FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin said his side’s goalless draw at Braintree was a good point as the Shaymen moved up to second in the Conference Premier.
Braintree had scored in each of their five home games so far, winning four, but neither side were at their best in a scrappy game of few chances.
Town came closest after the restart when Paul Marshall’s free-kick was saved by Nick Hamman as the side’s who finished sixth and fifth respectively last season again proved there’s little between them.
Aspin said: “It didn’t help that it was warm and the grass was long.
“You weren’t going to get a quick tempo to the game, so I did expect it.
“I thought it might be decided on a set-piece or a mistake.
“But I feel it’s a good point rather than being disappointed.
“Points away from home are always good points.
“The most important thing was we didn’t switch off like we did here last year when we gave away a penalty and ended up losing.
“We weren’t negative, we made substitutions and tried to win but it was a very difficult game in terms of making chances.
“The lads have had to graft to get a point and it was probably a fair result.”
Aspin praised his squad’s efforts after their first dozen games of the campaign, with only Barnet above the Shaymen in the table.
He said: “I’m proud of the players that they’ve now played 12 games and they’ve given a good account of themselves.
“We know at times we can be better but every game’s difficult.
“We’re still only in our second season at this level.
“Everybody said you find the second season a lot tougher and the lads are doing the club proud.
“They’re certainly working hard and that’s all I can ask.”
Marc Roberts is expected to recover from a head injury for Tuesday’s trip to Alfreton, although captain Lois Maynard is a doubt with a hip injury.
He said: “We couldn’t stitch it up during the game but (Marc) has had some stitches now.
“Marc will be fine, it’s an occupational hazard if you’re a centre-half, you expect to get some stitches throughout your career.
“We expected Lois to be available but his hip hasn’t responded and he’s still struggling with that.
“James Bolton we knew would be out for a few weeks.
“I think it’s too early to say after this if anybody’s got anything because it was quite a tough game.
“I would imagine by the time Tuesday comes they’ll have had time to settle down but hopefully I’ve got the same squad to pick from.”