REPORT: Stevenage 0 Yeovil Town 2
- Credit: Archant
Boro defeated at home as promotion hopefuls Yeovil show their class
Stevenage 0 Yeovil Town 2
npower League 1
Graham Westley tasted defeat for the first time since his return to Stevenage as Yeovil scored twice in the second-half to secure themselves a play-off place.
A precise curled effort from Sam Doley gave the visitors the lead on 53 minutes before, with just less than 10 minutes to go, James Hayter fired in his 15th league goal of the season from close range.
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Stevenage went into the game with an unchanged line-up, the first time they had done that since the home match against Portsmouth on October 23, while Yeovil made a late change with Dominic Blizzard being drafted into the starting XI in place of the injured Matt Dolan.
The Glovers had the first chance of the game but when the ball dropped to goalscoring sensation Paddy Madden the striker attempted a volley but instead executed an air-shot from eight yards and Boro cleared.
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Yeovil had the better of the early chances, and in addition to Madden’s effort Luke Ayling hit a fierce drive just wide of Steve Arnold’s post before Dan Burn and Ed Upson worked well to set up Madden only for Stevenage skipper Mark Roberts to frustrate the front man with a timely block.
For Boro there was some good movement in the final third from Filipe Morais and Dani Lopez, and it was the latter who, with his back to goal, somehow managed to tee up James Dunne for a shot only for Marek Stech to push the strike to safety.
The first-half was an entertaining one, and after Hayter had forced a good one-handed save out of Arnold Kevin Dawson’s tap-in was ruled out for offside.
Arnold’s save was good, but it was surpassed by one at the other end as when Lopez headed goalwards from Lucas Akins’ cross Stech somehow clawed the ball out of the air and out of danger.
Yeovil’s opener stemmed from a Boro mistake in the Glovers’ half. Max Ehmer had gone forward and in trying to find a teammate he gave the ball away and Yeovil broke through Dawson.
With options to his left the winger found Hayter who moved the ball on for Foley, and his curled effort beat Arnold before nestling in to the far corner.
Boro almost handed their guests a second goal not long afterwards. This time it was Anthony Grant who gave the ball away after being surrounded by three players, and when Madden was played in he found Arnold in his path and was unable to beat the Boro goalkeeper.
Yeovil scored their second of the match with 10 minutes to go. Gary Johnson’s men had the ball in the Boro box and after a couple of shots had been blocked, Hayter got some power behind his effort to strike the ball into the roof of the net.
In injury time Yeovil were reduced to 10 men when Burn, taking too long at a throw-in, was shown a second yellow card which meant that the defender, who was due to be banned for two matches following his 10th booking of the season earlier in the game, would have his suspension halved.
For Stevenage there were positives to take from the game, including a superb box-to-box performance from James Dunne, but Westley said afterwards there was a ‘vast difference in the application of the two teams’.
The Boro boss will want to see an improvement over the club’s final two matches of the season, away to Swindon Town this Saturday and then at home, on the final game of the season, to MK Dons on April 27.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Arnold 7, Gray 6, Ehmer 5, Roberts 6, N’Gala 6, Akins 5, Freeman 6, Dunne 8, Grant 6 (Hills 76), Morais 5 (Hoskins 72), Lopez 6 (Haber 63, 5). Subs: Day, Mahon, Comminges, Deacon.
Yeovil (4-4-2): Stech 7, Ayling 7, Edwards 6, Burn 3, Webster 5, Dawson 6, Foley 7, Blizzard 7, Upson 6, Hayter 8 (Hinds 89), Madden 6. Subs: McAllister, Williams, Steward, Young, Ralph.