A classic this was not.
If Tuesday had its moments of quality, Chester FC’s 0-0 stalemate with newly-promoted FC Halifax Town was anything but as both sides laboured during a drab 90 minutes where neither side really did enough to win the game, cancelling each other out at every turn.
James Akintunde could have won it late on but a draw was a fair result from a game that will likely be forgotten about by those in attendance by the time they pull on their driveway this evening.
Jon McCarthy opted to make one change to the side that opened their National League season with a 1-1 home draw with AFC Fylde on Tuesday, choosing Ross Hannah to partner Harry White in attack while James Akintunde dropped to the bench.
There was also no place for Nyal Bell on the bench after he had to spend Tuesday evening in A&E after a nasty bang to the mouth after coming on as a substitute against Fylde, he was replaced on the bench by midfielder Wade Joyce.
The Shaymen arrived at the Swansway Chester Stadium having bagged one point from their opening two games since returning to the National League after coming up through the National League North play-offs last season.
And there were a couple of familiar faces in the Halifax side with former Chester defender Matty Brown and one-time trialist Bohan Dixon both featuring in the starting line up for Billy Heath’s men.
The first half of Tuesday’s draw against Fylde was entertaining stuff with plenty of action at both ends. The first 45 minutes against the Shaymen, though, was a different tale.
Both sides failed to find any rhythm going forward and the game was littered with mistakes in the opening exchanges.
Hannah had an early chance after a Paul Turnbull’s deep free kick was knocked down into his path by John McCombe but his first-time volley fizzed well wide of the Halifax goal.
Dion Charles saw a 25-yarder fly well wide on 10 minutes before Hannah dragged an effort past the post on 15 after a mistake by Michael Duckworth had let him in.
But the game was a niggly affair and Craig Mahon was coming in for some rough treatment from an imposing Shaymen side.
There were some hairy moments in defence for the Blues as Matty Kosylo’s low cross was pawed away by Conor Mitchell before being headed clear by Andy Halls before Ryan Astles had to hoof a Tom Denton header off the line with Mitchell beaten.
And, on the stroke of half time, McCombe had to produce a fine sliding tackle to deny Nathan Hotte a clear run at goal as Halifax finished the half strongly.
After the restart it was Chester who had the first meaningful effort when Hannah found space on the right before advancing and playing a perfectly weighted pass through to an overlapping Andy Halls whose angled effort flashed wide from 16 yards.
At the other end a Halifax corner found Kosylo 15 yards out in space but his snapshot was sent just wide when he should have worked Mitchell in the Chester goal.
Kosylo was taken off minutes later to chorus of boos from the Halifax faithful, unhappy at the decision, but his replacement, Josh MacDonald almost had an immediate impact when he beat Lathaniel Rowe-Turner for pace and sent in a looping cross that struck the bar before being hacked away as Mitchell clawed thin air.
Chester were faltering as the half wore on with Halifax growing in stature.
And the Shaymen came close to breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes when Hotte latched on to a ball from midfield advancing into the area but, with his angle ever reducing, his close range effort was well saved by the body of Northern Irishman Mitchell.
The Blues came close on 71 minutes when some neat interplay between Mahon and Halls saw the latter clattered on the right of midfield. Lucas Dawson sent in an inviting cross from the resulting free kick but McCombe’s glanced header drifted wide of the post.
Dion Charles went close for Halifax late on and subsitute Jordan Chapell saw an effort saved at the other end, but Chester had a glorious chance to win it with one minute of normal time remaining.
Substitute James Akintunde and Hannah played some neat one-two football in the area before Akintunde fired goalwards only to find Halifax keeper Sam Johnson in fine form as he tipped wide in spectacular fashion.
That was to prove the last meaningful action of a drab encounter that won’t live long in the memory for the 2,082 in the congregation.
Next up, Hartlepool United away on Tuesday night.
Chester FC: Mitchell, Halls, Rowe-Turner, McCombe, Astles, Mahon (Chapell 79), James, Turnbull, Dawson, Hannah, White (Akintunde 68). Subs: Lynch, Davies, Joyce.
FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Wilde, Brown, Garner, Kosylo (MacDonald 56), Hotte, Denton, Oliver, Dixon (Morgan 73), Duckworth (McManus 46), Charles. Subs: Nicholson, Tomlinson.
Bookings: Dixon, Kosylo, Wilde, Hotte.
Referee: Peter Gibbons.
Star man: Lathaniel Rowe-Turner - Rarely beaten and was tenacious throughout and made more than one timely challenge to deny the Shaymen.