Promotion-chasing Chester were held to a third successive National League North stalemate as they drew 2-2 at Blyth Spartans.

The Blues, who would have moved level on points with league leaders York City with a victory, had to be content with a point in the north east.

All four goals came in an action-packed first half in which Danny Elliott put the visitors ahead after just three minutes with a well-struck free kick that deflected beyond Spartans keeper Mark Foden.

The advantage was shortlived, however, with Blyth striker Michael Sweet heading home from Lewis Hawkins' cross to restore parity just three minutes later.

Chances for both sides followed, but it was the hosts who seized control of the contest on 23 minutes when Adam Wrightson's shot found the net via a deflection off Blues centre-back Danny Livesey.

Chester full-back Joel Taylor then saw his appeals for a penalty turned down after he was felled inside the box, but his side were back on terms five minutes before the interval.

George Glendon's ball found the on-running Brad Jackson, whose cut back was perfect for Matty Hughes to sweep the ball home.

Both sides pushed hard for an elusive third goal after the restart, with Chester stopper Russ Griffiths forced into an excellent reflex save to deny Blyth substitute Rob Dale before Wrightson stabbed the rebound into the side netting.

A goalmouth scramble at the other end saw both George Waring and Livesey fail to turn the ball home, before the home defence cleared the danger.

The visitors spurned a gilt-edged chance to take the lead on 73 minutes when Hughes raced through on goal, rounded Foden, but then saw his shot hit the post.

The Chester woodwork was rattled in the final 10 minutes when Hawkins headed Dale's cross against the post.

Sustained late pressure proved fruitless for the visitors, who closed to within two points of York but will be concerned that their winless run has been extended.