Boro held by AFC Wimbledon
Stevenage Boro 0 AFC Wimbledon 0 Boro had to settle for a point at The Lamex Stadium on Monday after an entertaining encounter against fellow promotion hopefuls AFC Wimbledon. In truth Terry Brown s side deserved the draw and their vocal travelling contin
Stevenage Boro 0 AFC Wimbledon 0
Boro had to settle for a point at The Lamex Stadium on Monday after an entertaining encounter against fellow promotion hopefuls AFC Wimbledon.
In truth Terry Brown's side deserved the draw and their vocal travelling contingent could have been celebrating victory had it not been for a series of excellent saves from Chris Day.
The former England under-21 international was on fine form to deny Jon Main but his best stop came in denying Ricky Wellard, whose crisp strike late on looked destined for the bottom corner.
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Boro carved out several opportunities themselves with Chris Beardsley going close either side of the break but perhaps the best news of the afternoon was that league leaders Oxford United had also been held away at Salisbury.
AFC Wimbledon demonstrated in the opening stages that they had no intention of just sitting back waiting for Boro to come on to them as so many sides have done at The Lamex Stadium this season.
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Only an acrobatic save from Chris Day prevented danger man Jon Main from opening the scoring in the 11th minute after an excellent cross from Sam Hatton.
Five minutes later and Main was almost let in again when Boro came perilously close to being the architects of their own downfall.
Scott Laird's defensive throw caught Jon Ashton on his heels and Main looked to be in on goal but the burly Boro defender recovered just in time to hack the ball clear.
Boro were still carrying a threat themselves despite leading scorer Charlie Griffin missing out on the squad altogether. Chris Beardsley had been asked to lead the line and the striker had Stevenage's first decent attempt on goal in the 16th minute when he forced Wimbledon goalkeeper Seb Brown into a good save from a tight angle.
The summer signing from Kettering had an even better opportunity in the 25th minute when a perfectly flighted corner from Joel Byrom found him completely unmarked in the six-yard area but somehow he glanced wide.
Despite Boro missing these chances, it was clear they had gained the ascendancy in midfield and David Bridges and Joel Byrom combined well just after the half hour mark to send the latter through on goal but his right-footed effort was scuffed into the arms of Brown.
Ten minutes before the break Boro had a double let-off when the lively Montague first forced Day into a good save before Ashton cleared off the line and then crashed a header against the bar, much to the relief of home fans.
The match remained evenly matched at the start of the second period although Beardsley had another good chance in the 52nd minute through sheer determination but he dragged his shot wide under pressure from Brett Johnson.
The match then entered an extremely scrappy save with the bobbly pitch not conducive to free flowing football.
However, Ricky Wellard negotiated his way through the potholes and the Boro defence in the 70th minute before firing a shot destined for the bottom corner until Day plunged to his right and tipped around the post - somehow the referee missed it and gave a goal kick.
Substitute Lee Boylan almost scored with his first touch after coming on for Beardsley but his smart turn and shot was well held by Brown.
The striker went even closer in the 78th minute when he met Odubade's corner but his header was hacked off the line by Elliott Godfrey.
Chances were coming thick and fast at both ends as the teams started to tire. Boro fans had their hearts in their mouths 10 minutes from time when Wellard's crisp 20-yard strike left Day motionless but the ball flew inches wide.
Boro (4-4-2): Day 8, Henry 7, Bostwick 7, Ashton 6, Laird 7, Bridges 6, Byrom 7 (Odhiambo 84), Murphy 6, Long 6 (Albrighton 75), Odubade 7, Beardsley 6 (Boylan 76). Subs not used: Bayes, Vincenti.
AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Brown 7, Hatton 7, Lorraine 6, Johnson 6, Duncan 5 (Conroy 45), Adjei 7, Taylor 7, Godfrey 6, Wellard 7, Montague 7 (Rapson 77), Main 7. Subs not used: Turner, Cumbers.
Referee: J Hopkins