Stafford Rangers 0 Northwich Vics 0
NORTHWICH picked up their first away Blue Square point of the season, at Marston Road on Saturday.
After a miserable run of 10 defeats the clean sheet will have pleased manager Dino Maamria, but he would have been disappointed not to have claimed all three points as a major fillip to their relegation fight.
Stafford is not Northwich’s favourite ground and they lost there 2-0 last season, a result that kept Rangers in the top flight. They also gained most from the draw, moving up to 22nd place while Northwich stay bottom.
But Vics’ luck also held to the extent that post prevented a worse outcome.
They were given a pre-match boost with the sudden resignation announced in the morning of Rangers’ boss Phil Robinson and they set about their task with relish.
Lucas Akins, whose arrival has been a breath of fresh air to the attack, twice went close from crosses supplied by Luke Horrocks and Danny Williams.
Williams also threatened before veteran and caretaker manager Neil Grayson led the first meaningful home attack and he quickly brought Scott Tynan to a save.
Mike Carr brought a great save debutant Scott Loach before half-time which, other than not finding the net was satisfactory for Vics.
Loach was soon the Marston Road hero again, this time thwarting Adam Morning as the second half began in similar fashion.
Stafford came closest to scoring when a Vics attack broke down and their swift break ended with Samy Mawene thwacking a post.
With both sides desperate for a win the closing 15 minutes were intense and more evenly balanced.
Tynan saved from Grayson’s 20 yarder and Loach frustrated Morning at the other end.
By the time Crewe loanee Nick Farquarharson was presented with a late chance a goalless draw looked inevitable and, true enough, he shot wide.
Vics: Tynan; Rusk, Kerr, Welch, Battersby; Williams (Farquarharson 65), Carr, Wilson, Horrock (Morning 40); Steele, Akins.