Possession might be nine tenths of the law, but it doesn't guarantee you three points.

Far from a pre-Christmas cracker, this was a frustrating afternoon for Chester who were held to their first goalless draw in the league this term by Telford United.

The Blues were unable to convert their dominance of possession and territory into three points despite several presentable chances late on.

Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made two changes to the side that beat Hednesford Town in midweek, with Kevin Roberts and Anthony Dudley coming in for Jamie Morgan and Danny Elliott respectively.

In the build-up to the game, the club also confirmed that long-serving midfielder Craig Mahon had joined Ashton United on a month-long loan deal.

The Blues made a bright start, with Elton Ngwatala's deft flick of the boot playing in Akwasi Asante, but the Dutch striker's shot was blocked by two covering Telford defenders.

Having deployed a lone striker in the contest, Telford were ponderous in the transitions between midfield and attack.

A rare incursion into Chester territory saw Ryan Barnett break down the right flank and fire in a low cross which was repelled by Chester keeper Russ Griffiths before play was stopped for a push inside the box.

Brad Jackson sought to make a breakthrough when he gathered Gary Roberts' ball out wide and drove towards the byline before clipping a decent ball into the box which was hacked clear by the The Bucks' defence.

Matt Stenson was undaunted by leading Telford's line as he charged upfield and beat two Chester defenders before a well-timed sliding block from Danny Livesey halted his progress inside the box.

On 24 minutes Gary Roberts won a free-kick on the edge of the Telford box, which was struck low and hard by Asante, whose deflected effort was comfortably gathered by Telford stopper Matt Yates.

Asante went close four minutes later when he met Joel Taylor's lofted delivery from a corner but his header sailed over the bar.

Another smart delivery from a corner, this time by George Glendon, was flicked on smartly by Livesey before Telford scrambled the ball clear.

Recent signing Ngwatala was industrious throughout, always offering an outlet to his team mates and seeking to link-up with Asante at every opportunity.

Wise to the Frenchman's threat, Telford's Ellis Deeney cynically scythed him down on 36 minutes earning the Bucks midfielder a caution.

The final chance of a lacklustre half fell to the visitors when Brendon Daniels fired over from a free-kick 35 yards out after Simon Grand had brought down Stenson.

Chester remained on top in the opening stages of the second half, dominating possession without really penetrating the visitors' packed defence.

Despite their cautious approach, Telford threatened briefly with a counter-attack on 62 when a long diagonal ball out of defence found Barnett who tore past Taylor and crossed low to the near post before the ball was blasted clear.

A double substitution from the hosts saw George Waring and Jamie Morgan brought on for Anthony Dudley and Taylor.

And Waring almost made an immediate impact when he collected the ball from Glendon and fired a low right-footed effort against the post.

The Blues continued to push hard for an opener, with Jackson's cross into the box finding well Asante who volleyed straight at Yates.

And Chester's top scorer went close again on 80 minutes, pivoting to connect with Morgan's cross but failing to find the net.

The chances kept on coming in the closing stages with Waring's glancing header flashing inches wide of the post from another fine Morgan delivery.

Grand rattled the Telford crossbar soon after, connecting with a great ball into the box from Glendon.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in injury-time when Barnett collected his second yellow card for a foul on Ngwatala.

But Chester had too little time to make their numerical advantage count as the Telford defence closed franks further to clinch a point.