Stockport County went top of the Vanarama National League North with a thumping 6-0 win at Chester last night.

The Hatters struck three times in the first 34 minutes at the Swansway Chester Stadium, putting a dent in Chester’s play-off hopes. The Blues are not out of the race for a top-seven berth, however, they sit four points back with four games to go.

It was a dismal night for all connected to the club, which was felt as keenly as ever by joint-manager Anthony Johnson. He was composed as he spoke after the game, but was characteristically candid and forthright at the same time.

The former Salford City joint-boss was quick to praise Jim Gannon’s side, though.

“(We were) diabolical. I think the first thing I’ve got to say is they’re the best team we’ve played against not just this season but in a long, long time.

“We perhaps made it easy for them, but with the ball, without the ball, I thought they were absolutely unbelievable.”

The result opens some old wounds from the early weeks of the season when Chester were beaten 8-1 at Blyth Spartans. Johnson admitted he may have to reconsider whether certain players feature in his and Bernard Morley’s plans for next season.

“You start to look at that group that you hope might be part of that and go, ‘Do you know what? After tonight, that’s happened three or four times now this season.'”

He also refused to single out individuals, adding: “We were a disgrace, as a group.”

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