Chorley 0

Chester 0

In some respects this battle royal was an absorbing contest but as a spectacle it lacked dramatic goalmouth action with the respective keepers required to make only one serious save.

Defensive solidarity in both teams was the central feature of a game of few clear-cut shooting chances.

Injury-hit Chester put up a solid screen to frustrate the Magpies at every turn and for the first time this season Chorley failed to score and dropped points at Victory Park.

Perhaps crucially, the Magpies’ attacking options were reduced after 17 minutes when Louis Almond was forced off through injury and his valuable hold-up play was much missed.

Chester looked sharper going forward in the opening half but failed to hit the target from a couple of decent openings, from one of which the tricky Craig Mahon fired over the bar from a deflected right-wing centre. Chorley tested Grant Shenton just once when the keeper dived to fist aside a goal-bound Josh O’Keefe header. As the interval approached Matt Challoner missed the chance of the match. Following great inter-play by Josh Wilson and Elliot Newby on the left wing, Challoner was left with a free shot from eight yards but blazed wastefully wide.

Challoner just failed to connect with a teasing low cross minutes after the restart and in Chorley’s brightest spell of the match Newby had a good effort blocked in the six-yards’ box, Adam Blakeman firing the half-clearance over the bar.

Marcus Carver looked to have finally put the Magpies in front with a coolly-taken header only for the celebrations among home fans in a fine crowd of 2,028 to be promptly cut short by an offside flag.

Although the home defence was now generally denying Chester a clear sight of goal, Urwin kept the hosts on terms with a superb save, flinging himself to his left to turn aside a point-blank effort from substitute Deane Smalley. The same player then wasted a second opportunity to snatch a late winner with a free but off-target header.

Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio refused to be downbeat afterwards.

"It was one of the toughest games we’ve had," he said. "But in the end we are happy with a point. Chester are on a good run of form and they set their stall out to frustrate us very successfully, so they deserve credit for that.

"We are still unbeaten, we’ve kept another clean sheet and we are still in a very favourable position."