CHESTER held league leaders Chorley to a goalless draw on an afternoon when defences dominated and chances were at a premium at a nervy Swansway Stadium.

On most occasions keeping a clean sheet against the division's top side would be cause for celebration but given Chester's need for every point they can muster in their increasingly unlikely punt at the play offs this felt like another game that will count against Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's men come the end of the season.

A tense opening saw both sides jostling for supremacy with Akwasi Asante and Anthony Dudley getting little change from Chorley's Andy Teague and Courtney Meppen-Walter.

Elliot Newby forced the first save from Grant Shenton who got down easily to keep out the former Telford striker's short and it was not until just before the 20 minute mark that Chester had their first opportunity. Anyone who caught a glimpse of the Blues' free kick routine in midweek against Darlington should have known what to expect but clearly the Chorley defence weren't watching as Akwasi was played in down the left before his cross shot was parried and Craig Mahon's follow up was blocked.

The chance teased the game into life with Chester enjoying their best period of the match with Roberts attempting a 25 yarder and Mahon embarking on an excellent run before his long range effort fizzed just wide as half time beckoned.

With both sides desperate for the three points, the nerves seemed to be jangling throughout much of the second half as Chorley improved and the visitors almost took the lead when the dangerous Marcus Carver ran clear of the Blues defence and beat the onrushing Shenton to the ball only to stab his shot wide. Moments later it was Carver again causing the palpitations as he closed down a Shenton clearance which deflected just wide of the post.

From then on it was Chester who enjoyed the majority of possession, but faced with one of the division's strongest defensive units they were unable to convert dominance into any chances of real note. A Dudley snap shot was spilled by Matt Urwin, Simon Grand headed a Roberts free kick over the bar and Ben McKenna enjoyed some good moments on the ball after coming on for Mahon, but that was it as both sides failed to produce a goal between them for the second time this season.