Returning Stevenage boss Graham Westley hailed the commitment of his players after Sky Bet League Two’s bottom side held Forest Green to a 0-0 draw at the Lamex Stadium.
Westley was reappointed for his fourth spell in charge of Boro earlier this month and his first game back in the dugout arrived following Boro’s 5-1 defeat to Crewe five days before.
But despite being pitted against play-off contenders Rovers, the hosts produced a spirited display to claim a point and almost won it when Elliott List and Ben Kennedy went close.
“I was pleased over 90 minutes,” said Westley. “I thought there were some rough patches and rough edges in the first half and we tried to iron those out at half-time.
“In the second half we tried to implement some of the work we’ve done together. We really took the game to them, created numerous chances, and on another day that’s enough to win.
“I know we hear that a lot in football but we’ve hit the bar and come close with some other good chances. On a different day we win.
“I thanked the players because their effort and endeavour are what Stevenage are about. There’s always going to be a fluidity factor.
“That can happen if I put too many of the wrong players together and I need to work really hard to get to know the players. It takes time for a manager and players to gel.”
Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Farman produced a fine double save to keep the visitors at bay, keeping out Carl Winchester’s strike before denying Ebou Adams from close range.
And opposition boss Mark Cooper admitted he was relieved to come away with a point.
“It was a poor game in horrible conditions,” he said. “I’m glad to get out of here with a point and we need to be better.
“I’m delighted with a point and I said to the players they looked as though they’d eaten five turkeys each, had a bottle of sherry each and a bath full of trifle each.
“We didn’t play well individually. We kept a clean sheet and that’s a bonus. Whatever formation we pick, it doesn’t matter if your desire and quality isn’t as much as the other team, then you’ll struggle to win the game.
“We’re limping towards January, I can’t wait until January. I brought two strikers on, we had three strikers on the pitch to try and create something and nothing happened for us.
“You have to try and roll the dice, we wanted to win the game. We’ve got to get our own house in order and make sure we’re at our levels.”