Stevenage's injury-stricken troops had another battle to face at home to Portsmouth - with incidents galore in the stalemate.

As 0-0 draws go, this one had everything but a goal.

Both teams finished with 10 men as Jake Forster-Caskey of Boro and Pompey's Joe Rafferty clashed after a 50-50 tackle, 10 minutes into the second period, and both were given straight red cards.

That was just the main flashpoint that had bookings, chances, referee injuries and shots off the woodwork.

In the end both will take the point, a result that leaves Stevenage in fifth and Pompey just outside the play-off places in seventh.

The list of players missing for Boro would have made a formidable team in the old Guinness Soccer Six tournament.

Nathan Thompson was suspended after his dismissal at Reading last week while the treatment room was still being graced this week by Luther James-Wildin, Terence Vancooten, Dan Sweeney, Harry Anderson, Nick Freeman, Kane Smith and Josh March.

Some of those were back on the bench for this one - Sweeney and Anderson for the first time this season, as well as March who had missed the loss at Reading last time out.

Elliott List, who was an unused sub at the Madejski, remained among the replacements. 

Taye Ashby-Hammond, Alex MacDonald and Ben Thompson were the three coming into the starting line-up for Krisztian Hegyi, Nathan Thompson and Smith.

It had the feel of a back four with a diamond in the middle of the park and it did turn out to be a four with MacDonald at right-back, although what was in front of them was fluid with Aaron Pressley often alone up top.

There was almost a breathtaking start for Boro too as early pressure saw a couple of half-chances in the opening 60 seconds.

The best of them fell to Jamie Reid with a flicked header but a blue shirt got in his way.

Reid also had another flicked header 20 minutes later that forced Will Norris into a scrambling, diving save, pushing it behind.

It was needed to as despite the header lacking any power, it was being guided inside the far post.

Pressley also prodded a MacDonald cross behind and the closest either side came was a shot from Jordan Roberts that beat Norris but thumped off the foot the post.

Portsmouth didn't force Ashby-Hammond into a save but then some of the balls into the box had taken the keeper out of the equation and really should have been converted by Colby Bishop among others.

Abu Kamara was the main thorn in the Boro side, with his work down the right-hand side giving Dan Butler a tough afternoon at times.

He also had Pompey's most clear-cut chance, coming in at the back post, but a brave block from Carl Piergianni prevented the ball from finding the net.

The first half had ended with tempers raised and the second period began in an equally frantic fashion.

Louis Thompson almost danced his way into a crossing position at one point.

Jake Forster-Caskey did manage to get the ball into the middle but Connor Ogilvie produced a superb clearing header.

The feisty nature then exploded as both teams were reduced to 10 men.

Jake Forster-Caskey and Joe Rafferty came into a challenge together and as the pair got entangled there was a scuffle of sorts.

The referee decided both had been acting themselves and issued straight reds.

That did little to calm the mood inside the Lamex with players, staff and fans all getting incensed about every decision.

It had you longing for the old saying, born in ice hockey - during a fight, a game of hockey broke out.

It was certainly stretched with the extra space suddenly available in the middle of the park.

And the drama was not done as referee Simon Mather got accidentally bumped to the floor, his bell rung enough to warrant him being replaced by the fourth official, much to the mirth of both fans.

In amongst the chaos was the sight of Elliott List returning for the first time since the opening day of last season.

The thunderous reception he received was well deserved.

He had limited chances to shine as the game headed into 11 minutes of added time at the end of the half, a lot of that taken up by the injury to the referee and the dismissals.

And it got frantic again in the final moments, bookings coming on either side, but bar a header from Finley Burns that bounced into the hands of Norris, there was nothing done to break the deadlock.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, Butler, Piergianni, MacDonald, Forster-Caskey, Roberts, Burns, Reid (List 73), Pressley (Neal 71), L.Thompson (March 85), B.Thompson.

Sub (not used): Hegyi, Sweeney, Anderson, Hannam.

Booked: L.Thompson 22, Raynor (bench) 45+6, Reid 62, Ashby-Hammond 90+8, List 90+10

Sent-off: Forster-Caskey 56


Portsmouth: Norris, Poole, Ogilvie, Pack, Bishop, Whyte (Robertson 69), Morrell, Rafferty, Shaughnessy, Sparkes (Lane 65), Kamara (Swanson 77).

Subs (not used): Schofield, Aydee, Raggett, Devlin.

Booked: Whyte 44, Kamara 69, Pack 90+11

Sent-off: Rafferty 56


HT: Stevenage 0 Portsmouth 0

Added time: 17

Referee: Simon Mather (Manchester) / Stephen Finch (Bury St Edmunds)

Attendance: 5,352 (including 1,384 from Portsmouth)