Gor blimey! Wilkinson scores Stevenage winner at Barnet while Gorman nets first goal for club
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage won for a sixth consecutive time on the road in the league with a 2-1 victory at Barnet.
Boro moved up to ninth in the League 2 table following the success, which came courtesy of goals from Dale Gorman and Luke Wilkinson.
Gorman’s was an outstanding strike from 20 yards, his first goal for the club, but that was cancelled out by John Akinde’s penalty just a minute into the second period as the home side came out of the blocks on the front foot.
Yet it was Darren Sarll’s side who came away with all three points thanks to Wilkinson’s volley from just inside the area following a free-kick, a nice finish from a centre-half not renowned for his goalscoring achievements but who showed a classy touch to find the net.
There were five changes for Boro including a first league start of the season for striker Rowan Liburd who partnered the returning Matt Godden up front. Jamie Jones also returned to the side in goal after missing last week’s defeat at home to Blackpool.
Barnet had the first chance of note with an Elliott Johnson shot from a free-kick deflected off target while Matt Godden forced a low save out of Jamie Stephens before firing across the face of goal moments later.
Stevenage dominated the first half of the match and deservedly took the lead with just over five minutes to play.
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Godden had caused the hosts all sorts of problems in the first period, and when he picked up the ball on the edge of the Barnet box he held off a defender before laying the ball off to Gorman.
The winger didn’t even have to break stride as he approached the shot, and he bent his effort superbly just inside the right-hand post.
Barnet were back level a minute after the break from the penalty spot.
They had made two changes at the break with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Alex Nicholls introduced, but it was Akinde who made the difference.
Actually it was Fraser Franks, as he was the defender who brought down Akinde in the box after 30 seconds allowing the forward to send Jones the wrong way for 1-1.
Akinde then curled a shot from distance just over as Barnet pushed for another while Godden fired just off target after turning just inside the box.
Boro were back in front on the hour mark, and this time it was from the boot of Wilkinson.
Franks, making up for his earlier error, headed down a Steven Schumacher free-kick to his fellow centre-half, and Wilkinson fired it home.
Another outstanding moment from a defender came moments later at the other end. This time it was as Barnet attacked. Akinde had managed to stay on his feet in the box following a challenge from Kgosi Ntlhe, and when he picked out Akpa Akpro it looked like a nailed on chance to equaliser. However Ronnie Henry threw himself in front of the ball to block the shot.
With five minutes to go Michael Tonge, on for Schumacher, hit the post from a free-kick which Stephens also got a touch to while there was still time for a goalmouth scramble as Barnet threw bodies at the ball in the Stevenage area.
But Boro held on for the five added minutes at the end of the game to earn themselves another three points on the road.
They’ll now hope to repeat the trick at home against Cambridge United on Boxing Day.
Barnet: Stephens, Johnson, Dembele, Nelson, Watson (Akpa Akpro 46), Weston, Akinde, Gambin (Kyei 80), Taylor, Vilhete, Mason-Clark (Nicholls 46). Subs: Vickers, Sesay, Muggleton, Fonguck.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Ntlhe, Wilkinson, Franks, Pett, Gorman (McAnuff 84), King, Schumacher (Tonge 70), Liburd, Godden (Lee 89). Subs: Day, McKirdy, Cowans, Kerr.
Att: 3,228 (547 away)