Lawrie Wilson sees red as Boro beaten at Cheltenham
Stevenage huff and puff but unable to blow Town’s house down
Cheltenham Town 1 Stevenage 0
npower League 2
STEVENAGE were reduced to 10 men for the second successive game as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town.
Following Stacy Long’s dismissal last week against Crewe Lawrie Wilson will join his teammate for a spell on the sidelines after receiving two yellow cards in a game which saw Stevenage fail to turn possession and chances into goals.
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In a match reminiscent of the defeat at Bradford City earlier in the season Boro enjoyed more possession and the better chances but their hosts were the ones able to chalk a goal against their name when Wesley Thomas scored his sixth of the season on 69 minutes.
Until that point Boro had been the better side but were thwarted on two occasions by superb Scott Brown saves, while striker Charlie Griffin couldn’t believe his eyes when he was tripped in the box just after the break only for the referee to wave play on.
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Boro started well and went close to going ahead on 10 minutes when Joel Byrom forced Brown into a terrific one-handed save.
A well-worked free kick saw Ronnie Henry pass to Jon Ashton in the wall and the defender laid the ball off to Byrom whose shot from the edge of the box was palmed over the crossbar.
The move was inventive and caught everyone, but Brown, cold.
Mark Roberts went close from the resulting corner and, being unmarked, will be disappointed he didn’t make Brown work a second time.
Cheltenham’s best effort in the first half saw Danny Andrew hit a ball across the face of goal which went through Shaun Jeffers’ legs as he ran in to pounce on the ball, but Boro were on top and Ashton headed at Brown moments later from just inside the box.
The ball to Ashton was provided by Scott Laird and the full-back was again involved on 25 minutes.
This time he took the ball up the left wing, did a step-over and then flicked the ball between two defenders before running between them and into the box when he pulled the ball back for Byrom who shot over.
Wilson and Tim Sills, enjoying his first start of the season, both went close while at the other end centre-backs Roberts and Ashton, with the disciplined Michael Bostwick holding fort in front of them, were proving too strong and quick for the Cheltenham front line.
The second half was less than three minutes old when Griffin had his penalty shout. The striker ran into the box to collect an Odubade pass and as he swung his right foot rather than connecting with the ball it connected with the leg of full-back Andrew and he went down.
Griffin appealed, the Boro players appealed, but the referee and linesman were unequivocal in their decision – no penalty.
Thomas looked liveliest up front for Cheltenham and he almost teed up JJ Milligan on 51 minutes when his cross to the far post was inches in front of the sliding attacker.
The ball was then worked up the other end and Wilson hit the loose ball over before Griffin hit a left-footed effort into the stand minutes later.
Boro would come to regret their missed efforts soon afterwards when Thomas put his team ahead on 68 minutes.
Shaun Jeffers ran on to the ball on the right and dragging it inside off the byline he crossed for Thomas who nodded past Day from the six yard line.
Boro boss Westley introduced a substitute of his own in Peter Winn and the midfielder’s first touches saw him float a lovely ball into the box for Odubade.
The striker sent his header to the corner of the goal only for Brown to pull off his second superb save of the game to scoop the ball away.
Substitute Peter Vincenti hit a feeble volley wide as Boro pushed for an equaliser while at the other end Thomas ran on to a pass by Shaun Jeffers, squeezed past Henry and whacked a great effort past Day and against the crossbar.
Wilson, who received a yellow card earlier in the half for a late tackle on Andrew, then received his marching orders just before the final whistle for a shoulder barge on Thomas.
His first booking could have been a red, but his second should not have been a yellow.
The dismissal summed up another frustrating game on the road for Boro who huffed and puffed but were unable to blow the Cheltenham house down.
Cheltenham Town (4-1-2-1-2): Brown 8, Lowe 6, Elliott 7, Andrew 6, Gallinagh 6, Pook 5, Low 7, Melligan 6 (Pack, 84), Shroot 5 (Smikle 5, 60), Thomas 7, Jeffers 6 (Goulding, 90). Subs: Bird, Lloyd-Weston, Watkins, Lewis.
Stevenage (4-3-3): Day 6, Henry 6, Laird 7, Roberts 7, Ashton 7, Bostwick 8, Byrom 6 (Sinclair, 79), Wilson 6, Sills 6 (Winn, 73), Odubade 5 (Vincenti, 81), Griffin 6. Subs: Bayes, Foster, Mousinho, Boylan.
Attendance: 2,805 (220 away)
Referee: C Boyeson.