Boro history: this week in... 2001

Jean-Michel Sigere. Photo: Comet library

Jean-Michel Sigere. Photo: Comet library - Credit: Archant

When Southend United came to town in the Football League Trophy

Looking back through the archives, Boro’s record in the Football League Trophy isn’t the best. Apart from a 2-1 victory over Swansea City in 2002 (whatever happened to them?), the recent win against MK Dons at the Lamex Stadium is the best the club has managed.

Since 1983, the competition has always been open to teams in the lower two divisions of the Football League. But between 2000-1 and 2005-6, an invite was extended to the best Conference teams. And it was in 2001 that Boro made their LDV Trophy debut.

At that time, Stevenage Borough was still a club synonymous with FA Cup heroics – and it was also a time when the Conference was still lobbying hard to secure extra promotion to the League. The LDV Trophy offered a chance for Conference clubs to make their case.

Southend United were the visitors to Broadhall Way for our first ever LDV Trophy match. Away supporters were made to feel welcome in the North Terrace – the new South Stand was yet to open – and on the pitch, the Shrimpers made themselves feel just as welcome.

Boro were given a harsh lesson in what it takes to be a Football League side that evening. Jean-Michel Sigere found the target for Boro, but Southend United had four to their name and eased through to the second round of the competition.

Mind you, being a part of it back then was a bit of a novelty. Now it’s mandatory. Not bad for 12 years’ work.

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* Pete Hayman runs BoroGuide, the Stevenage FC internet resource. For more information visit www.boroguide.co.uk or follow him on twitter @boroguide

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