Melton Town were unable to take their plentiful chances as they were held to a goalless draw at rivals Irchester on Saturday.
The long trip to Northamptonshire was the first of two games in four days against top four opponents for boss Tom Manship and his squad.
Irchester United came into the game on a good run of form, but Melton started at a blistering pace, and straight from kick-off Owen Storey’s backheel teed up Zak Munton whose shot was blocked on the line.
Duncan picked up a loose ball and drove at the defence before picking out Munton clear on goal, but Northrow saved with his feet.
The pressure was relentless from Melton, and when Lever found himself unmarked in the area he struggled to get the ball from under his feet and saw his scuffed shot well saved.
Storey’s corner found Hibbitt unmarked at the back post and his powerful header needed Northrow to make a great stop.
Half-an-hour in and Munton out-muscled Burge and turned to fire in a shot which brushed the outside of the post.
A United goal-kick was then sent right back and Munton pounced to go one-on-one, but chose to shoot rather than lob, and the keeper blocked well.
The home team had to wait until five minutes from half-time for their first effort on goal.
A diagonal ball wrong-footed Beaver, allowing James Ball to run on and let fly with a shot which had Peet at full-stretch to tip over the bar.
The hosts nearly delivered a sucker-punch again when Abdulah flashed a shot across the goal-line which just needed a touch to score.
Melton maintained the one-way traffic in the second half, with United camped for the most part in their own final third.
Duncan’s 20-yard shot forced Northrow to tip the ball over the bar, while Bucalossi dragged an effort just wide.
Lever also had a chance to break the deadlock, but his shot found Northrow’s midriff.
Munton and Sandy combined, with the latter’s shot forcing another save, and a free-kick on the edge of the area saw Bucalossi’s strike beat the wall but go inches wide.
Irchester’s only real chance of the second half fell to Randall, unmarked six yards out, but he could only fire into the side netting.
The game’s final chance fell to Lever from a corner, but man-of-the-match Northrow again tipped the shot over the bar.
A one-sided draw, but Irchester defended with everything they had.
Next up for Town is the visit of third-placed Aylestone Park to Melton on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm), the first of four important home games in a row which could put Melton into the promotion places before the new year.
Town: Peet, Beaver, Benjamin, Hibbitt (Sandy), Gilchrist, Leon Fray, Lever, Bucalossi, Munton, Storey, Duncan (Harris).