GALLERY: Boro rue missed chances
Stevenage fire a blank in draw with Chesterfield
Stevenage 0 Chesterfield 0
FOR the second time this season the team leading the rest in League 2 visited Stevenage only to be thwarted by a fine defensive display.
It was not so much Stevenage defending well under pressure, it was more that the hosts were collectively quicker to the ball, and when you time your interceptions well you can break up play and often use the ball to your own advantage.
Stevenage did this time and again with the backline reading the play and getting in their tackles well, and as such they were able to fend off League 2’s most potent attacking force.
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It was at the other end where some poor finishing again cost them a winner as Boro wasted good opportunities with Michael Bostwick sending a header wide from eight yards and Chris Holroyd mistiming a header in the box.
Lively debutant James O’Shea was a constant menace cutting in from the left, and the right-footer had Boro’s best chance when he ran on to a Holroyd mis-kick to shoot low from the edge of the box only to see Spireites stopper Tommy Lee get down low to palm the ball wide.
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Boro began the game with one change, O’Shea in for Winn on the left and as is custom for Graham Westley’s side they broke forward straight from kick off only for Scott Laird to struggle to get a shot at goal with Lee pouncing in the box.
There were few chances in the opening 20 minutes but midway through the half Lawrie Wilson ran on to a ball down the right and hooked a cross in from the byline to the waiting Holroyd.
The striker had anticipated Wilson’s cross quicker than his marker and with the extra yard advantage managed to beat the defender to the header.
This was little purchase on it, however, and the ball hit a defender and was subsequently hoofed clear.
Boro were beginning to pass the ball around Chesterfield’s players with O’Shea seeing much of it, and on a number of occasions the winger, on loan from Birmingham City, danced around defenders almost at will.
After Holroyd’s earlier miss, Bostwick was the next to try his luck but his header went wide of Lee’s goal and he was left thumping the floor in frustration.
With O’Shea supplying the trickery on the left and Wilson the crosses on the right, Boro were looking good for a goal.
Wilson crossed for Holroyd who fired over on the volley before Laird, attacking into the box on the left, fired low at Lee who held on to the ball.
Boro were looking the most likely and they went close again through O’Shea.
Stacy Long collected the ball on the left of midfield and fed it to Holroyd who turned and saw his shot blocked on the edge of the box. The ball fell to Long who threaded it through to the on-running O’Shea and the wide man’s effort was low and hard but Lee was equal to it and pushed it out.
It was the best chance of the first half but Boro would come to regret not taking one of their many chances as in the second half the visitors put up more of a battle.
Bostwick had Boro’s best chance of the second period when a long-range effort was tipped over by Lee, but Chesterfield could have snatched all three point but for another poor header, this time from in-form Craig Davies.
The ball was whipped in from the right foot of Drew Talbot and Davies, sneaking in behind Jon Ashton, sent a diving header wide of Boro’s goal from just six yards.
Ben May came on for his second appearance for Boro with eight minutes to go for O’Shea, who left to a standing ovation, but neither May or his teammates were able to carve out any more opportunities.
With a trip to Barnet tomorrow (Tuesday) night Boro have a chance to put their run of consecutive goalless draws behind them but to do that they will need to find their shooting boots.
Stevenage (4-5-1): Day, Henry, Laird, Roberts, Ashton, Wilson, Mousinho, Bostwick, O’Shea (May, 82), Long (Winn, 82), Holroyd. Subs not used: Bayes, Foster, Charles, Bridges, Odubade.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee, Ford, Griffiths, Hunt, Mattis, Talbot, Allott, Niven, Whitaker, Davies, Bowery (Lester, 68). Subs not used: Redmond, Robertson, Breckin, Morris, Gray, Boden.
Referee: Danny McDermid.
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