Graham Westley's Stevenage earned a creditable point in their first game in English football's third tier.
Borough secured their place in npower League One courtesy of a play-off final victory over Torquay last season but could not overcome Exeter in a drab encounter at Broadhall Way.
The hosts did fashion the first opening, though, with Scott Laird seeing his long-range strike saved by Artur Krysiak.
That was the only real opportunity of a poor first half as the sides battled for the initiative without creating clear-cut chances.
The second period initially threatened to herald an improvement as Craig Reid forced a smart save from Krysiak.
But that proved a false dawn as the stalemate continued, although James Dunne could have put the visitors ahead late as he hit straight at Alan Julian. Indeed, the game trend continued for the remaining minutes with the sides seemingly happy to settle for a point rather than force victory on the opening day of the season.
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