SARLL: WE ARE A TARGET NOW
DARREN SARLL believes his in-form Stevenage have become marked men after they were held to a goalless draw by Cambridge.
A drab match produced few chances, and the result leaves Boro, who came into the match on the back of one defeat in 11 games, six points behind thirdplaced Portsmouth as they bid to mount a late charge for automatic promotion.
“Our level of performance was reduced, so I’m happy to take a point,” said Stevenage manager Sarll.
“I don’t think our goalie had to make a save, and we saw two teams try and neutralise each other.
“Blackpool played against us with a similar strategy to what Shaun’s [Derry] team did here, and Cambridge stopped us playing well.
“That’s what we’ve got to expect now; teams will look at us like we used to look at the Plymouths, Carlisles and Doncasters, and work very hard to counteract our strengths.
“We had to grind it out, be organised and keep a clean sheet, and I’m as delighted with the point as I was with the three we got last Saturday at Portsmouth.”
Stevenage made the early running, but their momentum was checked by an injury to midfielder Tom Pett, who had to be substituted after a strong challenge from the outstanding Scott Wharton.
As the half wore on Cambridge, who still harbour promotion ambitions of their own, came into the match, with Greg Taylor failing to connect with a cross from George Maris, and Luke Berry seeing a shot deflect just over the bar.
U’s boss Shaun Derry rang the changes in the second period, introducing strikers Adam McGurk and Barry Corr, who have both spent long spells on the sidelines injured this season.
But it was Stevenage’s leading marksman Matt Godden who had the game’s best chance, pouncing on a mistake by Leon Legge and making space for a shot which flew just wide of the post.
Berry could have won the game for Cambridge late on, but his header from Brad Halliday’s cross was too high to trouble visiting keeper Chris Day and a stalemate ensued.
The draw sees Cambridge stay 15th in the table, and Derry said: “We’re playing against the division’s form side, who are scoring goals every week and beating everyone they face. But I felt they never came close to beating us.
“It was a point we’ll take the positives from.
“We wanted to win the game but credit to both defences here, neither side was able to get a break.
“There are eight games to go and we’ve only lost two of the last nine, which I’m delighted about.
“We’ve got our game in hand on Tuesday against Accrington, who are another form side, but that’s our chance to close the gap on the play-offs.”