Crewe Alexandra couldn’t be separated from leaders Tranmere Rovers following a tight 0-0 draw at Gresty Road.
But the contest was marked by a serious knee injury to Alex’s on loan Manchester City striker Harry Bunn.
Max Clayton was chosen to start for the hosts despite midweek action with the England Under-19 side and new loan signing Chuks Aneke was named amongst the substitutes.
But it was Welsh Under-21 international Jake Cassidy firing wide early on for the visitors before Clayton forced a save from Owain fon Williams at the other end. Kelvin Mellor also headed Bunn’s free-kick at the former Crewe keeper and Clayton glanced Byron Moore’s cross wide.
Tranmere were looking to maintain their excellent start to the season and Andy Robinson curled a free-kick narrowly over while Clayton cleared the target in reply.
Back came the visitors through both Robinson and Cassidy before Mark Ellis blocked well from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.
Crewe’s recent signing Abdul Osman needed attention following a knock at the start of the second period. But it was Bunn soon carried off after falling badly as keeper fon Williams raced out to meet Luke Murphy’s through ball.
Gregor Robertson next despatched a free-kick at the Welsh keeper and skipper Murphy drove too high, although it was home stopper Alan Martin required to block with his feet from Akpa Akpro with sixteen minutes remaining.
That was to prove the best opportunity to break the deadlock despite substitute Brendan Daniels sending a late free-kick over at the other end.
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Robertson, Murphy, Osman, Clayton (Tootle 72), Leitch-Smith (Daniels 81), Moore, Bunn (Aneke 63)
subs (unused): Garratt, Dugdale, Turton, Guthrie
Tranmere Rovers: fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Bakayogo, Gibson, Palmer, Wallace, Robinson, Cassidy, Bell-Baggie (McGurk 73), Akpa Akpro
subs (unused): Mooney, Kay, Golobart, Thompson, Harrison, Stockton
Ref: R. Madley
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