Exeter City were held to entertaining, but ultimately goalless draw at the hands of Forest Green Rovers.
Both defences were resolute, with Cam Dawson making a couple of pivotal saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Sam Nombe may have won the game for the Grecians, but the post denied his first half effort. Jamille Matt had a similar chance but found Dawson in the mood for his third clean sheet of the season.
Kyle Taylor made his Exeter City debut and Sam Nombe replaced the absent Jevani Brown as Matt Taylor made two switches from last week.
Exeter started on the front foot and Sam Nombe was finding some joy around the Forest Green back line. He fired a shot high and wide in the opening exchanges.
Soon after, great work from Jake Caprice backheeled Padraig Amond through but he was closed down well by former Grecian Jordan Moore-Taylor.
Forest Green had a couple of chances of their own on 10 minutes.
Cameron Dawson first made a miraculous save from other SJP returnee Kyle Wilson. From the resulting corner, Dan Sweeney kept the deep ball alive and two green shirts were almost certain to put the visitors ahead, but City survived by the skin of their teeth- as neither man could stick the ball home.
Exeter looked to soak up the pressure from the Green Devils and looked bright on the counter, but to little reward.
Jake Caprice was enjoying his new-found role on the left, putting in a number of crosses into the box as City sought the first goal.
Jamille Matt went closest for Forest Green on 38 minutes. Nicky Cadden’s whipped cross was teasing for the striker, but he could only head over.
Regan Hendry almost provided a moment of magic on half time. He picked the ball up 30-yards out and went for goal, with his shot flying just wide.
Up the other end Sam Nombe was desperately close to giving City the lead. A threaded ball put Nombe in one-on-one. Luke McGee rushed out and got the smallest of fingertips to divert it onto the post and out for a corner.
Into the second half and Exeter began well. Key drove a low ball into the box which was only half-dealt with by the Rovers defence. Kyle Taylor tried his luck from distance, but his shot pulled right.
Sam Nombe was getting closer and closer. Tricky work from Podge on the right allowed him to set away Matt Jay. The skipper laid Nombe behind the defence again who slid the ball under the keeper, but it grazed the far post on its way wide.
Forest Green earned a chance of themselves. Matt strolled through and had a free attempt at goal but Cam Dawson was alert as ever to deny the former-Argyle man with his feet.
Nigel Atangana was introduced shortly after the hour mark and got in on the action straight away. MJ expertly rode a challenge on the right wing. He played in Amond with the Irishman's back to goal. The number 11 rolled the ball into Nige who side-footed the ball high into the Big Bank.
Baily Cargill almost capitalised on some slack City defending. Pierce Sweeney was caught being uncharacteristically complacent on the edge of his box. Cargill nicked the ball off the defender and the ball sat up nicely for the volley. Fortunately for Sweeney, the ball flew wide.
Two good footballing sides cancelled each other out for most of the second half. Exeter were limited to pop shots from distance, Jake Caprice did little to trouble scoresheet.
Both teams frantically searched for a late winner that never came, but a strong point at home against the league leaders.
City are next in action on Saturday with a long trip to Scunthorpe looking to build on today’s draw with the Green Devils.
Exeter City: Dawson, Caprice, Sweeney, Ray, Hartridge, Key, Dieng (Atangana 66’), Taylor, Jay ©, Nombe, Amond (Edwards-Owura 76’)
Subs: Lee, Rowe, Grounds, Dyer, Seymour
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson, Sweeney, Cargill, Stevenson, Stevens, Aitchinson, Cadden, Matt © (Young 83’), Moore-Taylor, Hendry
Subs: Thomas, Bernard, Allen, Evans, Diallo, March
Referee: Neil Hair
Attendance: 4008 (185 away)
Thank you for your support this afternoon!