Just before 9am this morning, the famous steam engine Sir Nigel Gresley, stormed through Stevenage.

This 0-0 draw at Lincoln City had nothing in common with the epitome of streamlined engineering brilliance of  the A4 pacific, more the ruggedness of a freight train.

It needed strength, solidness and proper graft, all of which cancelled out any forward-thinking efforts of both teams.

But while all five promotion chasers above Stevenage won, only Blackpool below them picked up three points, meaning Boro move into the final 11 games of the season in the fourth and final play-off place, three points above Oxford and four ahead of the Tangerines, having played a game less.

There was just the one change from the win over Cambridge United on Tuesday night, Alex MacDonald replacing Kane Hemmings.

The feeling coming into this contest was that a point would be an acceptable result for Boro and that helped soften the fact that the first half was a poor spectacle.

There wasn't even much huff and puff with too many players on both sides falling over at the slightest touch, disrupting what little rhythm there was.

The official stats said there had been two shots on target although that seemed a little kind.

Boro's shot was a free-kick from Jake Forster-Caskey, hit wastefully straight into the wall from a fairly central position 22 yards out.

Lincoln meanwhile had a header from Paudie O'Connor that was easily grasped by Taye Ashby-Hammond. It looked to be going wide anyway.

Stevenage had a corner from MacDonald that went across the goal and out for a goal kick without anyone getting near it. 

The midfielder, playing as the attacking point of the diamond, did have the one big moment for Boro but after being sent clear by Luther Wildin, he tried to pass rather than bring the ball under control and shoot himself.

Stevenage did have to make a few good blocks, Dan Butler and Forster-Caskey the two main ones, all created when Lincoln got in behind momentarily.

Joe Taylor did get on the end of a Reeco Hackett cross but his shot on the turn went well over.

The half-time break brought a chance to tighten things up for the visitors but it was a case of job done so far, certainly they had nullified most of the home threat.

They even got on the ball a bit more in the second period but again there was nothing to unduly worry the official stats keepers.

Boro did force a couple of corners, MacDonald playing one short and having his shot blocked, then a scramble ending with Vancooten unable to get a clean shot away.

Lincoln did have a couple of corners of  their own but Piergianni led the rearguard action to keep attempts from them to zero.

Lincoln then had a very lucky escape.

Ethan Erhahon had been booked in the first half for what seemed to be dissent.

Then, as Louis Thompson made a surge forward, he deliberately leant into the Boro man and gave him a nudge, sending him to the floor.

It was a clear yellow card for anyone else but Erhahon's previous discretion seemed to work in his favour and only a talking to was required.

The free-kick did bring a chance, Piergianni on the stretch heading just wide, and that was followed moments later by Reid heading straight at Lukas Jensen.

City then had a chance handed to them by Ashby-Hammond but the angle was never in House's favour and it went wide.

That brought a quadruple substitution for Boro as they looked to freshen up their options.

It didn't create anything of note before the 90 minutes was up, Louis Thompson skewing an effort from just outside the box high and wide of the target.

One free-kick in stoppage time was put harmlessly behind but this could potentially be a very valuable point for Boro.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, Wildin, Butler, Piergianni, MacDonald (Freeman 74), Forster-Caskey (White 74), Roberts (Oliver 74), Vancooten, Burns, Reid (Hemmings 74), L.Thompson.

Sub (not used): MacGillivray, Sweeney, Guinness-Walker.


Booked: Reid 27, Evans (bench) 32, Vancooten 75


Lincoln City: Jensen, Sorensen, Erhahon, Hackett, Taylor (Draper 62), Bishop, O'Connor, House, Roughan, Mitchell, Moylan (Duffy 86).

Subs (not used): Wright, Eyoma, Makama, Okewoye, Okoro.


Booked: House 33, Erhahon 36


HT: Lincoln City 0 Stevenage 0

Added time: 2

Referee: Bobby Madley (Wakefield)

Attendance: 8,129 (including 532 from Stevenage)