Steve Evans was a very happy man as Stevenage produced a mature and disciplined performance to take a point at rivals Carlisle United.

The 0-0 draw was good enough to keep Boro second in League Two but it also sent the Cumbrians out of the automatic promotion places, down to fourth.

Not losing was always part one of the plan and while they perhaps should have snatched more late on when Luke Norris got a sight of goal, taking a point continues a very good week for Evans' men.

The boss said: "It was an excellent performance. We've restricted a team that's won five on the bounce to zero chances and I think we probably had the better moments in terms of good possession in the final third. 

"That was summed up with the ball that breaks to Luke but his touch is too big. If his touch is there, he’s eight yards out with the goal at his mercy. 

"It’s not to be but that dressing room, I've said to you before, has got an inner resolve. 

"We've played really well in spells but it was a more structured, disciplined performance. 

"If you had said to us that we’d win two at home and then come back on the coach from Carlisle with a point, of course, we’d have snapped your hands off. 

"It’s a good little run at this stage."

The Comet: Steve Evans was delighted with the point at Carlisle. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTOSteve Evans was delighted with the point at Carlisle. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO (Image: ©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468)

Part of the thinking for the structured defensive effort came from Carlisle's 96th-minute winner at Swindon last Saturday.

"We had to be," said the boss. "If you look at last week when Carlisle went to Swindon, Swindon went gung-ho chasing the game and they got caught. 

"We just had to retain a good shape and maintain good discipline and they couldn't make a chance, not one chance. 

"That's credit to the way we set up and credit, most importantly, to our players.  

"They've given everything to the cause and we're proud of what they're trying to do, we're proud of how hard they're working and we're proud that we've tweaked the shape because of personnel and they've took to it like a duck to water."

But while the boss was happy to give universal praise to his squad, he picked out new goalkeeper Jon McCracken for special adulation.

The on-loan Norwich City man has given his new team a far more solid look again and admitted to being comfortable throughout his afternoon at Brunton Park.

Evans said: "Jon never felt that he was going to concede at any time. 

"And the back-four will take great confidence from such a good young goalkeeper who's has done his job for us, that’s all we ask.  

"His distribution is magnificent, gives teams a problem.  

"Every time Jon hit the ball, if it was from 70 yards from their box but they were terrified because he's got the power, the strength.

"He'll learn lots from being with us for sure."