ROCHDALE 0, IPSWICH TOWN 0
In the grand scheme, a point did little to aid the respective causes of both Rochdale and Ipswich Town who fought out a dour goalless draw at the Crown Oil Arena.
Rochdale, still with only one win from 19 home games in Sky Bet League One, remain bottom and five points from safety.
Brian Barry-Murphy’s side, now with only one win in 13 games, at least kept a rare clean sheet, a notable achievement for the division’s leakiest defence.
They showed the spirit and resolve which saw them win at Lincoln City last month and in their last home game when they drew 3-3 against top-two side Peterborough United, but this time they lacked a cutting edge.
Barry-Murphy praised his players: “It was a performance full of character and resilience and I was proud of my players.
“We have played a lot of the top six, top eight teams in the last four games and taken a lot of encouragement from them for the last phase of the season.
“It was a tough game in which we defended resolutely and, if any team was going to win, I felt it would be us.
“We feel we can do better and know we have to do better before the end of the season.”
And a draw for Ipswich didn’t enhance their push for a promotion play-off place, as they remain three points outside the top six.
They have won only two of the eight games since Paul Cook succeeded Paul Lambert as they have failed to kick on.
It was an extraordinary game, one on the handful of occasions in more than 40 years’ reporting, that I have witnessed neither goalkeeper having a shot to save in a match.
Ipswich had the first chance of note in the 38th minute when Alan Judge’s long-range drive flashed narrowly wide.
The only other excitement in the opening period was a stray back pass from Eoghan O’Connell which Ipswich failed to capitalise on.
The second half was equally lacklustre, though Ipswich came closest to breaking the stalemate.
Andre Dozzell’s free kick whistled past the upright and there was a penalty appeal following a challenge on striker Troy Parrott.