League Two: Stevenage 2 Morecambe 1
PUBLISHED: 17:28 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:52 25 September 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
Stevenage beat Morecambe in a hard-fought SkyBet League Two match at the Lamex on Saturday afternoon.
A goal from Matty Godden, only his second of the season, put Boro 1-0 ahead on 26 minutes before Steven Old equalised for the visitors ten minutes before the break.
But there was a fairytale ending as Kyle Wootton – on loan from Scunthorpe and making his first appearance for the Boro – scored the winner a minute after coming on as sub for Danny Newton in the 64th minute.
After one point from nine Stevenage were looking to get back to winning ways here at the Lamex against Jim Bentley’s Morecambe.
It was instructive to listen to the words of Stevenage’s expert football advisor Glenn Roeder who spoke to Comet Sport earlier in the week.
A true football man, renowned as a cultured centre-half in his top-level playing career, as well as a progressive manager during his time at the helm of Newcastle United and West Ham, said it didn’t matter how you won so long as you did.
Of course the caveat is that this highly-respected football expert wants to play football, it’s just that sometimes pragmatism is what is needed.
To that end Boro had a point to prove and started off with real energy as Ben Kennedy played in Godden who pulled his low shot across goal on six minutes.
The identical move was repeated seven minutes later as the Northern Irishman played a perfect ball through to his colleague, who this time skied the ball over the bar.
In a way you could argue it showed that despite his fallow period it shows he thinks about his game as he wanted to try something different than his earlier finish.
The reply to that would be why not stick to what has worked in the past – a tried and tested formula – although when a lack of confidence strikes it is easier said than done not to want to change things.
Godden has had a lean time of it this season, though not through any fault of his own, more the vagaries of ‘second season syndrome’ than a failure to work hard, a lack of technical ability or even positioning, as he certainly never hides which is testament to his character.
Boss Darren Sarll and Roeder aren’t worried about it – at least not to the press – and why should they be as Godden is a hugely-talented striker at this level, even if Boro could have been 2-0 before the quarter hour.
As it was the score remained goalless as Boro’s bright start faded as Bemtley’s visitors began to gain a foothold in the match.
So much so that Kevin Ellison could have put them 1-0 up on 22 minutes when well placed but he pulled his shot wide, proving the ‘yips’ can happen to anyone.
And just to prove that fortunes and confidence are illusory and transient as fate, Godden scored to put Boro 1-0 up on 25 minutes.
It wasn’t just any goal either to paraphrase the advertisement- this was a Matty Godden goal.
Despite a slow start for the talented forward – who had only hit a single goal, against the Imps of Lincoln, prior to this match – he proved he is a class act in League Two.
For while he found himself in a tight angle – far less promising than both position earlier in the game – he decided to trust his instincts. Powering forward he fired the ball past former Leeds United keeper Barry Roche, using the outside of his boot to guide the ball into the net, much to his joy and that of his teammates and supporters.
Buoyed by the weight being lifted from his shoulders he set up the excellent Newton moments later. Unfortunately the 26-year-old’s angled header bounced back off the post and away to safety when it could have been a second for Boro.
Unfortunately – for the beautiful game can be a cruel sport – Bentley’s men equalised ten minutes before half time as a left-footed free kick from Michael Rose found the head of Old in a crowded box.
Kiwi Old, who played for New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics in China, made no mistake nodding home past Joe Fryer to make it 1-1, although you do have to question the home side’s marking, or at the very least their concentration.
As referee John Busby blew for half time once again the performance did not match the result, as excellent attacking, albeit in patches, was cancelled out by a lack of concentration - costing Boro dearly. You didn’t have to look at Sarll and Roeder’s body language at the interval to know that.
Chances came for Tom Pett, Kennedy and Godden in the second half but the goal wouldn’t come.
But on 64 minutes Sarll threw Wooton on for Newton to make his first appearance for Boro. And the 21-year-old loanee from Scunthorpe took less than a minute to make his mark as he put Stevenage 2-1 up.
Pett had another chance and so did Wootton but as the clock ticked down anxious fans began to check their watches as Rose’s chance went over the bar for Morecambe with minutes remaining.
Five additional minutes saw The Shrimps throw everything at Boro in a desperate attempt for an equaliser, but Busby finally blew to make it a welcome three points for Sarll’s men – and a day to remember for young Wootton. And Matty Godden.