Chester stretched their unbeaten run to nine games as they held Macclesfield Town to a goalless draw at the Moss Rose stadium on Tuesday night. In a feisty affair, chances were limited, but both sides spurned opportunities to earn the bragging rights in a fast-paced final few minutes.
The opening exchanges proved to be very scrappy as the two sides tussled for possession, but it was the visitors who mounted the first real attack on eight minutes. Elliott Durrell bypassed a defender before firing in a tempting cross, but George Pilkington managed to clear with James Alabi lurking at the back post.
Just four minutes later, Macclesfield were a post’s width away from opening the scoring as Alex Lynch turned a Pilkington effort onto the woodwork. The ball then fell kindly to John McCombe but his powerful drive was beaten away by the debutant goalkeeper.
Following that scare, the travelling team enjoyed a positive spell but they failed to profit in front of goal. The Silkmen then carved out a golden opportunity in the 25th minute, but Chris Holroyd could only slice a pinpoint Jack Mackreth cross over the crossbar.
The latter stages of the first period proved to be tightly contested, but John Askey’s men began to look the more threatening going forward. Andy Halls found the clutches of Lynch on 36 minutes before Danny Whitaker flashed a powerful strike just wide after manoeuvring the ball into a shooting position 30 yards from goal.
With the deadlock yet to be broken, Chester looked to get forward early in the second period but Ryan Astles could only send a distant drive off target on 49 minutes. Neat build-up then opened up another opportunity three minutes later, but Durrell was thwarted by a low save.
Stand-in captain Tom Shaw then went close to hauling the Blues ahead on 65 minutes as he saw a stooping header instinctively blocked by Lynch. Immediately after that chance, Macclesfield broke away with speed but Holroyd sent an effort over the bar after eluding his marker.
A few feisty challenges began to fly in as the half wore on and the rhythm of play suffered as a result. The pendulum continued to swing both ways, but it was Chester who carved out the next opportunity on 77 minutes as Chapell stung the palms of Craig Ross.
During a manic final few minutes of the affair, the crowd were served up plenty of entertainment. With 86 minutes on the clock, substitute Danny Rowe bent an audacious 30-yard strike onto the crossbar with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
Unbelievably, the winger then hit the woodwork again just seconds later following some neat interchange inside the final third. Shortly before the final whistle, the visiting contingent were almost celebrating themselves as Chapell rocketed a strike inches wide of goal, but the referee brought a close to proceedings soon after.
The draw sees Macclesfield drop two places to eighth position, but they are just a point behind fifth-placed Barrow. Chester, meanwhile, remain firmly in mid-table with 26 points to their name.
Macclesfield Town: Rose, Halls ©, Fitzpatrick, Pilkington, McCombe, Mackreth (Rowe 78), Holroyd, Sampson, James, Hancox, Whitaker.
Unused Substitutes: Branagan, Byrne, Roberts, Madeley.
Chester: Lynch, Vassell (Killock 63) (Hudson 73), Hughes, Astles, Hunt, Chapell, Shaw ©, Lloyd, Mahon, Alabi (Akintunde 69), Durrell.
Unused Substitutes: Joyce, Waters.
Attendance: 1922 (513 away)