REPORT: Stevenage 1 Shrewsbury Town 1
Charles on target as Boro make it four games unbeaten in League 1
Stevenage 1 Shrewsbury Town 1
npower League 1
A WONDERFUL finish from Darius Charles earned Stevenage a share of the spoils as they made it four games unbeaten in League 1.
Gary Smith had spoken midweek about the desire for his side to get their first league home win of the season following the opening day draw here with Carlisle, but it was Shrewsbury who had the better of the chances to take all three points.
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The visitors took the lead through Paul Parry who fired home after Chris Day had saved a Matt Richards free-kick only to direct the ball into the path of the Parry, but Boro were level when Charles ran half the length of the pitch before cutting inside and firing past Chris Weale.
Stevenage made three signings on transfer deadline day (Friday) but only one, Patrick Agyemang, featured, with the striker starting the game on the bench.
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Yet it was the home side who made the best start, scoring after just four minutes, when Richards’ curling free-kick was pushed by Day, low to his left, into the path of Parry who fired home and above the goalkeeper.
In fact most of the early play came from the visitors with Terry Gornell heading just wide while another chance was blazed over the crossbar within the first 10 minutes.
It was a slow start from Boro, but they almost drew level when Mark Roberts directed a Greg Tansey corner towards goal only for the ball to hit the post, ricochet onto the head of Richards, who was stood on the line, and bounce clear.
It was not long before Stevenage did score, and it came from the right boot of Charles.
The left-back was already having a fine game when he picked up a pass from Roberts on the halfway line and ran towards goal before, cutting onto his right, whipping his effort past Weale from the edge of the box.
Stevenage made two changes early in the second half with Filipe Morais coming on for the injured Tansey (jaw) while Agyemang also made an appearance, coming on for Robbie Rogers, who is currently on loan from Leeds United.
By that time Shrewsbury’s Richards had already tested Day with a free-kick that the goalkeeper, unsighted, pushed the ball out for corner.
The visitors did go close with probably their best opportunity for a second goal with 11 minutes remaining, but they were denied by, in turn, Day and then the woodwork.
Town substitute Tom Bradshaw sent a deep cross over to Parry at the far post only for the striker to head the ball straight at Day before it bounced off the same strip of post that Roberts had earlier hit and Boro were able to clear.
Marvin Morgan also had an opportunity for the visitors, but he could only head over from eight yards when unmarked in the Stevenage box.
At the other end Agyemang set up David Gray but the full-back’s shot from just inside the area was blocked.
The away side pressed but were unable to add to their goal while Stevenage, although not pleased with just a point, will be happy at the way they held on and kept their visitors at bay in the final moments.
Stevenage: Day 5, Gray 7, Charles 7, Roberts 6, Ashton 6, Dunne 6, Grant 5, Freeman 6 (Shroot 77), Tansey 6 (Morais 57, 6), Akins 5, Rogers 6 (Agyemang 60, 6). Subs: Arnold, N’Gala, Cominges, Thalassitis.
Shrewsbury Town: Weale 6, Grandison 5, Summerfield 6, Jones 6, Purdie 6, Wright 6, Richards 7, Morgan 6, Hazell 6, Parry 7, Gornell 6 (Bradshaw 77). Subs: Anyon, Jacobson, Hall, Wildig, Goldson, Taylor.
Referee: D Whitestone.