Chester and Alfreton Town shared the points for a fourth consecutive meeting on a cold Tuesday night at the Impact Arena.
Declan Weeks’ cool finish gave the Blues an early lead, before a Liam Edwards own goal midway through the first half ensured it ended all square in the National League North.
Blues boss Calum McIntyre made five changes from the Trophy defeat at Nantwich; welcoming back Matty Williams, Liam Edwards, Joel Taylor, Weeks and Captain George Glendon to the side.
Chester made a bright start and went close inside two minutes. Harrison Burke’s throw in was chested and set up by Charlie Caton, and Glendon curled one just wide which struck the side netting on its way behind.
The deserved opener arrived on 12 minutes. Patient possession ended with Glendon sliding in a glorious pass for his midfield partner Weeks to calmly slot home across George Willis and into the bottom corner.
Moments later Alfreton almost responded. The long throw threat was a common theme throughout the night and Adam Lund’s hoist into the area eventually fell to Jordan Thewlis, who saw his left footed volley crash against the crossbar.
The hosts did equalise midway through the half though, as Nathan Newall’s corner appeared to strike the back of Edwards before flying beyond a diving Wyll Stanway and into the top corner.
Stanway then saved George Cantrill’s effort – before the Blues ended the half stronger.
A floated Weeks free kick was spilled by Willis and landed at the feet of Iwan Murray, but he was denied by a brave Clackstone block.
Just before the break, the visitors broke with purpose as Glendon released Christian Norton, he cut inside of his man but saw his shot pushed away by the Alfreton ‘keeper.
Joel Taylor’s cross-cum-shot almost had Chester back in front on 57 minutes but Willis did brilliantly at full stretch to tip the ball behind.
Moments later Stanway did well to get out quickly to turn Liam Waldock’s effort around the post from Thewlis’ pass across the box.
Chester were playing with patience and were almost rewarded with ten to play as Glendon found Caton inside the box, and his cutback was just inches away from the foot of sliding sub Frankie Maguire.
Chester: Stanway, Burke, Williams, Edwards, Taylor, Whitehouse, Murray (Daly 57), Glendon, Weeks, Norton (Maguire 69), Caton.
Subs Not Used: Davies, Heywood, Rosenblatt.
Scorers: Edwards (OG 23); Weeks 12.