FC Halifax Town were left frustrated as they drew 0-0 with a resolute Stalybridge Celtic side.
Both sides struggled to create any clear cut chances, with Jack Laird rattling the crossbar from range for the visitors and Dan Gardner’s Volley over the bar the two bes
And in the closing seconds of the game, Danny Lowe headed narrowly wide of the post with only seconds to spare.
Playing at Rochdale’s Spotland Stadium due to pitch troubles at the Shay, Halifax struggled to make the ‘home’ advantage pay.
Despite some early efforts from Gareth Seddon and Scott McManus, Stalybridge looked fairly comfortable and troubled at times themselves with Mitchell Austin looking dangerous.
The second-half come to life as both sides pressed for a winner and Stalybridge nearly found it with Laird’s effort.
Town continued to press in the dying stages, but other than Lowe’s effort, were unable to test Alex Cairns.
FC Halifax Town named an unchanged side for the second time in a row, fresh off the back of Tuesday’s 2-1 victory against Gloucester City.
The only change being to the substitutes bench, where Adriano Moke made his first appearance in the match-day squad.
The last time Halifax played away from the Shay Stadium in a league match, they beat Tranmere.
And it was the Shaymen who started the brighter with the in-form Seddon testing Cairns from 20-yards.
Moments later, it was nearly calamity for Cairns as he was put under pressure from a pass back by Joel Bembo-Leta, which he nearly succeeded in slicing into his own net.
After a stoppage in play due to an injury to Adam Pepper, Matt Glennon restarted straight to Mitchell Austin and the midfielder ran the whole half before stabbing his effort gratefully at the keeper.
From then on it was all Halifax and first McManus had an effort blocked before Alex Titchener delivered to Seddon who found the keeper’s gloves with his header.
Stalybridge looked dangerous on the counter attack and there was a nervous tension in the air when Austin appeared to be fouled in the box by McManus. No foul given.
However Halifax continued to attack with Dan Gardner acting as the linchpin. His direct running this time allowed Needham to shoot, but his 20-yard first-time effort was straight at Cairns.
Tensions flared midway through the first-half with both sides putting in some stern challenges. But when Austin steamed into the back of Lowe, it brought about the first Yellow card.
McManus was next to come closest as he rose highest to meet Gardner’s free-kick, only to be thwarted at the bottom corner by an excellent save from Cairns.
Presented with a free-kick 25-yards from goal after Bembo-Leta had fouled Seddon, Gardner drilled it low to sting the hands of Cairns who held on at the second attempt.
Deep into the first-half, Halifax were failing to clear the lines. Another Stalybridge counter resulted in a corner, which eventually dropped to Lewis Patch, but the winger couldn’t connect with the strike properly.
Austin was looking dangerous for the visitors and his delivery from the byline caused panic in the Shaymen penalty area, but with Laird poised to finish, Toulson managed to clear.
After the stalemate first-half, Lee Gregory entered the fray to replace Paul Marshall in an effort to boost the Shaymen’s fire-power.
And it was Halifax who had the attacking impetus in the opening stages, with Gardner first delivering a dangerous free-kick, before Kevin Bleau was forced to clear over his own crossbar under-pressure.
But Gregory’s first action was with the referee as he received a yellow for leaving the boot in on Prince Hayewood.
Halifax struggled to settle in possession and Stalybridge continued to look potent on the counter attack.
First Austin broke through the defence once more before being thwarted by Liam Hogan and then Patch had Glennon scrambling with his effort that went narrowly wide of the left post.
Since his arrival on loan, Alex Titchener has built a reputation for his work ethic and it nearly prevailed when the striker charged down Cairns with the rebound dropping agonisingly wide.
The game settled into a dogged affair midway through the second-half with neither side able to find a breakthrough.
It was screaming for a bit of magic and on cue, Laird nearly provided it with a 30-yard drive that had Glennon beat, but to the dismay of the striker came cannoning back off the bar.
From then on, the Tempo increased and Gardner nearly found the breakthrough for Halifax.
A quick passing move from the Shaymen saw Hogan flick it through to the midfielder, but despite a great connection, he could not keep his volley down.
Gardner, so often the difference for Halifax this season, was looking the most likely to score. Once again he cut in from the wing, beating opponents on his way, but once more his shot sailed wide.
With tensions growing, Halifax started to throw more men forward in pursuit of the first goal. Jon Worthington the next to test the water with a shot from 20-yards, but again it went wide.
buoyed by five minutes injury time, Town continued to press and pumped balls into the box, but Stalybridge kept men behind the ball and defended as a unit.
That was until the dying seconds when a long Worthington ball into the box found Lowe, but his headed effort went inches wide to the despair of the home crowd of 1,037.
FC Halifax Town
Matt Glennon 2) Ryan Toulson 3) Scott McManus 4) Liam Hogan 5) Liam Needham 6) Danny Lowe 7) Jon Worthington 8) Paul Marshall (Gregory) 9) Alex Titchener (St Juste) 10) Dan Gardner 11) Gareth Seddon
Subs: 12) Phil Senior 14) Lee Gregory 15) Sean Williams 16) Jason St Juste 17) Adriano Moke
Alex Cairns 2) Kevin Bleau 3) Callum Warburton 4) Kristian Platt 5) Joel Bembo-Leta 6) Prince Haywood (Lees) 7) Lewis Patch 8) Adam Pepper (Parkhouse) 9) Jack Laird 10) Corey Gregory (Wilkinson) 11) Mitchell Austin
Subs: 12) Mark Lees 14) Jonny Linsday 15) Greg Wilkinson 16) Adam Parkhouse 17) Fabrice Bembo-Leta
Austin (34), L. Gregory (50)