Carlisle City shared the spoils with Northern League Division One leaders Whitley Bay last night in a 1-1 draw.
Despite dropping two points, Whitley extended their lead at the top of the table as closest challengers Newton Aycliffe were beaten at West Auckland.
City remain in fourth place just four points behind the leaders and both from nine games played.
Chances were at a premium as both sides defended strongly and the two keepers were rarely tested.
The best effort from the home side came when they were awarded a free kick and ex-Bay player Kieron Olsen sent his shot beyond the far post.
On the half hour, Carlisle went ahead from the penalty spot when Sam Atkinson successfully converted the spot kick.
On the stroke of half time the Bay drew level when Elliott Day headed home from a left wing corner.
Whitley Bay had strong appeals for a penalty in the second-half but they were turned down and City’s Stephen Townsley was the busiest keeper.
The home side’s best chance fell to Jordan Holt but he glanced his header wide from five yards.
City manager Jim Nichols said: “It was a very good game between two good sides and a draw was probably the fair result.
“In thought we shaded the first-half and I was really disappointed to concede a goal so near to half time and from a set-piece, which is unlike us.
“They game out really strongly in the second hakf and we had ton really battle to stay in it, although we did look dangerous on the break.
“Would I have settled for a point at half-time, probably not. Would I have settled for a point at full-time, probably yes.”
On Saturday City entertain Pickering Town who started the season slowly but have won two of their last four matches.
Nichols expects his side to be virtually at full strength apart from skipper Josh Simpson who is attending a wedding.