Mansfield Town drew their third successive game after a goalless encounter at home to fellow promotion challengers Sutton United.
Stags were held at home to Grimsby in midweek, following a 1-1 draw at Stockport last weekend.
Both sides slogged it out in a real tussle where clear-cut chances were at a premium.
Forward James Gale made his first league start for the club, while there were also inclusions in the XI for Danny Johnson and Kieran Wallace.
James Perch, Hiram Boateng and Rhys Oates were moved to the substitutes’ bench.
Stags started brightly but it was Sutton who carved out the game’s first real opportunity after ten minutes when Ben Goodliffe smashed a long-range piledriver high and wide.
After a quarter-of-an-hour there was a lengthy stoppage when Stags’ defender Riley Harbottle and Sutton’s Coby Rowe clashed heads inside the home box following a driven cross from the right flank.
Following treatment, Rowe emerged with a bandage round his head while Harbottle – who bore the heavier brunt in the dual - had to be replaced by James Perch.
Sutton began to press but Mansfield almost hit them on the counter-punch with deadly effect.
Forward Danny Johnson held the ball up well to feed Davis Keillor-Dunn midway inside the opposing half. And the midfielder’s pass found Jordan Bowery in space, whose heavy first touch inside the box allowed the visitors to turn behind for a corner.
On 40 minutes, Sutton’s Omar Bugiel received the game’s first yellow card after upending defender Elliott Hewitt on the edge of the Stags’ box.
Stags came close to breaking the deadlock three minutes later.
Bowery drifted a dangerous ball from the left touchline and Lucas Akins was only a stride away from connecting at the back post.
With 30 seconds remaining of five added-on minutes, the half was extended when Sutton’s David Ajiboye required treatment in front of the Stags’ dugout, before the referee blew for half-time soon after play resumed.
Sutton began the second-half with attacking intent and almost took the lead two minutes after the restart when Ben Goodliffe climbed highest to a Will Randall corner, but his headed effort was cleared off the line.
Stags’ forward James Gale then entered the referee’s notebook for a foul, moments before Sutton missed a gilt-edged chance to take the lead.
From the subsequent free-kick on the right-hand channel, Goodliffe again won the aerial battle on the edge of the goal area, only to head wide with the goal at his mercy.
Sutton continued to probe and Stags’ goalkeeper Christy Pym was called upon to deny Alistair Smith with a point blank save.
At the other end, Kieran Wallace swung an inviting free-kick into the box, where commanding defender Alfie Kilgour headed down and into the ground ten yards from goal, enabling goalkeeper Jack Rose to gather.
Stags’ boss Nigel Clough made a double change on 65 minutes.
James Gale received a standing ovation as he was substituted by Rhys Oates while fellow frontman Danny Johnson was replaced by Hiram Boateng.
Suton’s Joe Kizzi was next into the book for a foul on Rhys Oates on the left touchline.
After the free-kick was drifted in and headed out by Sutton, Kieran Wallace saw his swinging left-footed shot blocked inside a crowded box.
Following a scrappy spell, Stags created the next opening.
Akins did well to keep the ball in play on the Sutton goalline before laying to the edge of the box where Keillor-Dunn curled his left-footed effort narrowly beyond the angle.
Will Randall was shown a yellow card for a foul on Hewitt and Harry Beautyman was also cautioned for a challenge on Boateng soon after.
As the game awoke from its slumber, Stags threatened on 86 minutes when Oates broke forward on the right channel to slip inside for Keillor-Dunn, who after advancing into the box, was unable to get a shot away with the ball trapped in his feet.
In three minutes of time added on, Jason Law was introduced for Davis Keillor-Dunn.
In the dying embers of the contest, Boateng’s 20-yard strike deflected behind for a corner, but Law sent it into the palms of Jack Rose.
STAGS: Pym, Hewitt, Kilgour, Harbottle (Perch 20), Bowery, Wallace, Clarke, Keillor-Dunn (Law 90+3), Akins, Gale (Oates 65), D. Johnson (Boateng 65)
UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Anderson, Reed
SUTTON: Rose, Kizzi, Rowe, Goodliffe, Milsom, Ajiboye (Boldewijn H/T), Beautyman, Smith, Randall, Bugiel (Kouassi 59), Wilson (Dunas 83)
UNUSED SUBS: House, Hart, Gambin, Kasimu
ATTENDANCE: 6,288 (196 Sutton fans)
REFEREE: Simon Mather