Chester were held to a frustrating stalemate in front of their own fans as basement side FC United of Manchester came for a point and got one.

The Blues' attacking potency was blunted throughout by the visitors, who gave nothing away in a contest sorely lacking in quality.

Playing the first of the three rearranged home fixtures since repairs to flood damage at the Deva stadium, the hosts found some fluency after a stop-start campaign.

There was no repeat of the frenetic pace of the Bradford game, with Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley presiding over a more composed Chester performance.

The Blues' joint-managers had demanded an end to the 'silly' defensive errors that have blighted some of their defending in recent weeks.

And the Blues back line clearly heeded the warning, looking assured and well-organised throughout the contest in which they were rarely exposed by United's cautious tactical approach.

The hosts were positive from the outset, going close twice in the opening five minutes, initially through Jon Moran who rose highest to meet Dan Mooney's corner but planted his header just wide of the upright.

Mooney was involved again soon after, when his deft reverse pass found Anthony Dudley whose snapshot from a tight angle was pushed behind by United keeper David Carnell.

The visitors grew into the game steadily, with danger man Kurt Willoughby providing an effective attacking outlet with his direct and pacy style.

And it was Willoughby who went closest for his side in the opening exchanges, flashing an effort narrowly wide of Grant Shenton's goal from a tight angle.

As the game's pace settled, Chester found their attacking instincts stymied by Dave Chadwick's hard-working United side,who stifled the game by pressing and closing space between the lines quickly.

There were half-hearted appeals for a penalty when the lively Craig Mahon burst into the box and went to ground as he was crowed out by three United defenders.

Dudley then sparked into life on 34 minutes as he rode a challenge and surged into the box but his scuffed effort was easily held by Carnell as the half petered out into a goalless stalemate.

United emerged with renewed purpose after the interval, forcing an early corner that centre back Billy Priestley headed just wide.

After a sluggish start, Chester began to push deeper into United territory, but crosses from both Mahon and Dominic Smalley lacked accuracy.

With space at a premium around and inside the United box, Mooney did superbly cut inside and find a yard before setting himself and lashing his shot inches wide of the target.

Creativity and quality was sorely lacking in the play of both sides as the half wore on, with United's man-for-man marking suffocating the possibility of a breakthrough goal.

Another Blues penalty shout fell on deaf ears on 70 minutes, when the on-running Mahon was brought down by Priestley inside the box.

Referee Steve Copeland was well-placed and ignored the home faithful's hopeful appeals for a spot-kick.

The 72nd minute introduction of John Pritchard and winger Luke Jordan for Craig Mahon and Dan Mooney failed to yield an opener either with every breakaway counter-attack well marshalled by United's stubborn rearguard.

Matty Hughes spurned a presentable chance in the 84th minute, dragging his effort wide from Dudley's pass.

Roared on by the raucous home support, the Blues passed up another chance in time added on when Simon Grand's slide-rule pass found substitute John Pritchard whose left footed shot sailed over the bar.

The hosts were presented with one last chance in time added on when Priestley pulled back Hughes in a dangerous position on the edge of the box.

But, in keeping with a forgettable evening at the Deva, the resultant free-kick was wasted and the final whistle blew.