REPORT: Exeter City 1 Stevenage 1
Boro earn a point at Exeter but draw means it is now four league games without a win
Exeter City 1 Stevenage 1
npower League 1
Robin Shroot’s second goal in as many games earned Stevenage a point at Exeter but the draw means it is now four league games without a win for Gary Smith’s side.
The Boro midfielder had missed a sitter of a chance with his head just before half-time, but in the 64th minute the former Birmingham City man struck neatly past Artur Krysiak to cancel out Richard Logan’s first half opener.
This was a game Stevenage needed to win to keep their place in the League 1 play-off places, but the draw, coupled with Notts County’s 2-0 win over Carlisle United, saw them drop out of the top six and they are now two points behind the Magpies.
Although Boro already have two games in hand on the team which usurped them, the Magpies play again on Tuesday at managerless Tranmere Rovers where a win could take them five points clear of Stevenage.
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On Saturday Boro were undone by the wily Jamie Cureton. Back with The Grecians on loan, where he scored 20 goals last season before joining Leyton Orient, the veteran striker caused the visitors all sorts of problems all afternoon with his intelligent running and awareness of team-mates’ runs.
Cureton had his side’s first chance of the game when the ball dropped to him behind the Stevenage back line only to beat Day but find the crossbar before Boro were able to make the ball safe.
The home side did not have to wait long for their opener, however, and it was Logan who got it. After barging his way into the area, the front man benefitted from a Jon Ashton clearance into his face and got his foot on the bouncing ball to turn it past Day to put his side ahead.
Up front for Boro was new signing Jordan Slew, playing alongside Craig Reid, and although the on-loan Blackburn man had some good touches of the ball in the opening half, a lack of creativity in the middle of the park for Stevenage limited the amount of damage the young striker could do.
Stevenage’s best chance of the half fell to Shroot on 44 minutes. Scott Laird, playing on the left wing in front of Darius Charles, sent a decent cross into the box and just six yards out Shroot was unable to get enough of his head on the ball, and flicked it meekly past the far post.
Boro had struggled in the first half to build decent phases of play, but they applied some good pressure at the start of the second period with Reid, Mark Roberts and Laird all having shots on target without particularly testing Krysiak.
Smith then chose to bring on Myrie-Williams, and within two minutes of being on the pitch the wide man had set up Boro’s equaliser.
Beating his man for pace down the left, Myrie-Williams sent in a cross which, flicked on by a head in the box, fell to Shroot who side-footed a fine finish past Krysiak, in off the far post, to draw his team level.
Stevenage had waited for 64 minutes to get their first goal and they might have had a second just a minute later had Slew been able to beat Krysiak after a fine run which had begun in his own half.
The Grecians played their way back into the match as the half progressed with Cureton keeping both Ashton and Roberts occupied all afternoon, and the striker almost put away a winner only for Day to deny him at the far post after a free kick had been sent his way.
Exeter (4-4-2): Krysiak 6, Tully 6, Archibald-Henville 6, Sercombe 5 (Taylor 68, 6), Dunne 6 (Nardiello 89), Noble 7, O’Brien 5, Bennett 6, Coles 6, Logan 6 (Bauza 68, 5), Cureton 7. Subs: Pidgeley, O’Flynn.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Day 7, Wilson 7, Charles 6 (Myrie-Williams 63, 6), Roberts 6, Ashton 6, Laird 6, Shroot 6 (Long 78), Bostwick 6, Byrom 6, Reid 6 (May 75), Slew 6. Subs: Julian, Henry.
Att: 4437 (195)