Colchester head coach Steve Ball rued his side’s series of missed chances after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium.
The visitors almost took the lead in the 12th minute when Kwame Poku’s fierce shot flew inches over the bar, before Tommy Smith headed wide when unmarked from Cohen Bramall’s free-kick.
Courtney Senior spurned another chance with 18 minutes remaining and Stevenage stopper Jamie Cumming denied Noah Chilvers late on to leave the Us boss frustrated.
“If you look at the possession stats and the shots on goal stats, it was a game we dominated in the main,” said Ball.
“They had a couple of moments of pressure in the second half and hit the post but we should clearly and comfortably be winning that game and coming away from here with a win.
“We haven’t been beaten and that’s the only small crumb of compensation but I’m not best pleased. If you look at the chances, Tommy Smith has to score with his header. Courtney Senior has to score and Aramide Oteh has to score.
“I’m not getting at those players – it’s brilliant that we opened them up to get into those positions. But they’re the moments that we want the ball to hit the back of the net and if we do that, there’s a different feel about it but it’s just that last bit for us.”
Stevenage edged a point clear of League Two’s relegation places with the draw and it could have been even better as Luke Norris and Elliott List both came close to scoring a winner.
But boss Alex Revell took plenty of encouragement from a hard-fought performance, having seen his side improve significantly since losing their last meeting with Colchester 3-1.
“I’ve just said to the players that when we played Colchester back in November, it was a tough night but we’ve come a long way since then,” he said.
“The team is very different and we’ve got new players and I’m pleased to see how far we’ve come.
“We know we’ve got more to do, and that we had to add that quality in that area to get that final pass, but it’s an improvement and we just have to keep pushing.
“A point, as long as we back that up with a win (against Grimsby) on Saturday, we pull away from where we are and we bring other people closer to us. That’s what we’re aiming for.
“Ultimately, if we perform like that with the effort, hard work and shift that they all put in and then the quality on top of that, we can go to Grimsby full of confidence that we can get the result.”