Belper Town are still looking for their first league victory of the season after this goalless draw against Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday.
The Nailers have shared the points in five of their six league games, even though they should have taken all three points after Dynamo played the last 18 minutes with only ten men.
Manager Peter Duffield kept faith with the same starting line-up that eventually overcame Leamington in the FA Trophy replay in midweek.
The Nailers were playing Dynamo for the second time in three weeks and were looking to claim a second successive victory after winning the FA Trophy tie by the odd goal in seven.
It turned out to be a frustrating and untidy game that only really livened up in the last 15 minutes when the Nailers woke up to the fact that they could win it, but the Dynamo goal led a charmed life with the help of ‘keeper Kahil Mann-Kler, who made some very good saves.
Jake Betts had an early chance for the home side but his close-range shot in the sixth minute was deflected for a corner kick.
Ashley Longstaff had to lean back to head a cross from Simon Harrison two minutes later and could only put the ball over the crossbar, then a scrappy period in which very little was created was punctuated when Richard Adams drilled a low cross over the six-yard area and Andrew Siribour was inches away from turning the ball in at the far post.
Belper had the edge on possession during the first half and put together some flowing moves. In the 24th minute, Colin Marrison was on the end of one, but his shot was blocked.
Dynamo’s best opportunity came in the 29th minute when a slick move saw their best player, Shawn Richards, strike a hard shot against the upright, but shortly afterwards Andrew Siribour looked to be in with a shot on goal but the ‘keeper managed to knock him off the ball without conceding a penalty.
Aaron Pride lit up a dour half with a dazzling run into the Dynamo area on 42 minutes, but his shot was too close to the ’keeper.
The majority of the second period was frustrating to watch because, for the most part, both sides struggled to keep possession. In the 60th minute, Jamie Clarke turned and put a left foot shot well wide and two minutes later Andrew Siribour’s pace took him away from his marker but his cross was too fast for Ashley Longstaff to connect with.
Jamie Clarke’s high tackle on Ryan Mallon in the 72nd minute should have been a turning point after he was sent off, but at least the tide began to turn in Belper’s favour. The Nailers increased their pressure on the Loughborough goal and in the 83rd minute Siribour nodded the ball against the bar.