Shrewsbury Town 0, Chester City 0: CHESTER CITY now need just three points from their final two matches to guarantee the Nationwide Conference championship.

In truth, last night's scrappy goalless draw at Gay Meadow wasn't one of City's vintage performances, but at this time of the season it is results that matter.

City's leading scorer Daryl Clare missed the game because of complications surrounding the birth of his baby. Kevin Rapley came into the side and City's best two chances both fell to the former Colchester striker but unfortunately both were spurned.

The Shrews had the better of the exchanges in the first period, with Rodgers and Darby both going narrowly wide with long-range efforts.

Iain Turner was forced to make saves from Edwards and the industrious Tolley.

With five minutes of the period remaining, Stamp beat his marker well. He headed forward, Tinson missed the ball completely and Rapley inexplicably screwed it wide from three yards.

In the second half, City upped a gear and Shrewsbury found the defensive trio of Guyett, Bolland and man of the match Collins an impenetrable barrier.

The Shropshire side's best chance fell to Rodgers, who forced Turner into a spectacular save, the Everton keeper diving to his right to clutch the fiercely-struck effort.

Following the match, City manager Mark Wright reflected: "Without playing particularly well we've gained a point and that shows character.

"Daryl Clare's troubles with his new baby meant that we gave him leave of absence and we wish him and his family all the best at this difficult time."

City now need three points from either of their remaining games, against Scarborough at the Deva Stadium on Saturday, or away at Hereford United in 10 days' time.

CHESTER CITY: Turner, Collins, McIntyre, Carden, Bolland, Carey (Davies 14), Twiss, Rapley, Stamp, Guyett, Heard. Subs: Woods, Harris, Elam, Lane.

REFEREE:D Richardson (Halifax)

ATT: 5827