One win needed for Stevenage after Beardsley rescues point at Accrington
- Credit: Archant
Match report: Accrington Stanley 2 Stevenage 2
Stevenage need one win from their last two games to book their League 2 play-off place.
This draw, which was a rollercoaster of a game, leaves Boro four points clear of Luton Town, who are eighth, with just two games to go.
Graham Westley’s men will now be looking for a win at home to Carlisle United on Saturday, before they travel to Luton on the final game of the season the following weekend.
This game was manic from the first, well second, minute when a coming together between Stevenage striker Charlie Lee and Accrington’s Nicky Hunt saw the latter sent off for raising his hands.
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The home fans, and the Accrington bench, were incensed, and from then on every Boro challenge was met with calls of ‘off, off, off’ by the home supporters.
They weren’t angry for long. Twice, balls in behind Dean Wells and Andy Bond had caused Stevenage problems, and when it happened for a third time Sean Maguire was played in to put the 10-man hosts ahead.
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Five minutes later and Stevenage were back level. There was a handball in the box, by Lloyd Jones, and Simon Walton sent Scott Davies the wrong way from the spot.
Maguire and Josh Windass were the two best players on the pitch, and after the former’s shot had seen Chris Day push it out of play a throw-in came in, was passed to latter and he fired home for 2-1.
After a first-half that had included a red card, a penalty and three goals the second was quiet in comparison.
Day saved with his feet from Windass, and the home side got about Stevenage in the middle of the park.
Dean Parrett had a good chance, a shot from the edge of the box that was saved by Davies, but that aside Boro struggled to carve chances.
Piero Mingoia fired wide for the home side, who then sent Bira Dembele forward to try to force the issue.
And the centre-half did; he was the target of Bruno Andrade’s cross two minutes from time and headed down for Chris Beardsley to tap in at the far post.
Beardsley has scored on this ground before, four years ago as Boro knocked Accrington out of the play-off semi-finals, and his equaliser this weekend has edged his side closer to another shot at the play-offs this time around.
Accrington Stanley: Davies, Hunt, Atkinson, Jones, Winnard, Mingoia, Joyce, Connelly, Buxton (Liddle 90), Windass, Maguire (Gornell 76). Subs: Warner, McCartan, Naismith, Gilchrist, Barry.
Stevenage: Day, Bond (Conlon 62), Okimo, Wells, Dembele, Whelpdale (Andrade 46), Walton (Jebb 78), Parrett, Pett, Lee, Beardsley. Subs: Beasant, Worley, Ashton, Millard.
Att: 1,351 (132 away)