Accrington Stanley were held to a point at Cambridge United following a goalless draw that saw clear goalscoring opportunities come at a premium.
After a slow start the Reds grew into the game creating a flurry of chances at the beginning of the second-half as Billy Kee rattled the bar from distance.
The home side posed a constant threat with physical forward pairing Uche Ikpeazu and Jabo Ibehre but they were restricted to efforts from distance by the Stanley defence.
Manager John Coleman made one change from the side that played out a goalless draw with Guiseley in the FA Cup last Sunday, as Middlesbrough loanee Callum Johnson replaced Scott Brown in the middle of the park.
The first period was largely a non-event at the Abbey Stadium with clear goalscoring opportunities coming few and far between, Medy Elito was fortunate to escape at the least a booking for a lunge on Kee in the early stages, before the Stanley forward went into the book for blocking a free-kick moments later.
The U’s forward duo of Ikpeazu or Ibehre were causing the Reds back four plenty of problems with the physical threat, the pair combined well on the edge of the area just after the half-hour mark before the former tested Aaron Chapman who beat his shot away.
Stanley continued to plug away and came closest when the lively Kayden Jackson flashed a ball across the face of goal in the 44th minute but Sean McConville couldn’t quite make the contact that would have turned the ball into the empty net.
The Reds best chance of the game came just seconds into the second period, a McConville free-kick found it’s way through to Jordan Clark who was unmarked at the back post but the midfielder couldn’t keep his half-volley below the bar.
Moments later Kee struck the bar with a speculative effort from distance that saw left goalkeeper David Forde stranded, his effort fell to McConville inside the area who couldn’t adjust his feet fast enough to direct a shot beyond Forde who clutched the ball gratefully into his chest.
The Cambridge frontline continued to fashion out opportunities, Ikpeazu cut inside and drilled an effort straight at Chapman before Ibehre failed to convert from a Jevani Brown free-kick into the box.
A reaction effort from Kee was unfortunate not to put Stanley ahead with 15 minutes remaining before Jackson was hauled down inside the penalty area but protests were waved away by referee Graham Horwood.
Both sides continued to push forward in search of the breakthrough but it would be defence that would reign supreme as Stanley were forced to settle for a point at the Abbey Stadium.
Attendance: 4,402 (173 Stanley)