In the Evostik Northern Premier League, Witton Albion and Gainsborough Trinity played out a goalless draw at Wincham Park on Saturday afternoon.
High flying Trinity would have fancied their chances before kick off, sitting in second place and having scored eight goals in midweek, against Witton who were beaten 3-1 at Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night.
But it was to be a very even affair. Neither team truly threatened the goal throughout the 90 minutes, with a couple of standard saves by Albion ‘keeper Greg Hall preventing the best chances for the visitors.
The hosts had the better of the early exchanges. Captain Rob Hopley got his head to a cross from the right but could only send a floated header over the crossbar, while Danny McKenna fired over the top from a 20-yard free kick.
The home side were thankful of defender River Humphreys’ intervention just after the half-hour mark. A dangerous ball into the box from the left went over goalkeeper Hall and Humphreys was on hand to head off the line, although the referee blew for a foul on him in the process.
Witton had the final opportunity of the first half when Hopley was played in down the left flank. He skipped around the outrushing goalkeeper Jon Stewart, forced wide and his cross caused problems but Gainsborough did well to clear their lines.
In terms of goalscoring opportunities, there was little to report from the first 15 minutes of the second period, with bitty fouls breaking the flow of the game and not allowing either side to build up a head of steam.
Trinity midfielder Alex Byrne was the man who caused Witton the most problems as the visitors created chances in the final half hour.
Cutting inside from the left, he curled a right footed shot over the crossbar on 61 minutes before a couple of shots straight at Hall who made regulation saves.
Hall then made a good save to deny a header from Gainsborough defender Nathan Stanfield with the visitors looking the most likely to break the deadlock.
But on a rare foray into the Trinity final third, McKenna jinked past a defender, cut inside from the right and curled a low left footed shot which fizzed just wide of the target.
Witton midfielder Billy Smart headed wide from the final attack of the game as both sides had to settle for a point apiece. A fair result considering neither goalkeeper was seriously tested at any point during the 90 minutes.
Curious game, very scrappy and niggly in the first half and then pretty absorbing and entertaining in the second.
A draw was probably a fair result as Gainsborough had a slight edge throughout but we came closest to scoring with Danny's effort and then Billy Smart's header right at the end (which I think he should really have done better with).
We defended brilliantly throughout against a side who scored eight in midweek. My MOM though would be Danny McKenna who was a livewire from start to finish and never stopped pressing, probing and trying to be creative.