YORK City were held to a goalless draw against Vanarama National League North outfit Chester in the Emirates FA Cup first round.

Manager Neal Ardley had admitted that the last thing he wanted was a replay and another fixture added to an already congested Vanarama National League fixture list, and won’t be pleased as York failed to breakdown their opposition.

Olly Green, Quevin Castro and Dipo Akinyemi all came close to breaking the deadlock and booking City’s place in the second round, but weren’t able to surpass the Chester defence.

David Stockdale also made his return to the starting eleven and was involved throughout, keeping a much-needed clean sheet and making an incredible save to deny Adam Thomas.

York haven’t reached the second round of the FA Cup since the 2010/11 season, with wins against Kidderminster Harriers, Rotherham United and Darlington saw the Minstermen reach the third round, before being defeated by Bolton Wanderers.

Ardley opted to make two changes to his York side that claimed a 1-1 draw with FC Halifax Town last weekend, with George Sykes-Kenworthy and Aiden Marsh both cup-tied.

Stockdale came into the side for his first start since August after recovering from a long-term injury, whilst Castro slotted into midfield at the expense of Marsh.

Some other positive news for Ardley was the return of Akinyemi, Thierry Latty-Fairweather and Scott Barrow to the bench, with City’s squad slowly recovering from a huge amount of injuries.

One loanee who isn’t cup-tied for this match is midfielder Olly Green, who is settling into life with the Minstermen after an impressive debut against Halifax last weekend.

He nearly opened his account for the club just six minutes into the contest after Kai Kennedy found Ryan Fallowfield on the right-wing, whose cut-back was struck goalwards by Green, only to be bravely blocked by Liam Edwards.

Castro looked to have an impact on his return to the starting eleven, and whilst playing on the right-wing, squirmed his way past one challenge before seeing another goalbound effort blocked again.

Chester came within inches to breaking the deadlock after George Glendon fed Adam Thomas the ball within the box, with the forward striking a low effort goalwards, only to be denied by the fingertips of Stockdale, producing an excellent save.

Green was again involved with a clever pass into the path of John-Lewis, who latched onto possession before dragging an effort wide.

Chester weren’t cowering at the City pressure and instead found themselves looking to take the lead, with Glendon racing towards goal and bending an effort narrowly over Stockdale’s crossbar after a sloppy pass from Callum Howe.

It was almost déjà vu for York after another stunning Green pass saw Fallowfield in behind the Chester defence, who cut back towards Castro again, but another brave block saw the midfielder’s strike deflected wide.

With York enjoying the majority of chances and just struggling to test Wyll Stanway between the Chester sticks, Castro had one final strike on goal before the half-time whistle, again seeing another important block from the hosts defence.

Heading into the second half, both sides will have been keen to find that breakthrough, with Chester firing City a warning after Tom Sparrow saw his cushioned header calmly dealt with by Stockdale.

Stockdale was again called into action with Declan Weeks looking to test the York shot-stopper, with Stockdale making a comfortable save from a narrow angle.

Akinyemi was introduced just after the hour mark and quickly looked to have an impact, forcing a brave bit of goalkeeping from Stanway.

Green’s persistence was almost rewarded when Akinyemi’s cross trickled its way to the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s stance was all wrong as he sliced a powerful effort well wide of the target.

Ardley had reiterated prior to kick-off that he did not want a replay with the Minstermen’s fixture list incredibly hectic, and he was nearly bailed out with a bit of fortunate, after Akinyemi’s venomous strike stung the gloves of Stanway, before the ball ricocheted off of McLauglin and wide.

Burgess then looked to be through goal from an almost inch-perfect pass from Akinyemi, but a perfectly-timed challenge from Joel Taylor ruled out the chance.

Will Smith then nearly opened his account with a low header that Stanway dealt with, before Chester came close with a header at the other end courtesy of Luke Burke.

With time running out in the contest, there were hearts in mouths for the City faithful after some late pressure saw Charlie Caton with a teasing chance at the back post, only to slide his effort wide.

But with neither side able to break the other down, York will now welcome Chester to the LNER Community Stadium on Tuesday, November 14 (7.45pm) for the cup replay, with the hopes of reaching the second round of the FA Cup.

Chester: Stanway, Edwards, Williams, Roberts, Daly (Coates, 67), Taylor, Whitehouse, Weeks, Glendon (Murray, 85), Thomas (Caton, 61), Sparrow (Burke, 67)

Subs not used: Davies, Evans, Heywood, Maguire, Rosenblatt

York City: Stockdale 7, Fallowfield 6, Howe 5, Cordner 7, Smith 6, McLaughlin 6, Woodyard 5, Castro 6 (Akinyemi 6, 61), Green 8, Kennedy 6 (Burgess 6, 61), John-Lewis 6

Subs not used: Watson, Latty-Fairweather, Barrow, Hancox, Siziba, Dyson

Yellow cards: John-Lewis (55)

York’s star man: Olly Green. A controlling performance in the middle of the park with some fantastic passes, composure on the ball and a influx of energy.

Attendance: 3329

Referee: Dean Watson

Shots off (on target): 5 (2) | 5 (4)

Corners: 5 | 5

Offsides: 3 | 1

Fouls committed: 5 | 10