Match report & photos: Stevenage 1 Shrewsbury Town 0
- Credit: Archant
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Stevenage ended a four game run of defeats on home soil with a single-goal victory over Shrewsbury.
In Boro’s first success over Town in seven league outings, Darius Charles’ deflected first-half strike was the difference between the two sides.
Graham Westley, short of numbers in central midfield with Andy Bond suspended and Dean Parrett still out through injury, gave a first start to loan signing Tom Conlon who was brought in from Peterborough United this week.
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However, the Stevenage boss was dealt a further blow when Simon Walton limped off after just 15 minutes with a hamstring injury, forcing the side into a tactical switch with Connor Calcutt coming on to partner Cameron Lancaster up front with Charlie Lee dropping into midfield.
The opening exchanges were combative with few clear-cut chances, but Shrewsbury did create one decent opportunity when they broke from a Stevenage corner.
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Boro continue to persist with the corner to the far side of the 18-yard box with a player running in from deep, but it is the sort of move that requires the perfect ball and the perfect run – and not for the first time this season it did not work and the opposition almost took advantage.
Luckily for Boro, Andy Mangan curled his effort just wide of the far post from 20 yards after the visitors had counter-attacked.
Lancaster then turned and fired over from 20 yards for Boro, while Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro should have buried a strike on 32 minutes only to miss the target.
The game’s only goal came four minutes later, when a ball into the box fell to Charles and the defender’s effort took a big deflection to wrong foot Jayson Leutwiler and hit the back of the net.
At the start of the second period Calcutt was put through on goal only to force a good low save from Leutwiler, while at the other end Boro keeper Sam Beasant got down low to deny right-back Jermaine Grandison from close range with a good block.
Lee then stung the palms of the Town keeper with a shot from distance that was tipped over, but then Shrewsbury lay siege to the Boro box in the final moments helped significantly by mistakes from the home side.
Ronnie Henry was robbed of the ball out right, and when the cross came in James Collins headed over unmarked, while Beasant fluffed a kick that went straight to the opposition but Shrewsbury failed to take advantage.
There were further chances for the visitors, who also thought that Charles had fouled Mangan in the box in one attack, while in the last chance of the game Grandison, the visitors’ best player, headed down for Akpa-Akpro who fired over while sliding in from an acute angle.
Stevenage: Beasant, Charles, Dembele, Wells, Henry, Pett (Deacon 84), Walton (Calcutt 15), Conlon, Whelpdale, Lee, Lancaster (Marriott 46). Subs: Day, Richens, Ashton, Beardsley.
Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Grandison, Woods, Ellis, Goldson, Wesolowski, Mangan, Knight-Percival, Clark (Vernon 62), Akpa-akpro. Subs: Halstead, Demetriou, Vincent, Lawrence, Wildig, Griffith.