Stevenage produced a limp performance as they were held to a draw away to Colchester United in League Two.

Marley Marshall Miranda had stung them with the opening goal on six minutes but Danny Rose got an equaliser 11 minutes later in the 1-1 stalemate.

There were some good spells after that for the away side but the hosts would have felt badly done to if their recent improved form had not yielded something.

This wasn't anywhere near Stevenage being at their best and after a draw recently at Gillingham, this felt like another missed opportunity to build up their points tally.

However, it wasn't a loss and with the rest of the top seven also dodging a defeat, it will bring at least a small crumb of happiness.

There were two changes from the win at Doncaster Rovers in midweek, Luke Norris and skipper Carl Piergianni returning to the starting line-up ahead of Arthur Read and Jamie Reid.

The changes meant a return to a back three but surprisingly the usual solid defence was unpicked in six minutes.

Freddie Sears may have been offside in the build-up but from there it was error after error for Boro.

Alex Newby should have scored from the initial cross but Stevenage never cleared their area. Frank Nouble then headed it back across the face of goal but again the visitors never cleared, Jordan Roberts taking a swing and miss at the loose ball.

It meant Colchester had a third attempt to do something special and they did, shifting it to the edge of the box for Miranda to hit on the hal-volley high into the top corner to the left of Taye Ashby-Hammond.

It wasn't the only time they were caught out in defence.

Terence Vancooten took a swing and miss inside the box on 39 minutes and it allowed Nouble to get in behind down the Colchester right.

However, Sears returned the favour by failing to connect to the low delivery with a flailing foot.

Boro had been rocked by the early goal and struggled for the next 10 minutes or so but once they equalised, they were firmly on top.

Roberts was slipped in down the left and his little clipped cross was headed by Rose leaving Sam Hornby stranded.

It came back out to him and he put it away again just to be sure.

That right-hand side was a good avenue for the visitors and they almost added to their lead from there.

Norris did exceptionally well to rob Luke chambers close to the byline and when he cut in and had a shot, the ball was deflected up and onto the bar.

The angle of the defelction to crossbar proved to be hugely frustrating for Rose standing just a few years out as it perfectly took him out of the equation.

Stevenage peppered the box with crosses but couldn't force a deserved second and there was a feeling at the break that the management would be demanding much more from those in red.

It never really came though. They remained on the front foot for the opening 15 minutes but but failed to test Hornby, Piergianni going closest with a header from a corner that was always going over.

There was one moment that may have made the difference but three shots from Rose, Vancooten and Alex Gilbey were all blocked. with the shouts for handball on two of them falling on deaf ears.

And the longer the half went on, the more Colchester could sense something special and more lucrative then just one point, Newby clipping one effort just over.

It led to a council of war on the Boro bench with the decision to make a triple substitution.

But the introduction of Jake Taylor, Saxon Earley and Reid failed to lift Stevenage out of their lethargy.

One header late on was cleared off the line and a Gilbey effort fizzed over the bar was as much as Stevenage could muster.


Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Clark (Earley 77), Reeves (Taylor 77), Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris (Reid 77), Roberts, Vancooten, Gilbey, Rose.

Subs (not used): Chapman, Campbell, Read, Bostwick.

Goal: Rose 17

Booked: Piergianni 76, James-Wildin 86, Earley 90+2


Colchester United: Hornby, Chambers, Dallison, Hannant, Skuse (Judge 58), Sears (Chesters 58), Eastman, Newby (Chilvers 90+3), Kazeem (Clampin 58), Miranda, Nouble.

Subs (not used): O'Hara, Lubala, Ashley.

Goal: Miranda 6


HT: Colchester United 1 Stevenage 1

Referee: Benjamin Speedie (Bootle)

Attendance: 3,486 (531 from Stevenage)