Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars edged closer towards Premiership safety after playing out to a dour derby draw at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.
On an evening of nerves in the chilly Free State, the hosts looked to threaten early on when Lyle Lakay was picked out on the edge of the box by Deon Hotto on the left, but his strike flew over the crossbar.
Midway through the half, it was the turn of Lantshene Phalane to have a swipe at goal – the midfielder watching his attempt follow the same path.
Lakay had another good chance before the interval when he cut in from the left and zipped a shot just wide of a diving Thela Ngobeni in the Stars goal.
After the break, Serame Letsoaka’s side improved and they had a good opportunity to find the back of the net when Thokozani Sekotlong curled wide.
Another chance came later in the half, but Mohammed Anas just could not direct his header either side of goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb.
Celtic substitute Atusaye Nyondo added some spark later in the game, but not enough to influence the outcome, with Musa Nyatama denied at the death by Ngobeni as the match ended scoreless.
The point kept Siwelele in 12th place, but now with 28 points, three clear of bottom club Baroka FC, but with a far superior goal difference.
Stars were leapfrogged by Chippa United, even though they now have 27 points in 14th, one ahead of Highlands Park and two clear of Bakgaga with a game to play.