A truly professional performance from Stevenage ensured they stayed in the top three while Carlisle United dropped out of it.

The battle of second versus third in League Two was never going to be a game of champagne football but the 0-0 draw certainly favoured the visitors than it did the hosts.

Neither side wanted to lose, that was clear, but with 10 games to go it is a point which will be toasted on the long journey home.

Stevenage made their first change in three games but just the one, Jordan Roberts dropping out with injury and being replaced by Tuesday's match-winner Jamie Reid.

The other big news though was the place on the bench went to Terence Vancooten.

Carlisle had two great opportunities in the opening 90 seconds to get in behind Boro but they were crowded out both time.

That gave way though to a tentative showing from both sides, the enormity of the clash and the afternoon casting its shadow.

Carlisle did have the ball in the net through Joe Garner but the header that came to him, via a good save from Jon McCracken, came from an offside position.

Stevenage's defence was looking very disciplined, Carl Piergianni leading the line, and by half-time they would have been delighted with their 45-minute performance.

They didn't create too much at the other end, one effort from Reid going wide, while other good positions were squandered with passes across the face of goal done without a look up and cleared by either the impressive Morgan Feeney or Paul Huntington.

Boro did have to make one substitution when they lost Jake Taylor to a seemingly innocuous injury.

The opening minutes of the second period saw Boro have three attempts, two from Alex Gilbey which were just off target, the first skimming the side-netting on its way wide.

They had the best chance towards the end when Luke Norris turned and finally got sight of goal.

His first touch wasn't the greatest though and the defender was able to clear.

By the end though it was Stevenage who were getting on the front foot more as Carlisle felt the nerves.

McCracken was never truly tested, one dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area wasted for the hosts.

Those did bring a few nervy moments but for the small band of Boro fans, this will bring plenty of smiles.


Stevenage: McCracken, Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Taylor (Forster-Caskey 31), Norris, Smith, Gilbey, Jamie Reid, March (Bostwick 76).

Subs (not used): Przybek, James-Wildin, Vancooten, Tomkinson, Rose.

Booked: Piergianni 43, Sweeney 70


Carlisle United: Holy, Senior, Armer, Moxon, Feeney, Huntington, Guy, Patrick (Dennis 65), Mellish, McAlmont (Gibson 76), Garner (Edmondson 75).

Subs (not used): Kelly, Whelan, Robinson, Gordon.

Booked: Feeney 43


HT: Carlisle United 0 Stevenage 0

Referee: Tom Reeves (Coventry)

Attendance: 8,029 (including 141 from Stevenage)