CHESTER produced a fine backs-to-the-wall performance in their final game in front of their home supporters as they held high-flying Brackley Town to a goalless draw.

Given Brackley's almost total dominance this was an unlikely result, but one which epitomised a season when Chester have saved some of their best displays against the division's better sides despite the obvious gulf in quality.

The stalemate also finally put to bed any lingering hopes that Chester could pull off the unlikely achievement of reaching the play offs, but with results going their way elsewhere, there was added frustration at the final whistle that another chance had been missed.

Chester brought Craig Mahon back into the line up and were forced to make a late change when central defender Danny Livesey pulled up with an injury in the warm up with Steve Howson stepping in.

In truth, the hosts could have done with the extra defender as Brackley launched a 45 minute assault on the Chester box with barely a thought of taking it easy before their inevitable play off campaign.

It took just eight minutes for Brackley to test Grant Shenton who came out well to block Lee Ndlovu's shot after the striker had danced clear of the defence.

A succession of corners saw Matt Lowe's goalbound header tipped over by Shenton before Iwan Murray blocked the same player's shot on the line whereupon referee Elliott Swallow awarded an indirect free kick, presumably for obstruction, just 10 yards from goal. With the Chester players hugging the line, Shane Byrne's first shot flew in but Mr Swallow ordered a retake which was cleared.

Brackley were relentless, with skipper Gareth Dean the next to waste a chance when his free header went wide with Chester increasingly desperate with their clearances and overall play at the back.

On 36 minutes, the visitors finally received the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Craig Mahon clumsily ran into the back of Shepherd Murombedzi to concede an obvious penalty only for Bryne to blaze the spot kick high over the bar and into the Harry McNally Terrace.

It was a huge let off for Chester who somehow managed to survive the rest of the half to go in at the break goalless and still in the game.

To their credit, Chester looked far more secure in the opening period of the second half and just after the hour mark they received some much needed impetus with a triple substitution that saw George Green, Anthony Dudley and Ben McKenna come on for the ineffective Murray, Jamal Crawford and Mahon.

All three made a difference and with the Blues finally beginning to look more secure at the back, the game had a more even feel to it.

Chances remained rare however, as the clock begun to run down on Chester's last chance to score in front of their own fans until the final seconds of the game when Green almost emerged the hero as his long range shot was brilliantly saved by Danny Lewis before Howson scuffed the rebound and George Waring was caught offside.

It was a dramatic end to a season in which Chester were unable to reach the play offs, but have offered plenty of encouragement for the campaign ahead.