League Two: Cheltenham Town 0 Stevenage 1

Joe Martin. Picture: Danny Loo

Joe Martin. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Joe Martin’s late free-kick earned Stevenage victory at lowly Cheltenham and extended their unbeaten start to the season to five games.

The scoreline remained blank until the 82nd minute when Martin found the top corner to earn Darren Sarll’s men the points and keep them flying high in Sky Bet League Two.

Martin’s whipped cross just evaded Chris Whelpdale on three minutes, but the home side enjoyed some good early pressure.

Danny Newton’s header lacked power for the visitors on 12 minutes and Tom Pett fired over the crossbar soon after.

Harry Beautyman’s 25-yard effort was comfortably saved by Cheltenham keeper Scott Flinders, who also held on to a shot from Matt Godden from Whelpdale’s cross on 28 minutes.


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Some excellent play by Whelpdale led to Beautyman’s cross being deflected behind for a corner soon after and Boro had shouts for a penalty for handball turned down after Fraser Franks let fly from outside the box.

A mix-up between Franks and Joe Fryer almost gave Cheltenham an opening at the end of the first half and the hosts applied pressure in stoppage time, as the scoreline remained blank.

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The second half was only six minutes old when Whelpdale picked out Newton, but the striker headed just over.

And Newton needed treatment moments later after clashing heads with a home defender, before Taylor Moore fired over from 20 yards for Cheltenham.

Fryer did well to get down at his near post and push out another attempt on 63 minutes, before Darren Sarll sent Alex Samuel on For Whelpdale.

Harry Pell fired wide after cutting inside onto his right foot, while Joe Morrell also shot well over from outside the box.

Newton made way for Jamie Gray for the final nine minutes and Boro made the breakthrough moments later when Martin found the top corner of the net with a free-kick.

The visitors controlled play towards the end of normal time, but Cheltenham’s Kevin Dawson fired a shot into the side netting before the start of six minute of stoppage time.

Beautyman made way for Kevin Toner after going down with cramp and Boro had a chance to seal it when Gray raced through on goal, but he could not take the chance.

Pell fired a free-kick high and wide in the fifth minute, but Stevenage held on for their third win of the campaign.

Stevenage: Fryer, Henry, Franks, Wilkinson, Martin, Whelpdale (Samuel 64), Pett, Smith, Beautyman (Toner 90), Godden, Newton (Gray 81). Unused subs: Day, Vancooten, Ferry, Wilmot.

Attendance: 2,694.

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