Sidlesham and Bosham entertained the fans but failed to find a goal in the much-anticipated Sussex League division three showdown at the Selsey Road Rec on a freezing afternoon.
A sticky pitch and keen wind made life awkward for both sides but Bosham started by putting on some pressure.
Graeme Dowden and Dave Storey were missing for Bosham, while Sidlesham brought in Barry McCoy, Paul Grantham, and Joe Jefkins.
Dowden’s absence allowed Alex Barnes to take a more attacking role down the right – but there was a glaring lack of quality in the final third and the Reds management became frustrated as time wore on.
Sids should have taken the lead when Tom Kelly capitalised on a mistake from Andy Probee. He drove at the defence, releasing Dean Reed wide on the right, and his inch-perfect cross found Dan Bassil at the back post – but he headed wide.
Just before the half-hour mark, Bosham’s Marco Giambelardini lashed an effort wide of the mark.
For Sidlesham, John Phillips and Joe Jefkins were heavily involved but they were kept quiet by a determined Bosham defence and Simon Hasted had next to nothing to do between the sticks.
The green and whites huffed and puffed before Bosham were reduced to ten men.
Ricky Mullen was on the end of a crunching tackle and lashed out in reaction. Referee Chris White showed a straight red.
Sidlesham failed to make the numerical advantage pay and wasted a couple of free-kicks.
It was ten versus ten when Barry McCoy saw red for a professional foul bringing down Giambelardini, who was through on goal.
Home supporters were seething at the decision, with Sids believing McCoy had slipped and the Bosham man had run into him.
In the second half, Giambelardini came closest to breaking the deadlock when, just yards out, he volleyed goalwards and John Pope, not knowing much about it, somehow got his body in the way to keep it out.
Giambelardini also saw a curling effort from the right-hand side of the box brilliantly turned around the post by Pope. Alex Barnes was just off-target for the Reds in the second half, shooting across the face of goal when well-placed.
Sidlesham struggled to create anything at the other end despite the introduction of fresh legs – despite a stern talking-to at the interval.
Tom Kelly had their best effort with a decent strike from long distance but Hasted made a comfortable save.
Tom Sandalls, Alex Pearce and Joe Newton all came on for Sids but they couldn’t force a winner.
The home side’s man of the match was Joe Leggat.
All in all it was a fair result and leaves the return game at Walton Lane to look forward to.
SIDS: Pope, Grantham, Leggat, McCoy, Carrigher, J Jefkins (Sandalls), T Jefkins (Newton), Phillips, Reed, Kelly (Pearce), Bassil. Unused subs: Rochester, Williams.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Mullen, Bryant, Edgington, Docherty, Barnes, Miles, Lafferty, Giambelardini, Brett. Subs: Joe Hancock, Redman, Carter, Blanshard.
* Bosham are home to Billingshurst tomorrow (Jan 3). Sids have no game.