GOALKEEPER Dylan Forth’s penalty-save ensured that Northwich Victoria shared the spoils with play-offs hopefuls Leek Town following a goalless stalemate.
He dived low to his left to smother Tim Grice’s spot kick in the first half after Matty Clarke had fouled former Witton Albion captain Darren Chadwick at a corner.
Vics have now not won any of their past dozen Northern Premier League matches, leaving them seven points adrift of a position of safety.
However successive draws, during which they have shut out the opposition, will encourage manager Paul Moore.
Front man Damase Kiwanda’s powerful attempt was pushed around an upright by Blues’ custodian Ben Chapman on 11 minutes.
Forth’s intervention followed after half an hour, before full-back George Mannion’s attempt from distance whistled wide.
The hosts’ number one was at his best to stop ex-Vics front man Chris Budrys’ header from Sam Grimshaw’s cross, while Clarke smuggled an headed attempt by Grice off the line.
Forth, in fine form, blocked Grimshaw’s shot with a boot after the interval.
Dave Short’s cute pass then teed up Kiwanda, who prompted Chapman to intervene with a smart save.
Leek’s new recruit Jonny Higham was narrowly off-target from Alex Morris’ assist as the visitors finished strongly, and Clarke was well-placed once more to divert a goal-bound shot from Chadwick with time running out.
Vics | Forth (GK), Clarke, Fitzgerald, Lyndon, Mannion, Doran (Shaw 76), Bennett, McDonald, Gyimah, Short (Berrisford 85), Kiwanda (Pritchard 82) Sub not used Lawrence Booked Clarke, Lyndon, Short
Leek | Chapman (GK), Smith, Morris, Beaumont (Mullarkey 82), Francis, Chadwick, France (Stevenson 73), Maguire, Grice, Budrys (Higham 73), Grimshaw Subs not used Donnelly, Faulkner Booked Grice
Match report by Jamie Dewsbury