Gallery: Boro move to third in rollercoaster game

Stevenage Borough 3 York City 2 Boro can afford themselves some breathing space by beating play-off rivals Exeter City this Saturday.The sixth-placed Grecians travel to Broadhall Way for a Setanta Sports televised clash (5.15pm ko). Boss Peter Taylor said: “It’s a huge game against one of the best teams

Stevenage Boro 3 York City 2

Boro can afford themselves some breathing space by beating play-off rivals Exeter City this Saturday.

The sixth-placed Grecians travel to Broadhall Way for a Setanta Sports televised clash (5.15pm ko).

Boss Peter Taylor said: “It’s a huge game against one of the best teams around the play-offs.”

Boro moved back up to third after a rollercoaster midweek win against the Minstermen in which the visitors twice held the lead and also scored and then missed a penalty.

Taylor was honest in his assessment following Tuesday night’s victory.

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He said: “We looked frightened in the first half and York were miles better than us.

“They’re very pressurised games and players are desperate to win.

“York deserved their first penalty but I’m not so sure about the second one.

“I was delighted with the second-half response from the players.

“The togetherness that got us the three points is the most important thing.”

Central midfielder Scott Mitchell, on an emergency loan from League Two Peterborough, made his first start for Boro.

Mitchell Cole partnered Steve Morison up front, with Gavin Grant switched to the left and Lawrie Wilson playing right midfield.

Some enterprising moves and sloppy play characterised the performance of both teams on the night.

Either side could have taken an early lead following goalmouth scrambles before left-back Fred Murray limped out of the action after quarter of an hour after turning an ankle.

Murray, who was replaced by Scott Laird, will be out for around three weeks.

The game burst into life with three goals in five minutes midway through the half.

York went ahead on 24 minutes when a lovely one-two cut open the static Boro defence and Nicky Wroe applied the neat finish.

Boro were level two minutes later as Ronnie Henry sent over an inch-perfect cross for the advancing Grant to net with aplomb.

But parity lasted barely a couple of minutes as confusion reigned.

Alan Julian spilled Stuart Elliott’s long-range shot and although the ball eventually ended up in the back of the net following a scramble, play was brought back.

Indecision was the order of the day as referee Scarr consulted both his assistants, while York put the ball down for a spot-kick.

Eventually the kick was taken and Wroe sent Julian the wrong way from the spot.

Boro could even have gone in trailing by two goals as the lively Martyn Woolford dragged a shot wide just before the break.

The home side badly needed a goal to spark them into life and it was forthcoming.

Just two minutes had elapsed when Laird’s corner was headed in by Ashley Westwood.

This was as good as it got for Boro’s central defender as he looked extremely shaky for the remainder of the match.

Woolford arrowed a shot across goal after Westwood dithered before Boro took a surprise lead just before the hour mark.

Another Henry cross, this time on the floor, found Cole who was blocked at first but then turned and fired home.

The pivotal moment of the night arrived minutes later and it again involved Westwood.

After misreading the bounce, he allowed Richard Brodie to get the wrong side of him and race through on goal.

The York man was hauled down - a penalty kick being awarded but amazingly no card for the fortunate Boro defender.

Wroe was going for his hat-trick but Julian guessed correctly this time and plunged to his left to save.

Calum Willock came on for Grant for the last 20 minutes - and showed no ill effects after the game - and Boro went close to extending their lead through Wilson, Henry and Steve Morison.

It always seemed likely that York would fashion another opportunity and it came two minutes from time.

The hosts were mightily relieved as Darren Craddock swung over a cross and former Boro man Leo Fortune West powered a header just wide of Julian’s right-hand post.

Boro: Julian 7, Mitchell 6, Murray (Laird 15m, 7), Smith 7, Westwood 5, Cole 6, Wilson 7*, Martin 7, Morison 7, Henry 6, Grant 6 (Willock 70m, 7).

Subs not used: Oliver, Molesley, Masters.

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