Spennymoor 0 Brackley 0.

Spennymoor picked up a point against the league’s meanest defence on Saturday – and assistant manager Tommy Miller admitted that they didn’t do enough to win.

Moors remain in eighth place in the table, but Gateshead’s victory at Curzon Ashton means that they are two points behind the play off places, with a big home game against sixth placed Altrincham, who are three points ahead, coming up on Tuesday night.

“We need to win our home games,” said Miller. “We’ve stressed to the lads lately that we must do that and pick up points away from home. We’re disappointed with a point. Did we deserve to win – no. But we’ll take the point and move on to Tuesday’s game with Altrincham. Brackley are a strong team who are always there and thereabouts and have conceded the least amount of goals in the league this season, so they were always going to be hard to break down. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get through them.

“Both sides cancelled each other out. We didn’t do enough going forward and didn’t really create much. The lads in defence and midfield worked ever so hard which stifled Brackley, and Mattie Gould made a couple of good saves in the second half, but we needed to be better in the final third.

“But the lads up front have done ever so well this season and on Saturday they didn’t click.”

There was a big talking point in the game over a possible red card for Brackley defender Connor Franklin, when he pulled James Roberts down when he was clean through on goal just after half time.

“I thought the game changed on that. James had got in and he was brought down on the edge of the box. The ref gave a free kick, the defender was the last man. I don’t want to see people sent off, but in the rules of the game, it’s got to be a red. They go down to ten men and gives us an advantage.

“The referee gave the defender a yellow – it was baffling really.”

Moors were forced to make one change before the game, when Lewis Butroid was recalled by Doncaster earlier in the week from his loan, so Chris Mason came into the side, while former Hartlepool and Darlington midfielder Jason Kennedy was given a place in the starting line up.

Brackley striker James Armson had the first attempt of the game, a low shot straight at Gould, while Ben McKenna put one just over the bar at the other end.

After midfielder Jamie Chandler had to be replaced because of injury, Rob Ramshaw and Glen Taylor both fired wide of the target.

There was huge controversy on 53 minutes when Roberts’ pace took him behind the Brackley defence, only for him to be brought down by last man Franklin.

However, the referee only produced a yellow card, when many of the Moors players and management team expected a straight red.

Revitalised by their let off, Brackley nearly took the lead when Carl Baker got away, and Gould produced a good save to deny him.

Manager Jason Ainsley then had to make another change because of injury, this time Carl Magnay going off, which meant that Rob Ramshaw had to switch to right back.

Gould had to pull off another save soon after, when Armson broke clear and the keeper just managed to save at full stretch.

And with two minutes left, Shane Henry popped up on the line to clear a header from Glenn Walker.

Team; Gould, Magnay (sub Boyes 63), Buddle, Curtis, Mason, Chandler (sub Henry 30), Kennedy, Ramshaw, Roberts (sub Whitehouse 84), McKenna, Taylor.

Subs: Anderson, Cogdon.

Attendance 1,035.

In the BetVictor North and West League, Marske United were held to a 0-0 draw at Colne.

Manager Carl Jarrett said; “We need to improve in the final third. We’re not creating enough chances, and we’re not taking them.” Marske are fifth in the table but are seven points behind the top four.

Dunston were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Mossley.

In the BetVictor Premier Division, South Shields are now just a point ahead after they were beaten 4-1 at home by Nantwich.

Whitby had a good 3-1 away win at Mickleover, while Morpeth had a convincing 5-0 away win at Atherton LR.