Fareham Town and Moneyfields were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after fighting out a largely uninspiring 0-0 Wessex League premier division derby draw at Cams Alders, tonight.
For home manager Steve Stone, though, the stalemate represented a good point for his team, who put in an improved performance.
‘It was a very good point for us and the game could have gone either way,’ said Stone.
‘We showed good rotation in midfield, while Moneyfields tended to go a bit longer and it was a contrast in styles.
‘Moneyfields are a physical side and never easy to beat.
‘Our defensive unit remained solid against them and we stayed tight.
‘Towards the end we went close with two or three chances when we counter-attacked well.’
Moneyfields manager Miles Rutherford was missing a number of key players and he felt that showed.
‘We are not where we want to be at the moment but just have to get on with it,’ said Rutherford.
‘Players were missing but that’s not an excuse.
‘We should have won it but at the same time never created any real clear-cut chances.
‘It was a lacklustre game that neither team deserved to win.’
The opening 20 minutes proved a sterile affair with the visitors having the lion’s share of the possession.
Fareham looked to hit Moneyfields on the counter-attack and could have taken the lead midway through the half.
The ball fell to Callum Laycock in the area but the striker miskicked from 12 yards.
Debut-making Marley Ridge, on loan from National League South Hawks, went even closer for the hosts in the 35th minute with a 25-yard strike that hit the bar.
Moneyfields had their best chance five minutes before the break after good work from Tom McInnes.
McInnes held the ball up well and fed Tyler Giddens, whose cross was cleared off the goal line.
It was no surprise when the mistake-ridden first half ended without a goal.
And there was little improvement at the start of the second period as both teams struggled to find any rhythm in their game.
Conor Bailey went closest for the visitors early in the second half when his 25-yard shot was well saved by home goalkeeper Christian Dewey.
The better of the chances continued to fall Moneyfields way and George Way was next to threaten, skimming a shot just over the crossbar.
Mark Cotton also shot narrowly wide as the visitors maintained the pressure on the Reds.
And Moneyfields could have won it on 65 minutes but Tom Chapman headed a golden opportunity wide from six yards at a corner.
Despite dominating, Rutherford’s side couldn’t find a breakthrough and had to settle for a point.
n AFC Portchester can keep the pressure on Wessex League premier division leaders Salisbury City by beating the Oilmen of Fawley on the Waterside tonight (7.45pm).