TWO goals in the opening four minutes put Chester FC on the victory trail as Kendal Town lost for the second time in four days.
Christian Smith gave the hosts the lead at the Exacta Stadium on just two minutes when he escaped his marker to head home an Iain Howard corner.
And before Town had time to compose themselves they were 2-0 down.
Town debutant Dan Dillon, signed from Workington earlier today, was judged to have handled in the box and Matthew McGinn stepped up to fire home the penalty.
Kendal made little of the play as they were clearly shellshocked by the two early goals and Chester kept the pressure on with Howard and Matty McNeil threatening up front.
Town's first effort came on 15 minutes from a Keiran Walmsley free kick when Mark Jackson got his head on the end of the ball but it sailed over John Danby's crossbar.
In fellow debutant Kevin Leadbetter, Dillon had support through the middle and Town were starting to get back into the game as they were hit with a third sucker punch goal.
With Walmsley out of position Jordan Tucker was left to pick up two strikers and an early ball into the box was fired home by McNeil from five yards.
Lee Ashcroft altered his line up at half time with former Morecambe striker replacing the out of sorts Alex Taylor and Dillon, who collected an ankle injury, being replaced by Ian Kilford.
Town looked better on the ball and in Leadbetter and Danny Williams made more of the play but there was a lack of threat up front, even with Curtis and Jackson leading the attack.
Town's best chance to get into the game was to come from a Leadbetter strike from 25 yards but it failed to trouble Danby.
And in the dying minutes Chester put the gloss on a fine performance when Howard collected the ball in the box, controlled and slotted home under returning keeper Craig Dootson.
For Town it was a disappointing result and Ashcroft will be glad to have suspended Ashley Dunn available for Saturday's FA Cup first qualifying clash with Whitley Bay at Parkside Road.
HOW THEY RATED: C Dootson 5, K Walmsley 6, D Wisdom 6, J Tucker 7, M Joseph 6, C Donnelly 6, K Leadbetter 7, M Jackson 7, A Taylor 5 (rep W Curtis 46 mins 6), D Dillon 6 (rep I Kilford 46 mins 6),
D Williams 7.
Subs: T Baines, T Kilifin, T Newton.
STAR MAN: Jordan Tucker - Town conceded four goals but some important interceptions prevented it being more from the young defender.