STOCKPORT COUNTY 0, GRIMSBY TOWN 0
For the second time in three days, Stockport County tested their National League promotion credentials against sides that were in the EFL last season.
After Saturday’s win at Southend United, County were held by Grimsby Town in front of a bumper 6,432 crowd at Edgeley Park.
Back-to-back clean sheets prove County have solid foundations, though they have managed only one goal in the two matches.
This was an extraordinary match in that neither goalkeeper had a shot to save, but it was far from a dull encounter.
There was plenty of honest endeavour and it was not the worst goalless draw I have seen with the game played at a terrific tempo.
But neither side had a cutting edge, something which will be a worry for rival managers Simon Rusk and Paul Hurst.
County, despite having Paddy Madden and John Rooney in their side, created precious little which will have been a concern.
County made two changes from the side that started at Southend on Saturday as Alex Reid and Ben Whitfield replaced the injured striker Scott Quigley and Macauley Southam-Hales.
The Mariners’ season’s opener was on Saturday – it was delayed by one week – and they made three changes to the team that kicked off the home win against Weymouth.
The opening period was notable for being devoid of chances, the only one coming in stoppage time, a speculative 25-yard drive from Madden which flashed a couple of yards wide.
The half was played lively, despite the lack of goalmouth activity, with both sides playing a 3-5-2 formation as they cancelled out each other.
Stockport carved out a couple of half chances which mirrored the half.
On loan Aston Villa midfielder Arjan Raikhy fired a low ball across the face of goal but neither Reid or Madden could apply a finishing touch.
That was followed by Madden bursting clear on the right and crossing for Reid who was unable to connect in front of goal.
The second half followed an identical pattern to the first 45 minutes as there was a dearth of openings.
The Mariners had the ball in the net soon after the restart, but former Scunthorpe United striker John McAtee’s effort was ruled out for a clear shove on Jordan Keane to get clear of the centre back.
If either team was going to snatch victory late on, it was Stockport who had two clear-cut chances in the last 10 minutes.
Both were glancing headers from Madden following crosses from Ryan Rydel and Will Collar, but each failed to hit the target.