Full-time report: Brentford 2 Stevenage 0
- Credit: Archant
Boro lose their last game of the season as the Bees celebrate their promotion with a victory
Stevenage’s League 1 campaign came to an end just as it had started back in August – with a defeat.
Their hosts for the day, Mark Warburton’s Brentford, were in celebratory mood in their last home match of the season, having already secured promotion to the Championship.
Boro, though, were hoping to spoil the party a little, but when Stuart Dallas’ goal was followed up by a late Alan Judge effort the Bees made sure that they had the League 1 send-off they had desired.
Stevenage made three changes from the side that beat Walsall last week with Bira Dembele, Conor Henderson and Fejiri Okenabirhie making way for Roarie Deacon, Michael Doughty and Ryan Johnson, the latter, at 17years and 215 days, becoming Boro’s youngest player since the club joined the Football League.
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Stevenage had the first chance of note when Michael Doughty made a block in midfield and came away with the ball. Seeing team-mate Luke Freeman edging forward down the right, he played in the winger but the former Arsenal man curled his shot over.
In truth though, there were too few opportunities in the first half as the hosts pressed down the wings without much luck, and Boro tried to work their way through the middle only to find bodies in the way.
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It took until injury time for the next meaningful effort, but Kevin O’Connor, an earlier substitute, directed a corner towards goal on his 500th appearance for the club. However, Chris Day, in the Stevenage goal, got down low and made the save.
Brentford were a little quicker to try their luck in the second half, with Jake Reeves firing low and hard at Day only for the keeper to get his hands behind it.
The keeper then made an extraordinary one-handed stop from Clayton Donaldson to push his point-blank effort on to the post.
Dallas had fired goalwards, but after striking team-mate George Saville the ball fell into the path of Donaldson. Reacting quickly he fired goalwards from eight yards, but Day threw his hand out and deflected the ball on to the post before Boro were able to clear.
Boro made two changes with Lucas Akins and Okenabirhie coming on for Jo N’Guessan and Deacon, but the home side continued to dominate proceedings if not in terms of chances then definitely in terms of possession and crosses into the box.
It was actually Stevenage who had the next decent chance – but when Michael Doughty fired in his shot from distance, it took a deflection off James Tarkowski and went wide of goal.
Brentford’s possession finally paid off with just 15 minutes to go. Some good play down the left saw a ball played into the box, but Dallas wasted a chance when his air shot saw the ball roll out to the other side of the area.
However, when it was played back in to him, the midfielder made no mistake the second time and he directed his close-range shot past Day to send the home supporters into raptures.
Dallas then hit the crossbar with his next effort, before Judge popped up with a minute of normal time left to put the icing on the cake for the home team.
Brentford: Button, Craig (O’Connor 26), Douglas, Dallas, McCormack, Saville (Tennaris 70), Judge, Reeves, Bidwell, Tarkowski, Donaldson (Trotta 60). Subs: Lee, Grigg, Diagouraga, Adams.
Stevenage: Day, Jones, Obeng, Hartley, Mousinho, Freeman, Smith, Doughty, Deacon (Okenabirhie 63), N’Guessan (Akins 54), Johnson. Subs: Arnold, Burrow, Gordon, Reid, Banvo.
Ref: D Phillips
Att: 11,393 (472)