FC Halifax Town have moved up to second in the table after picking up a point away at Braintree Town.
Neither side could break the deadlock as the game finished 0-0 but Neil Aspin’s side appeared to be hungrier as they chased all three points but were unable to find the net.
Paul Marshall had the pick of the chances in the second half with a set piece as his curling free kick was pushed away. Braintree had their best opportunities before the end but they couldn’t beat Matt Glennon who deserved his clean sheet.
Aspin made just one change to the team that thumped AFC Telford United 5-0 last weekend. Simon Ainge replaced Richard Peniket and slotted into midfield as the Shaymen appeared to line up in a 4-3-3 formation. Danny Hattersley kept his place in the side after scoring two goals in his first game at the Shay.
It was an even start to the game as both sides battled for the ball in the middle of the park. Simon Ainge saw a lot of the action in midfield and caused a lot of problems for Braintree by winning a lot of aerial challenges.
There were very few chances in the first half but Aspin’s side had the greater share of the opportunities.
The hosts were troubled by the long throw from Marc Roberts throughout the game. Steve Williams had a couple of chances fly wide whilst Ainge also missed the target as his header went over the bar. Matty Pearson also had a shot blocked following a scramble from another Roberts throw.
New on-loan striker Hattersley had the best chance of the first half when Roberts launched another ball from a throw in as he flicked the ball to the far post before Ryan Peters cleared the ball away from the corner.
Braintree were equally troubled from corners as Smith found Kevin Roberts at the back post but his effort was blocked off the line.
At the other end, Glennon was rarely troubled. The Iron’s only chance falling to top goal scorer, Kenny Davis firing wide with a weak volley from a corner kick.
It was an aggressive start to the second half with both Smith and Pearson receiving yellow cards for rash challenges and Braintree began to show more urgency going forward.
The game began to open up when Ainge and Smith were substituted for Jamie Jackson, who was making his return into the squad, and Richard Peniket.
Hattersley found space on the edge of area before unleashing a deflected shot and then he followed this up with a header from a Roberts throw as Halifax began to put more pressure on the Braintree keeper, Nick Hamann.
With the clock ticking down, the Shaymen raised the intensity, throwing more bodies forward. Peniket shot just wide off the target after making a bursting run from the halfway line. Paul Marshall followed this up with a free kick from the edge of the box which was saved and then volleyed over from a corner soon after.
Danny Schofield was brought in with ten minutes to play in place of Matty Pearson as Aspin’s side chased all three points.
But Braintree hit back with just five minutes to go as substitute, Michael Bakare fired over the bar with an acrobatic effort before setting up James Mulley on the edge of area but his shot didn’t trouble Glennon.
Despite the growing pressure neither side were able to find the winner as the two sides were forced to settle for a point a piece.
Halifax move on to 24 points after picking up their eighth point on the road whilst the Braintree fans witnessed their side’s first draw of the season.