Rushden & Diamonds were held to a goalless draw by Rochdale in a poor game at Nene Park.
Rochdale started the better of the two sides and on six minutes Gary Jones shot from ten yards out but his effort was comfortably saved by Billy Turley.
On 15th minutes Jones was again in the action when the volleyed inches over from 20 yards out.
Both sides found it hard to create clear cut chances and both defences were rarely troubled.
On 24 minutes Neil Edwards made hard work of collecting a cross by Graham Allen, but when he tumbled there was no Rushden player to take advantage of the situation.
Turley made a fine action save in the 35th minute to deny Rochdale striker Grant Holt and on 42 minutes Rochdale's full-back Ernie Cooksey got in a header which was well saved by Turley. A minute later Turley then came to the rescue to deny Gareth Griffiths when he tipped over the defender's powerful header.
Rochdale dominated play in the second half and, on 52 minutes, Holt had a good chance to put the visitors ahead but his header flew the cross the face of a goal.
In the 66th minute Rushden full-back Sean Connelly made a mistake which let in Cooksey but his effort went inches wide.
Rusden keeper Turley was constantly in action and he was forced to tip a Cooksey header over the bar in the 75th minute and a minute later Holt was denied by another fine save by Turley.
In a rare Rushden attack Connelly was inches wide with a shot from a fully 25 yards out.
Despite intense pressure by the visitors in the closing stages, the Rusden defence held firm with the help of the ever alert Turley.
Rochdale must have been disappointed not to have grabbed a winner with the efforts they had on goal on second half.