BOLDMERE St Michaels became the first team to shut out Worcester City on their own patch this season ­— and probably killed the Midland League Premier Division promotion race at the same time.

Coleshill Town’s handsome win and Bromsgrove Sporting’s 1-0 victory at Sporting Khalsa saw City slip eight points behind second spot as a result of this stalemate at the Victoria Ground.

But while Worcester had an off day going forward the Mikes should be given credit for a hard-fought clean sheet.

Stuart Grosvenor’s men were uncompromising but fair, generally well organised and gave away precious little.

It was not hard to see why they have banished any early-season relegation worries.

What was to prove City's best opening came 19 minutes in when George Forsyth rippled the side netting with a far-post header after tenacious work from Mat Birley had teed up James Baldwin's left-wing cross.

Other than that there was little to trouble either keeper although City stopper Matt Gwynne did suffer a couple of shaky moments of his own making.

Having dallied over a punt forward, he got shut down by Jack Skinner on 22 minutes.

The pair wrestled for possession on the left edge of the six-yard box before Skinner's cross-shot drifted wide amid claims for a penalty.

Gwynne then went close to carrying a looping ball over his own line in the second half much to the home crowd’s anxiety.

Both teams had short flurries of pressure and although City's were more frequent they rarely looked like making a breakthrough as Boldmere made off with a deserved share of the spoils.

“At the minute it feels like two points dropped,” said manager John Snape.

“It was hard fought and the disappointment was that we did not show enough quality.

“The game was crying out for a bit of magic and we have the players to provide that but it did not come to fruition.

"We always want to win at home but that said the scoreboard keeps ticking. We have only lost one in 10.

“To be fair to Boldmere they would have been looking forward to playing Worcester City. That’s not me being disrespectful, they were up for it and got in our faces.

“They were very difficult to break down. We played into their hands a bit in the first half and at least we tried to get it down the sides in the second.

“We were probably guilty of missing half-chances but I don’t think I could say we had a golden opportunity in the whole game.”

Brad Birch, who dual-registered with Stourbridge last week, played but Tyler Weir started in Redditch United's 1-0 home defeat to King's Lynn Town.

“The transfer window shutting is a plus,” said Snape. “There are options on our players available to higher-level clubs that I will be taking week by week with the lads involved.

“I think we should have first call on them because they have been our players all season. That might not sit well with the other managers involved but that’s something for me to sort with the players.

“We missed Tyler and Alex Tomkinson, who was unavailable through injury. On the plus side, some of the new lads had minutes which will help them to get to know the players a bit better.”