DURHAM City were no match for Evo-Stik League Division One North leaders Chester before a bumper crowd of 507 at The Esh Group Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors dominated for long periods, playing delightful football and finding players in space with consumate ease.
In contrast, City were forever chasing the game.
An early indication of the task facing Durham came when Robbie Booth delivered a fierce shot from outside the penalty area, which James Winter could only parry to safety.
In the 12th minute, however, Durham almost went ahead when George Horan nearly put through his own goal. A follow-up shot was cleared off the line, but this was to prove a rare threat on the visitors’ goal.
Within a minute Chester went in front. Winter parried a Michael Wilde header, but the striker bundled the ball into the net.
Wilde almost made it two and Chris Simm, unmarked in front of goal, just couldn’t make contact, but a second goal was not long delayed.
Arjun Purewal conceded a penalty handling the ball and Wilde sent Winter the wrong way from the spot.
With 10 minutes remaining, Wilde completed his hat-trick.
Unmarked at the back post, he headed home a cross from Kyle Wilson, with Winter helpless.
In a rare City attack Jack Pounder’s fierce left-foot shot was turned over the crossbar by Adam Judge, but ambitious Chester were never seriously threatened and coasted to victory.
Durham City: J Winter, Ayre, Ayers (Harbord), Stephenson, Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal, Cutts (C Winter), Graham, Dowson, Thompson (Pounder), Amar Purewal.
Ref: Mr J Buglass.