Chester opened their National League North campaign with a goalless home draw against Spennymoor Town.

Despite the lack of goals, Blues fans witnessed a well-organised and resolute display from their side in a first competitive game in charge for Blues joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.

An even start to the contest saw Spennymoor commit plenty of men forward with the Blues back line equal to their early incursions into Chester's final third.

Midfielder Rob Ramshaw was first to try his luck for Town from 25 yards out after five minutes, but drilled his effort well wide.

The hosts quickly imposed themselves on proceedings and some neat interplay on the edge of the Spennymoor box saw new signing Shaun Tuton feed the on-running Dan Mooney whose dangerous cross from the touchline flashed across the goalmouth unconverted.

Some effective pressing from the industrious Mooney and Tuton saw the former find space before he sent his left-footed effort wide of the target.

The Blues then spurned a glorious chance to take the lead when Mooney gathered possession in the box before laying the ball off to Anthony Dudley, who flashed his effort inches wide of the upright from 12 yards.

The Blues defence was then put to the test as a ball over the top eluded their centre-backs and freed Ramshaw, whose clipped shot beat home keeper Grant Shenton but not covering defender Danny Livesey who intervened with a smart clearance off the line.

In a spell of sustained Town pressure, midfielder Andrew Johnson was felled by Blue defender Steve Howson, who then atoned by heading off the line from the ensuing free-kick.

As the game headed towards half-time, defender Simon Grand found himself in an advanced position with his well-struck effort producing a smart save from Town keeper Matthew Gould.

Chester emerged for the second half with renewed purpose and looked to strike early with Tuton unleashing a vicious dipping drive from 25 yards out that Gould tipped around the post.

Match referee Aaron Jackson stunned the healthy 2,191 crowd by awarding a goal-kick despite Gould's intervention.

Undeterred, Chester pursued an opening goal with vigour and went close once more when Tuton fizzed a cross into the six yard box, which Anthony Dudley stooped to flick across goal but the ball eluded any of hs team mates.

Spennymoor rallied and nearly made the breakthrough when Ramshaw slipped a perfect pass through to Glen Taylor whose angled shot was repelled by Shenton.

A quick breakaway on 58 minutes saw defender Jamie Chandler drive forward before slipping a weighted ball down the channel to Mark Anderson whose dangerous ball into the box was pounced on by Shenton with Taylor waiting to tap in.

Chester then went agonizingly close to a 73rd minute goal when a smart weighted pass from substitute Craig Mahon found Tuton, whose squared pass was blasted against the underside of the crossbar by Dudley.

Buoyed by the reprieve, Spennymoor poured forward with full-back Stephen Brogan smashing a sweet dipping effort from range that sent Shenton sprawling to his far corner to save.

The Chester stopper was called upon again on 80 minutes with substitute Jake Hibbs firing straight at him from the edge of the box.

It was the hosts who finished stronger, however, with impressive full-back John Pritchard's bending a left-footed free-kick from 25 yards towards the top corner only to be denied by Gould's athletic save.

Dudley then passed up a gilt-edged chance with three minute remaining when his low shot was smothered by Gould after the Chester forward had spun his marker brilliantly.

Managers: Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley

Starting XI: Shenton, Dom Smalley, Howson, Livesey, Grand, Pritchard, Roberts (c), Stopforth, Mooney (64), Dudley, Tuton.

Subs: Hughes, Mooney, Downes, Moran, Thomson, Brown, Murray, Mahon (64).

Spennymoor Town

Manager Jason Ainsley

Spennymoor Town: Gould, Williams, Curtis, Thackray, Brogan, Chandler, Ramshaw, Anderson, Foley (64), Johnson, Taylor.

Subs: Henry (64), Elliot, King, Hibbs, Boyes.