’s starting to pan out how I expected. But there will be teams who come good over the next few months.”

The Blues’ struggled against Spennymoor last term, with a goalless opening day draw at the Deva preceding a 2-0 away defeat in January.

Improvement work at Town’s Brewery Fields ground forced the postponement of two games in early August, but Town’s form since has been poor.

Jason Ainsley’s side remain winless after five games to date, but ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton last time out.

And Johnson believes they will soon hit form, saying: “They’ve had a tough start, but I think we all know how good they are.

“Their recruitment’s been fantastic over the summer and they’ll be one of those sides who, once they hit their straps, will be a hard team to stop.

“It’s going to be a tough game and obviously we’ve got the same predicament where we’re playing on Monday as well.

“So this week has just been about recovery so everyone’s fresh and going through the things we expect Spennymoor and Curzon to be doing.”

Newly-signed midfielder George Glendon will be in contention for a starting place for the Blues.

The 24-year-old was released from League Two side Carlisle United at the end of last season – and arrives at the Deva on a short term basis.

Manchester-born Glendon was previously at Fleetwood Town where he made close to 50 appearances for the Cod Army.

He started his career at Manchester City and Captained their Elite Development Squad – as well as playing for England at Under 16 and Under 17’s level.

Reflecting on the signing, Johnson said: “To get a player of George’s calibre to join us at Chester shows which way this football club is moving.

“He’s a fantastically gifted player and will raise the standards of everyone around him. It’s a major coup for the club.

Central midfield duo Gary Roberts (ankle) and Gary Stopforth (knee) are both injury doubts for tomorrow’s game and Johnson believes that the volume of games in the opening three weeks of the campaign has taken a toll.

Johnson said: “We’ve played seven games in three weeks, which is scandalous - an absolute joke. So lads are picking up niggles. They’re going to work - there’s no respite for them. We can’t wait to get Monday out of the way and for when the Saturday to Saturdays start because then we can start nailing down what we want to be.”