MATCH REPORT: Notts County 0 Stevenage 1

James Dunne. Photo: Harry Hubbard

James Dunne. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

James Dunne fires Boro to their first victory of the season

Notts County 0

Stevenage 1

Sky Bet League 1

JAMES Dunne was the hero for Stevenage as the midfielder hit an injury-time winner to secure Boro’s first win of the League 1 season.

Robin Shroot teed up the midfielder just inside the Notts County box, and his deflected effort sent Boro into raptures leaving the home support distraught.

Stevenage gave a start to David Gray at right-back, his first involvement this season, and Roarie Deacon at left-back, his first start for the club, while up front Robin Shroot partnered Darius Charles.

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Deacon’s early forays into the County half gave Boro an attacking edge down the left, while at the back one notable headed clearance – though admittedly from a move that had begun by Deacon losing the ball – showed off the wide man’s defensive capabilities.

The first chance of note in the match came on 36 minutes, and it came from the boot of Charles. His strike partner, Shroot, picked up the ball 40 yards from goal, and after two defenders approached him he passed into space for Charles. The shot was a curling effort to Bartosz Bialkowski’s left, but it was at a good height and the goalkeeper palmed it out of harm’s way.

County, despite having plenty of corners in the half, had to wait until the 45th minute before they had their first sight on goal with McGregor firing over the bar, before Shroot did the same at the other end ahead of the half-time whistle.

Shroot was at it again within six minutes of the restart. After playing a one-two with Michael Doughty 35 yards from goal, he strode forwards and curled a decent effort just wide of Bialkowski’s far post.

Boro made a change with Simon Heslop coming on for Jimmy Smith, before Shroot had another opportunity to put his side ahead.

Charles was the provider, threading a pass through the centre-backs, and although Shroot got on the end of it, with Bialkowski approaching, the Stevenage man was tackled as he shot and his effort span wide of goal.

Both teams made a change with 20 minutes to go with Boro replacing Luke Freeman with Oumare Tounkara and County Joss Labadie with Jeremy Balmy, but it was Dunne who made the difference.

A ball up the left flank saw Shroot get in behind the County defence, and when he squared the ball to Dunne the midfielder made no mistake to earn his side all three points.

Next up for Boro is a date with Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Notts County: Bialkowski, Dumbuya, Liddle, Smith, McGregor, Bell (Nangle 87), Coombes, Arquin, Labadie (Balmy 72), Fotheringham, Tempest. Subs: Spiess, Waite, Campbell-Ryce, Thompson, Boucaud.

Stevenage: Day, Deacon, Gray, Ashton, Hartley, Dunne, Doughty, Smith (Heslop 52), Freeman (Tounkara 72), Shroot, Charles. Subs: Arnold, Jones, Burrow, Heslop, Tansey, Lopez.

Ref: Trevor Kettle