Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke’s first home game ended in a 0-0 draw against compatriot Stevenage.
Vale failed to allay their fears of relegation in a game devoid of any real quality.
Stevenage defender Terence Vancooten pulled off a crucial tackle to keep Devante Rodney from bursting early.
The visitors were inches away from taking the lead as Nathan Smith nearly deflected right-back Remeao Hutton’s cross into his own net.
Joe Martin’s free kick was then curved excruciatingly wide, with Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown routed.
Will Swan, on loan at Nottingham Forest, making his first start for the Valiants, broke free and forced Stevenage’s Jamie Cumming into action with a well-slapped shot.
Vale looked dangerous on the counter before the break and Cristian Montano found Rodney brilliantly but his effort was stalled with Swan waiting in space.
Leon Legge found Montano with a glorious diagonal pass, but Vale’s back winger flared up in the middle of the second half.
Lively Valiants substitute Scott Burgess connected beautifully with a long-range volley late but saw the ball drift just past Cumming’s goal as the points were split.