Sheffield FC battled to a goalless draw against Division One South play-off chasing Stamford at the Coach & Horses ground as Club returned to action for the first time in almost three weeks.
Striker Kuda Muskwe made his debut after signing on-loan from Rotherham United and almost made a dream start with a half chance but couldn’t get enough power on his header.
The young striker was involved again with a good run before slipping the ball to the returning Andy Gascoigne whose curler from the edge of the box went just wide of the upright.
Stamford though were seeing plenty of the ball and it took a great save from Club keeper Louis Jones to to keep out Callum Balll’s volley from the edge of the box with Bradley Fortnam-Tomlin hitting the rebound against the upright.
It was Sheffield’s turn to go close five minutes from the break when Gascoigne cut inside to hit a left foot drive that smacked against the post.
Club hit the woodwork for a second time on the stroke of half-time after swift counter attack, Rob Worrall this time the unlucky man from an acute angle after his initial effort had been saved by former Sheffield keeper Danny Haystead.
The visitors started the second half well creating a couple of openings that came to nothing. But it was Club’s Adam Chapman that went closest to breaking the stalemate on 80 minutes with a free-kick from distance that went inches over the crossbar with Haystead just a spectator.
But in the end the two teams had to be content with a point each.
With relegation rivals Peterborough Sports losing and Gresley’s game postponed, the point saw Sheffield climb out of the bottom two.
They go a point clear of bottom club Peterborough with two games in hand - but it’s so close at the bottom end of the table that just three points blanket eight teams.
Frickley Athletic climbed up to second in the table after beating Leek Town 3-2 at Westfield Lane. Victory saw Spencer Fearn’s in-form side make it six wins on the spin despite playing for much of the game with ten after Danny Frost was sent off for a second yellow card in the 21st minute.
Yet Frickley were in front six minutes later when Jameel Ible thumped the ball home from six yards after Leek failed to deal with a corner. Jacob Hazel doubled the lead three minutes into the second half, steering the ball home from Tyler Blake’s square pass for his 29th goal of the campaign.
Leek halved the deficit on 76 minutes as Jordan Johnson found a yard of space in the area to squeeze his shot under keeper Hugo Warhurst.
Frickley sealed the points with the third on 90 minutes, Tom Dugdale knocking in the rebound after the Leek keeper had saved Teddy Bloor’s 25-yard drive.
It proved to be the winning goal. Leek went straight down the other end to reduce the arrears as Tim Grice got on the end of a cross to steer home, but it came too late to affect the outcome.
Shaw Lane were made to work hard for their 3-2 home win over lowly Halesowen Town.
It looked like the Ducks were on their way to a routine victory when Spencer Harris headed them into a fourth minute lead.
However, the visitors scored twice in five minutes late in the first half to take a 2-1 lead into the interval.
Nicky Walker restored parity on 73 minutes with Shaw Lane grabbing the decisive third seven minutes later after the Town ‘keeper Danny Platt punched a corner into his own-net
Buxton went down 3-0 at Farsley Celtic after a lacklustre performance left the Bucks without a win in three and hovering down in mid-table
Stocksbridge Park Steels’ game at Kidsgrove Athletic was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Fixtures, Tuesday: Premier Division: Farsley Celtic v Matlock Town, Marine v Shaw Lane.
Sheffield Senior Cup Quarter-Final: Stocksbridge Park Steels v Maltby Main