Stevenage were held to a goal-less draw at home by Port Vale in their latest League One clash.

The 0-0 draw was played under a drizzly, grey sky and there wasn't a great deal to suggest either side were capable of bring a dash of colour to the game.

The result does keep Boro in the top five with 22 points from 14 games.

Steve Evans had promised changes from the side that lost 3-0 at Blackpool and he delivered with three of them.

Back came Dan Butler after a one-match ban while Luther James-Wildin and Kane Smith started after their battles with injury.

Nathan Thompson came through after the knock he took in Lancashire with Aaron Pressley and Ben and Louis Thompson the three to move to the bench.

Light drizzle seemed to play its part with virtually all the players seemingly either choosing the wrong footwear or not even thinking about it.

There were a lot of slips and it brought Boro their first opportunity when Smith went down and allowed Jordan Roberts to attack down the left.

A long, looping cross found Jamie Reid coming in on it but as he started to swing the boot on the volley, his standing foot too went from under him.

Ryan Loft, a former Boro loanee, should have already scored by then when Taye Ashby-Hammond pushed a low cross out to him, a delivery that skidded off the wet turf to the keeper.

Loft though took a touch and hit it early but scooped it over.

Roberts did something similar after a lovely passage of play down the right involving Kane Smith and Terence Vancooten.

Nick Freeman had laid the low cross back to the forward but he sent it high and wide of the target from 12 yards.

Jake Forster-Caskey had the best attempt for the home side from a short corner but although his low attempt was arrowing into the corner, Connor Ripley made the save.

Other than that, the talk was of penalties at either end.

Vale wanted one for a foul by James-Wildin while Boro felt there was a handball after a visiting defender sliced the ball off his foot and onto his hand.

The Valiants started the second period with new signing Uche Ikpeazu on for Loft and the man mountain up front instantly started to cause problems with his stature.

A corner from the right had Carl Piergianni limpet like on the striker and that allowed a header to come in that Ashby-Hammond had to tip over the top.

He then got away from the Boro skipper and goal side of Butler but fortunately Thompson got the block in.

Incredibly that corner gave Boro a five-minute purple patch.

The delivery to the edge of the area went straight to Vancooten and suddenly put the home side on the charge.

Reid fired that over but from the goal kick, Vale gave it straight back to them and when Freeman slipped Reid in, he seemed odds on to score.

Ripley, charging out of his goal, denied him with a fine save with his legs.

Roberts then was just unable to slip in what would have been an unmarked Butler.

A series of corners also saw Reid hit the post, but he was already flagged offside.

Substitutions came late for Boro but both sides only had one chance to snatch the points.

Oliver Arblaster poked Vale's attempt wide while Piergianni had the home chance, heading a Forster-Caskey corner over.

He felt he should have scored but it was one of those days when a no-score draw always seemed the likely conclusion.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Butler, N.Thompson, Piergianni, Forster-Caskey, Freeman, Roberts (List 75), K.Smith, Vancooten (L.Thompson 87), Reid (Pressley 87).

Sub (not used): Hegyi, Burns, B.Thompson, Hemmings.

Booked: Roberts 33, N.Thompson 51, K.Smith 80


Port Vale: Ripley, Sang (Massey 67), Balmer, N.Smith, Garrity, Loft (Ikpeazu 46), Chislett (Devine 73), Ojo, Lowe, Arblaster, Plant (Clark 67).

Subs (not used): Leutwiler, Debrah, Thomas.

Booked: Arblaster 28, N.Smith 38, Balmer 45


HT: Stevenage 0 Port Vale 0

Added time: 7

Referee: Scott Jackson (Lancashire)

Attendance: 4.047 (including 542 from Port Vale)