Match report: Stevenage 1 Burton Albion 0
- Credit: Archant
Report, photos and man of the match poll from Boro’s 1-0 victory against high-flying Brewers
How one moment can change just about everything.
With five minutes to go against the side second in the league, Boro’s Charlie Adams, on the left, sent in a cross only to watch it take a huge deflection off Burton skipper Ian Sharps and fly past keeper Jon McLaughlin to give his side the win.
Until that moment, this had been a drab encounter that Boro’s fans would have forgotten very quickly. Much like the win over Accrington Stanley last Saturday, which is another that will not live long in the memory.
And yet, from those two matches, Boro’s last two home games, Stevenage have six points.
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And yet, Graham Westley’s men have now chalked up four wins in their last five games at the Lamex.
And yet, instead of sending their supporters home bored but satisfied Boro have somehow dug something out to send them home with a renewed hope that results may start to improve.
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It was an ugly win – Westley preferred the term ‘tactical’ – but just as Burton failed to create many chances, so did the hosts.
They began the game with a winger, albeit their top scorer, Chris Whelpdale playing up front, while Chris Beardsley, a scorer midweek at Portsmouth, was replaced by Arsenal loanee Jack Jebb in the team.
There were three incidents of note in the first half.
The first involved former Stevenage player Lucas Akins who fired well off target when presented with a chance. His miss was met with loud cheers from the home fans, but more in a sense of relief than joy.
The second incident involved the player who had the most action-packed opening half - Dean Parrett.
He began the game on the right of midfield, was booked, pulled out of a tackle near the halfway line no doubt mindful that he was already on a yellow card, got up from the challenge, got into an argument with the staff on the bench and was subsequently substituted. All this in the opening 20 minutes.
His replacement, Tom Pett, then sent in a cross that flew over McLaughlin before bouncing off the top of the bar as the first-half slowly drifted to a goalless conclusion.
The game picked up a little at the start of the second half, but Burton were the instigators. Firstly Akins got in and powered a shot at Chris Day which the keeper pushed away, and then the former Stevenage winger cut inside and set up Lee Bell whose fierce drive was headed clear by Dean Wells.
For Boro, Charlie Adams went on a quick run on the right and forced McLaughlin into a save to the keeper’s right before, late on, the same player got the luckiest of breaks when his cross took a complete change of trajectory and nestled in the back of the net for a 1-0 victory.
Stevenage: Day, Ashton, Wells, Henry, Lee, Adams, McAllister, Parrett (Pett 19 [Deacon 78]), Whelpdale, Jebb (Beardsley 71), Charles. Subs: Beasant, Okimo, Conlon, Clarke.
Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Sharps, Bell (Lenihan 87), Akins, Blyth (Austin 86), McCrory, Knowles (Harness 70), McGurk, Palmer. Subs: Lyness, Weir, Slade, Doyle.