Jarrow Roofing and North Shields face an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay tomorrow night after their goalless draw on North Tyneside on Saturday.
The teams cancelled each other out, with clear-cut chances coming at a premium for both sides.
The Robins, especially in the first half, looked more threatening in front of goal – with only some last ditch defending from the Roofers keeping the scores level.
In truth, a draw was the least Roofing deserved as they frustrated the side who finished fifth in the Ebac Northern League Division One last term and limited them to the occasional effort from range.
“It was a fair result,” Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said. “We came up against a very good team and really held our own.
“This draw is good for us because I don’t think we’ve been playing all that well recently. We’ve been making a lot of mistakes and giving teams a chance to have a go at us.
“That all changed on Saturday. We looked a lot tighter, more organised and a lot better – so we were well worth getting a draw out of that game.”
The returning Andy Jennison had a quiet game in the Roofing goal – barely having a save to make.
His biggest test came on 20 minutes as he had to get down quickly at his near post to halt a one-on-one situation after the visitors failed to clear their lines properly.
James Fairley carved out the best chance of the game for McLoughlin’s men on 33 minutes. The striker made a powerful, 25-yard run down the left wing and skipped past four defenders, but could only send a tame effort wide of the post from 20 yards.
Despite the lack of chances and attacking quality, McLoughlin was delighted to see his side, who conceded 102 goals last season, keep their first clean sheet since April – and believes defensive structure is the key to securing a positive result in the replay at the Boldon CA Sports Ground.
“Getting that clean sheet was so pleasing for me”, he added. “It’s been months since we last kept one. Working on our defensive shape was a priority during pre-season because we cannot concede over 100 goals again.
“We’ll need to take this mentality from Saturday into Tuesday’s game. We need to keep it tight, keep it simple and cut out easy mistakes. However, we also need to provide better service to the strikers to give them opportunities to score because that didn’t happen as often as I would have liked on Saturday.”