Salisbury City 0
Alfreton Town 0
GUSTY conditions contributed to Salisbury City splitting the points with promotion-runners Alfreton Town after a scrappy goalless stalemate at Old Sarum.
A rigid defensive display, transformed from Tuesday’s demolition at FC Halifax Town, ensured a seventh clean sheet as they moved up to eighth in Skrill Premier.
Each side were out of their comfort zone in the early stages as a heavy pitch meant no silky football was on show - but the visitors adjusted quicker to the imperfect conditions.
John Akinde, netting a hat-trick when the teams last met in August, made his presence known, using his strength to hold up play and combine with Town’s five energetic midfielders.
As well as providing, he had a sniff on goal inside 18 minutes when playmaker Godfrey Poku threaded a through-ball into his gateway but his shot ricocheted off keeper Will Puddy.
Tom Shaw kept up the pressure and he found himself cantering through on goal but, just as he went to pull the trigger, Ryan Brett came sliding in to divert the danger.
With city unable to muster chances for Jon Worsnop to spring into action, numerous second half efforts changed that.
Elliott Frear started a move on the left wing which, after shifting through the area, fell to Chris McPhee, whose connection trickled painfully wide.
Frear then sent a 25-yard swerving effort at Worsnop, before playing in Clovis Kamdjo with a corner he nodded over.
Dan Fitchett, one of three changes made to the starting XI, came on in the final 10 minutes to set-up Jamie White whose effort fizzled wide.
“It was very positive getting a clean sheet after conceding five goals midweek,” head coach Mikey Harris smiled.
“It was important we responded, and put in a shift defensively, and the boys did that. We created enough chances to win the game but the ball wouldn’t go in the back of the net.
“The conditions didn’t help with the way we like to play but it’s a point against a good side.”
• City welcome Woking on Tuesday night (7.45pm). Follow @SalJournalsport for updates.
Salisbury: Puddy, MacDonald, Dutton, Wilson (c), Brett, Kamdjo, McPhee (Fitchett, 79), R.Sinclair (Wellard, 70), Frear, Feeney, White.
Subs not used: Flint, Bittner.
Referee: Justin Amey (Bournemouth).
Star man: Brian Dutton.
Half time: 0-0
MATCH FACTS: Shots on: 2/1 Shots off: 3/0 Corners: 5/7 Offsides: 0/3 Fouls: 6/5 Yellow cards: 3/1