Shrewsbury Town 0 Chester City 0

Last updated : 13 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Chester City moved ever closer to a return to the Football League, when a goalless draw at fellow high-flyers Shrewsbury Town saw them inch even nearer to the Conference title.

The point Mark Wright's men collected from this hard-fought but absorbing Gay Meadow draw, enabled the Deva Stadium outfit to maintain a four-point lead over closest rivals Hereford United and ensured that a home win over visiting Scarborough will be enough to restore the Football League status they lost in 2000.

Shrewsbury meanwhile edged closer to clinching a Conference play-off place, which now looks theirs for the taking with two of three remaining fixtures to be played at home.

Neither side therefore, will be complaining about the outcome of a desperately close encounter that nobody deserved to lose.

With both sides seeking to gain the upper hand, Shrewsbury went close through youngsters Luke Rodgers and Dave Edwards and closer still when much-travelled striker Duane Darby saw his angled drive go inches beyond the far post in the 35th minute.

At the other end, the visitors found it difficult to make much headway against a well-marshalled Shrewsbury defence, although Kevin Rapley gave the home side a scare when he stabbed the ball narrowly wide five minutes before the break.

In the second half Chester began to win a greater share of possession and Michael Twiss and Scott Guyett brought saves from Shrews' keeper Scott Howie.

However, the visitors were indebted to their own goalkeeper Iain Turner, whose fine diving stop denied Town midfielder Kevin Street in the 62nd minute.

There was no doubting a draw was the right outcome, with Chester having one foot back in the Football League.