Chester returned home from promotion rivals Brackley Town with a deserved point after a 1-1 draw at St James Park.

The visitors took a ninth minute lead through Brad Jackson, but were pegged back soon after through Thierry Audel's strike.

Though Chester are now winless in five National League North games, bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will be relatively satisfied given Brackley's fine record on home turf.

The Northamptonshire club went into the clash unbeaten at home in almost a year, but that sequence looked in danger when Jackson curled the ball into the corner of the net from outside the box.

But Town were back on terms on 20 minutes when Shane Byrne's free-kick reached Audel whose curling effort from the edge of the box took a deflection en route to goal and beat Blues stopper Russ Griffiths.

Brackley almost took the lead from the restart, with Byrne firing just wide with a well-struck effort from 25 yards out.

On the cusp of half-time, Lee Ndlovu spurned another opening for Brackley when he shot wide of the target with just Griffiths to beat.

Neither side could add to their tally after the break, with Ellis Myles's effort drawing a smart save from Griffiths early in the half.

Chester's defensive qualities came to the fore late on, with their back line forced into two important last-ditch clearances to deny the hosts all three points.

The result keeps the Blues second in the league standings, with York City still eight points ahead at the summit.