Rushden & Diamonds 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
On three minutes Shrewsbury had a great chance when David Edwards was left clear but the striker shot well wide with only Alan Blayney to beat. Rushen were unlucky in the eighth minute when Craig Dove delivered a superb shot from 25 yards which struck the top of the cross bar.
Shrewsbury keeper Scot Harry was forced to tip Gary Mulligan's free-kick over the bar in the 17th minute.
On 20 minutes Rushden had a golden opportunity when Mulligan was clear on goal but he headed straight into the arms of Howie.
Both sides found it hard to create clear-cut chances in the windy conditions although on 34 minutes Sam Aiston was inches wide with a fierce shot from the edge of the box and three minutes later Rushden's Dove made a great run, leaving defenders in his wake but was foiled by a Dave Tinson tackle.
Two minutes before half-time Andy Burgess was inches wide for the home side after a clever turn and shot.
Playing with the wind in the second half Shrewsbury started more positively and on 49 minutes Edwards went close with a shot on the far post. Rushden's new signing Adrian Littlejohn turned well in the 50th minute and tested Howie from 10 yards out. Rushden had another excellent chance in the 58th minute when Hay shot well over and a minute later Hay had an even better chance when Shrewsbury failed to clear a corner but the striker shot wide from only six yards out.
Both sides struggled hard to grab a winner and Shrewsbury substitute Ryan Lowe almost got on the end of a cross by Neil Ashton. On 80 minutes David Bell created space for himself but the midfield man was unable to put in a telling shot.