REPORT: Stevenage 1 Carlisle United 1
Boro begin new season with a point at home to Carlisle
Carlisle United 1
npower League 1
Robin Shroot earned Stevenage a point on the opening weekend of the League 1 season with a late equaliser against Carlisle.
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Boro had fallen behind in the second half of what was a rather tough game both on the eye and no doubt on the field of play, too, because of the stifling heat.
The temperatures were so high that, on two occasions, the referee stopped the game for players and officials to take on fluids.
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The breaks in play did not have a detrimental impact on the flow of the game itself, which stuttered along, at times, at a pedestrian pace.
There were glimpses of good, attacking play from Boro’s Luke Freeman and Carlisle substitute Danny Cadamarteri, but these moments were few and far between.
After a dominant display midweek against AFC Wimbledon, Boro were hopeful of a similarly confident start here but it was the visitors who had the best of the early exchanges.
There was an early scare for Stevenage as James Dunne, so impressive on the ball against Wimbledon, gave possession away cheaply on the edge of his own area and Liam Noble drilled his shot just wide of Chris Day’s goal from 20 yards.
Boro slowly played their way back into the game with Marcus Haber, who is by early sightings much more than a target man, dragging the Carlisle backline too and fro with his movement.
The Canadian striker went close to opening the scoring on the half-hour mark. He picked a Freeman ball up on the right, beat his man, took the ball into the box where he passed another defender before shooting from a tight angle into Adam Collin’s side netting.
Learning from the slow start to the first half, there was a much more positive start by Boro at the start of the second period with Mark Roberts twice going close with headers, both from Freeman corners.
Yet with just under 20 minutes of the match remaining Boro were behind. A man of many clubs, Cadamarteri was snapped up by Carlisle in the summer and after coming off the bench for his first league appearance for the club the front man set up Matty Robson for 1-0.
The striker passed a ball over the Boro back line, with Boro appearing to play Robson onside. The wide man moved the ball into the box before firing past Day and inside the far post.
Boro struggled to find a way back into the match with very little support in the final third for Haber, until Shroot came on.
The winger has been in fine goalscoring form pre-season, and he didn’t disappoint here.
Lucas Akins, a summer signing from Tranmere Rovers, fired a shot at goal which Collin was unable to hold on to and Shroot, the predator, was there to finish from close range for 1-1 to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Stevenage (4-2-3-1): Day 6, Charles 6, Gray 6, N’Gala 6, Roberts 6, Grant 6, Dunne 6, Freeman 6, Morais 6 (Shroot 79), Tansey 6 (Akins 65, 6), Haber 7 (Thalassitis 90). Subs: Arnold, Ashton, Furlonge, Ball.
Carlisle (4-3-3): Collin 6, Edwards 6, Livesey 6, McGovern 6, Bugno 6, Thirwell 6, Noble 6, Berrett 6, Robson 6, Potts 6 (Simek 90), Miller 5 (Cadamateri 57, 7). Subs: Murphy, Beck, Syminton, Gillespie, Chantler.