Both sides will have been grateful for a point but perhaps rueful not to take all three after a genuine game of two halves.

If the first half was disjointed and short on entertainment, the second was the opposite with two quick-fire turnarounds, four goals and some pulsating football.

Rovers had the better of a disappointing first period that ended goalless, creating clearer chances than a subdued Blues but never quite doing enough to deserve the lead.

Chester continued to toil after the break and paid the price when Nathan Blissett and Tom Parkes scored inside seven minutes, leaving the home side deep in trouble.

Rhys Oates pulled one back on 67 minutes and Matty Hughes completed the comeback three minutes later, and there were times when a third goal seemed possible.

In the circumstances and given Rovers are another side with promotion ambitions, the draw represents a good result and sets the Blues up for a run of games on the road.

There has been a lot to like about the progress the Blues have made since the start of the season, the 1-0 win against Gateshead giving further encouragement.

Steve Burr made one change from that game with Craig Hobson stepping aside to accommodate Hughes, back from suspension and charged with supporting Oates.

Rovers had taken time to acclimatise to the Vanarama Conference but had improved through the season under Darrell Clarke and started the game in fifth.

Clarke has to deal with the pressure that a large fanbase and budget brings, and some supporters are unconvinced he can deliver the results needed to return to the Football League.

He made three changes from a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster last time out and gave a debut to new signing Blissett, who had scored for Harries in that game.

Matty Taylor, who turned down an offer to return to Chester after an impressive loan spell last season, returned along with Andy Monkhouse.

Little happened in the first 10 minutes or so with the teams content to feel each other out but the Blues began to get on top with Kingsley James making the most of being the extra man in midfield.

John Rooney scuffed an attempt from distance and Josh O'Keefe couldn't direct a header on goal before Taylor sliced well wide down the other end.

Rovers eventually settled into the game with Stuart Sinclair, so impressive for Salisbury City on his last visit to the Swansway Chester Stadium, coming to the fore.

Gareth Roberts blocked a shot from Sinclair and Monkhouse fired wide from 25 yards before Jon Worsnop dived on a loose ball after Roberts got in a muddle clearing a cross from Lee Brown.

Chester couldn't keep possession and seemed off the pace in midfield with Worsnop saving from Della-Verde before Taylor went closest, drilling a shot inches past the post.

Burr moved things around and that helped redress the balance with Steve Mildenhall grasping Rooney's curling strike and Ben Heneghan fizzing wide from 35 yards but the first half ended goalless.

Chester made another switch for the second period, bringing on top scorer Sean McConville for O'Keefe and dropping Rooney back into central midfield.

Those changes were still settling down when Rovers took the lead on 51 minutes, Taylor turning and sending over a low cross that Blissett prodded past Worsnop.

McConville couldn't quite find Hughes with a cross and then fired into the side netting after good work from James as the Blues responded but then conceded again on 58 minuites.

Chester failed to deal with a free kick from the right and the ball ricocheted into Parkes' path, and he slotted home from six yards to give the Gas a two goal lead.

Worsnop denied Della-Verde with an acrobatic save a couple of minutes later and a third goal would almost certainly have been game over for the home side.

Chester hadn't threatened in the second half but Oates got them back in the contest on 67 minutes when he turned a cross from Craig Mahon towards goal and watched the ball sail into the top corner past the helpless Mildenhall.

Three minutes later and the Blues were level with Mahon finding McConville and his shot deflected towards Hughes, who had the simple task of nodding home from close range.

It was an unexpected turnaround and one there had been inkling of before Oates' goal, and set up a thrilling final 20 minutes.

There were chances for both sides, Rovers perhaps having the better with Blissett fluffing his lines and captain Matty Brown making an excellent saving tackle.

Chester threatened too but had to replace Hughes and Oates late on and will, given how the game looked with an hour gone, have been more than content to take a point.

Chester FC: Worsnop, Heneghan, Brown, Charnock, G Roberts, James, O'Keefe (McConville 46), Mahon, Rooney, Hughes (Hobson 87), Oates (Touray 90).

Subs: C Roberts, Kay.

Goals: Oates 67, Hughes 70.

Booked: James.

Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, McChrystal, Parkes, Brown, Monkhouse, Mansell, Sinclair, Della-Verde (Gosling 66), Taylor (Harrison 78), Blissett (Goldberg 87).

Subs: Clarke, Balanta.

Goals: Blissett 51, Parkes 58.

Booked: Lockyear.

Referee: Wayne Barratt (Bromsgrove)

Attendance: 2,936.