Stevenage can use their performance against Port Vale as a good benchmark - but manager Steve Evans was left disappointed after being held to a home draw.

The two sides scrapped to a 0-0 draw in the drizzle at the Lamex but while both had chances, the big ones fell to Boro.

Jamie Reid though was twice denied by Connor Ripley and there were other attempts from Jordan Roberts, Jake Forster-Caskey and Elliott List that failed to find the back of the net.

And Evans felt they were the key turning points.

He said:  "Some big things went against us but I think we were the more dominant side, the more likely to get a goal. 

"We missed two big chances, two big one-on-ones and they're big misses, especially in games with fine margins. 

"We should score. They are good strikers, two lads that are proficient in putting the ball in the net. 

"You'd expect us to take advantage of that.

"But Port Vale are a good benchmark for us. They've been they've been in the league [for a while] now and are settled.  

"I said to the boys before that we couldn't have a [performance like we had at] Blackpool and for 10 minutes, it looked like it could be. 

"But our players shouldn’t be disappointed with the overall performance because for 75 or 80 minutes, we're dominant." 

The improvement from the 3-0 loss at Blackpool one week earlier filled him with happiness though.

And he believes it is another example of Stevenage more than holding their own against big sides.

Evans said: "I'm disappointed because the margins are in our favour, the chances are in our favour.

"From that point of view, we’ll go away disappointed but not like last week when we were really down on the coach. 

"It took our chairman and Leon to pick me up because I was down because the performance was all over the place. 

"It wasn't all over the place today."  

"We’re not expected to go toe-to-toe with Port Vale and Portsmouth and Charlton and Derby. 

"We're expected to be the little lambs to slaughter. 

"We’re expected to get into the truck that turns up outside and off we pop to the slaughterhouse. 

"But we've got good players and more importantly, we've got players that care. 

"I told them not to lose the game in the second half by a lack of concentration or by a mistake. 

"I wanted to play on the front foot and with a real purpose and I thought we did that."

He also addressed the reason for late substitutions, only three used with the earliest on 75 minutes.

That boiled down to gladiators in the heat of the battle. 

The boss said: "Using a different sport, bringing a fresh boxer on after eight or nine rounds would make it better and stronger but actually the guy who's in the fight knows what's coming, knows what’s happening. 

"I didn't see any positions where they were better than our boys in the second half.  

"The first 10 minutes was worrying and we seemed a bit disjointed but we amended it and changed it and got to grips with the game. 

"At half-time I actually said to the boys, I'm really happy what I've just seen for the last 25 minutes 

"I can't come in and stand here and think the second-half was anything other than a strong and powerful performance against a good side. 

"They threatened them and this is the team that has gone to Oxford and won. This is the team that should have been two or three-up at Pompey last week. 

"I didn’t see that in their play tonight and that's credit to my players. 

"And I saw their staff punch the air at the final whistle, and I’ve been there, but I know they felt it was a good point."