Crewe Alexandra 0 Hartlepool United 0
While the Railwaymen were the more dangerous of the two sides they failed to break down some dogged defending.
Hartlepool's rearguard action was led by the impressive Sam Collins and his side always suggested they could pinch all three points on the counter-attack through the lively skills of on-loan striker Daniel Nardiello.
A nervous first 45 produced little in the way of goalmouth action although visiting captain Michael Nelson went close when he met a corner with a thumping header which beat home keeper John Ruddy but just cleared the far post.
Crewe defender Marlon Broomes forced Jan Budtz to scramble his header past the post in first-half stoppage time.
But Crewe were far more inspired after the break although they were let down by bad decision-making in and around the box.
Defender John Brayford wasted an opportunity on the hour mark after claiming the ball off Joe Skarz and darting into the box. But the former Burton Albion youngster skewed a shot across the face of goal when his team-mates were better placed to take a pass.
Budtz was involved in the action again when he turned Gylfi Sigurdsson's curling effort past his post and Crewe boss Gudjon Thordarson sent Byron Moore, Joe Grant and Tom Pope on as we went for all-out attack in the closing minutes.
Hartlepool came close to pinching victory with 11 minutes left. Nelson's deflected effort into the side-netting earned a corner from which Collins' powerful header caused mayhem at the far post. Billy Jones and keeper John Ruddy forced efforts from Nardiello off the line.
But it was Crewe who could have nicked it in stoppage time when Dennis Lawrence flicked the ball on and Sigurdsson drove his shot, with the help of a deflection, past the far post.