An inspired display of goalkeeping from Andy Firth and some dogged and determined defending saw Chester FC hold promotion-chasing Aldershot Town to a 0-0 draw on a cold and wintry afternoon at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Firth produced a string of fine saves to keep the Shots at bay as they were left frustrated by a Blues side that, while offering nothing going forward, were resolute at the back.
The Blues were handed a boost in the days leading up to the game with the return of three-time title winner Neil Young in an advisory capacity after he answered Marcus Bignot’s SOS call.
And Young was present in the stands to cast his eye over proceedings as the Blues faced a promotion-chasing Shots side who came into the game on the back of a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of AFC Fylde seven days previous.
Bignot made three changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Wrexham on Sunday with Matty Waters, Lucas Dawson and James Akintunde replaced in the starting XI by Gary Roberts, James Jones and Ross Hannah as the Blues boss reshuffled his pack.
Wintry conditions, snow flurries and a swirling wind made life difficult in the opening 45 minutes and it was far from vintage stuff.
There was little in the way of action in the opening 20 minutes with a low Jake Gallagher effort that dragged wide from distance the only chance of note.
But it was the away side who started to dominate what was a pretty turgid affair.
The started to exploit gaps in behind the Blues full backs and Lewis Kinsella was creating problems for the Chester defence with the quality of his deliveries.
Andy Firth had to be alert to push away a low Kinsella cross as the Shots pressed, and the Liverpool loanee got down well to save a low Matt McClure effort on 25 minutes.
Chester were toothless up front and the strikers had little in the way of service from the midfield.
And the best chance of the half fell to McClure after connected with a superb low cross from Kinsella at the far post with his right foot, but Firth reacted superbly to push it onto the post and the Blues cleared their lines.
Manny Oyeleke fired over from 18 yards not long before the break as Aldershot continued to dominate on the ball, but it remained all square at the break.
HALF TIME: CHESTER 0 ALDERSHOT TOWN 0
The Shots started the second half in much the same way as they finished the first and continued to boss the game and dictate play from front to back.
Chester barely got over the halfway line for the opening periods and Oyeleke cut in from the left hand side and rifled an effort goalwards from 20 yards that was pushed away acrobatically by Firth.
Shots thought they had the lead shortly before then hour mark when McClure was played through one on one with Firth. The striker looked a mile offside but there was no flag intially when he stroked past the Chester keeper and put the ball in the back of the net, but as he ran over to celebrate near the linesman the flag was raised, much to the relief of the Blues home faithful.
But still Aldershot continued to dominate the game as Chester provided virtually no attacking intent, playing without any real width.
The excellent Firth was on hand to keep the scores level once more minutes later when Shamir Fenelon latched onto a left wing cross and fired goalwards from eight yards only to be denied by the Liverpool loanee’s superb reactions.
It took until the 73rd minute for Chester to register a shot on target when Harry White, on for Ross Hannah, found himself in space on the left, cutting in before unleashing a strike that Jake Cole pawed away, with the rebound just evading a lurking Andy Halls.
Six minutes of added time were added on and the Blues were pegged back deep into their own half as the visitors continued to probe for a way through.
The superb Firth had to be called into action one final time deep into stoppage time, pushing an Oyeleke strike from distance wide.
But there was to be no late drama as the determined Blues earned a share of the spoils.
Chester: Firth, Hobson, Jones, Astles, Anderson (Rowe-Turner 77), Halls, Crawford, Roberts, Vose (Akintunde 61), Hannah (White 68), Archer. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Dawson.
Aldershot: Cole, Alexander, Evans, Fenelon (Rowe 81), Oyeleke, McClure (Kabamba 69), McQuoid, Gallagher (Kellerman 69), McDonnell, Kinsella, Reynolds. Subs not used: Rendell, Fowler.
Referee: Peter Wright.
Star man: Andy Firth.