Newport County A.F.C
Another valuable point on the road for Stevenage but Newport test proved a drab affair
- Credit: EDWARD PAYNE
Yet another clean-sheet and another point on the road for Stevenage but few will remember a dire clash at Newport County.
Those are the positives from a 0-0 draw in south Wales but it will be a contender for the poorest game seen across the four leagues this season.
The much-talked about pitch at Rodney Parade couldn't even be used as an excuse for two teams who had plenty of huff and puff but little to show in the way of quality or clear-cut chances.
After the stalemate at Vale Park, Alex Revell said it was another point on Boro's path to survival in League Two.
After 45 minutes at Rodney Parade it seemed to be another contest hewn from the same playbook.
One tame Danny Newton shot aside that Nick Townsend comfortably handled, neither keeper was called into making a save worthy of the name.
Jamie Cumming did juggle an early free-kick, plopping down on it as it reached the floor, but he wasn't unduly worried, except for one effort that was deflected up off the back of Terence Vancooten, dropping over the bar to the keeper's relief.
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Newport did have a couple more efforts but they were either skewed wide or lifted high over the top.
Dom Telford glanced a header from a quickly-taken corner wide but the on-loan Chelsea man simply watched that drift wide of his goal.
Newton had another chance for Boro but he skied that and Joe Martin headed a deep corner from the edge of the box straight into Townsend's hands.
It wasn't just on the pitch where it was flat. This was the first in a while where the lack of a crowd really hit home, giving the atmosphere a distinctly training ground feel.
You felt it needed a rocket from the respective managers to increase the excitement levels and Stevenage certainly needed someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
It seemed as if that was the case as Elliott List raced in on goal inside 30 seconds of the restart but Townsend stood big and blocked the effort.
County too had something to put in the shots on goal column eight minutes later but Nicky Maynard's bending effort from the edge of the area was straight at Cumming.
It proved false hope for those wanting to see a more open game. Newport pressed for the majority of the half but without too much hassle for the Stevenage defence.
One big chance fell to home skipper Josh Sheehan. The ball fell to him on the edge of the area and he had time to tee-up a strong shot. Scott Cuthbert flung himself in front of it though to snuff out the danger.
Ironically the closest County came was a ball from Matty Dolan lifted back into the box that actually hit the top of the crossbar.
Cumming continued to field anything that came his way, normally a long throw or hopeful punt and he should claim the man of the match prize for the visitors.
The rest of us are more than happy to look forward to Tuesday's game at the Lamex against Forest Game Rovers.
Stevenage: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Osborne (Vincelot 90+1), Newton, Vancooten, List (Stevens 85), Pett, Martin, Lines.
Subs (not used): Johnson, Vincelot, Prosser, Hutton, Read, Aitchison.
Newport County: Townsend, Haynes (Ellison 87), Farquharson, Dolan (Gamblin 87), Sheehan, Bennett, Maynard (Amond 65), Telford (Scrimshaw 65), Hartigan (Taylor 73), Demetriou, Shephard.
Subs (not used): King, Lewis.
Booked: Shephard 59
HT: Newport County 0 Stevenage 0
Referee: James Bell (Sheffield)