A goalless draw at third-placed London Colney at the weekend was a qualified success for Biggleswade United.
They have lost just once in their last 16 league outings with Saturday afternoon’s 0-0 stalemate at Cotlandswick Playing Fields extending that sequence.
But with The Blueboys reduced to ten men with over 25-five minutes remaining, head coach Cristian Colás may have been left ruing a presentable opportunity to secure a fifth straight win ahead of a difficult run of consecutive away fixtures.
Despite that it’s yet another clean sheet for one of the division’s most uncompromising defences and the competitive nature of the performance provides further encouragement that sufficient improvements are being made that could lead to Colás and his coaching staff overseeing a club in a similar position to their hosts next season.
However, United could have fallen behind in the opening stages as the home side squandered two decent chances to take an early lead, with a shot fizzing over the bar before a diving header from an inviting cross was turned into the side netting.
Both teams struggled to gain control following that initial period with the pitch not helping proceedings as United particularly found it difficult to retain possession. There was a severe paucity of chances being created as the unpredictability of weather began to offer more excitement than action taking place on the pitch.
Although the game did threaten to spark into life when The Blueboys man got in behind the defence but the danger was swiftly averted as his shot was deflected away for a corner. Diminutive winger Adam Drakulić then provided United’s first meaningful attempt on goal as his tame effort was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Jack Smith.
Lee Armitt then fired over from a central position before Colney saw the best opportunity of the match go astray. Russell Gallagher’s cross evaded his first target only to pick at Lee Close unmarked at the far post, but he couldn’t apply the finish as he connected with the ball on the volley.
The half concluded with a penalty shout for a challenge on United’s leading scorer Tom Cookman as he appeared to be bundled over in the area when attempting to a meet a Scott Batchelor cross. The referee dismissed the claims as a fairly dour half came to a close.
The mercurially talented Lucas Joyce was introduced at halftime in place of Batchelor as Colás sought to inject some pace and trickery into a game which looked as though it might hinge on a moment of brilliance.
He made a lively start as United enjoyed a better spell at the beginning of the second period with their passing improving upon the first half display.
Yet it was the hosts who had the greater number of shots and looked more dangerous on the attack with Gallagher forcing a good save out of United keeper Tom Wyant. They then had a penalty claim of their own as a shot bobbled up onto the hands of skipper Martin Russell from close range, but the referee wasn’t in a generous mood once again.
Moments later, substitute Jack Woods drilled an effort into the gloves of Wyant before Armitt cut across his shot from range to send it harmlessly wide of the MK Dons scholar’s goal as The Blueboys looked increasingly dangerous.
Their momentum was curtailed, however, when full back Dan Power was adjudged to have committed a second bookable offence and despite his protests was giving his marching orders as the home side faced the remainder of the match with ten men.
Tom Bryant then replaced Matt Cooper as United seeked renewed energy in the midfield in a bid to press home their numerical advantage. Their first shot following Power’s dismissal came from Cookman but it was easy enough for Smith to collect. Mohammed Hashim subsequently replaced Drakulić to hopefully provide the necessary guile to create a genuine opening for the visitors.
United never truly exploited the home side’s vulnerability and were almost left mortified when some intricate play on the edge of the area culminated in the Colney man being impeded. The resulting free kick was whipped towards goal by Charlie Smith and dealt with by Wyatt, albeit in a slightly unconvincing manner.
The final chance to clinch victory fell to former Leverstock Green striker Louis Bircham as his shot was well held at the near post with the full time whistle approaching. Both teams set about finding a winner as the game petered out to a rare goalless draw.
Attritional if not attractive as two in-form sides battled their way to a point which would have satisfied both managers to a degree. United continue to show remarkable improvements on the results which they were picking up in the first phase of the season and although they may be frustrated not to have converted their numerical superiority into more clear-cut chances, they continue to be incredibly difficult to defeat.
The next team to try will be Welwyn Garden City when United travel to Herns Lane on Wednesday, March 9.