Roberts hits late winner
Altrincham 1 Stevenage Borough 2 Stevenage Boro continued their fine run of form at Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon as a last-gasp Mark Roberts strike secured all three points. Boro were not at their best but once again showed their resilience as they f
Altrincham 1 Stevenage Borough 2
Stevenage Boro continued their fine run of form at Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon as a last-gasp Mark Roberts strike secured all three points.
Boro were not at their best but once again showed their resilience as they fought back from a goal behind to win their 10th match on the bounce.
There were some changes from the team that beat Woking in midweek. Chris Day returned to the starting XI as Ashley Bayes was unfortunate to be relegated to the bench.
Jon Ashton made his first start in a Boro shirt as Michael Bostwick moved back into a midfield position. Mark Albrighton started at centre half in place of Bostwick.
Boro certainly started the game better than Altrincham. David Bridges saw yet another of his headers turned away by Stuart Coburn. It didn't take long for Altrincham to settle though and when they did Borough were firmly on the back foot.
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First came a free kick from the edge of the area which Day saved and Roberts cleared from the area. Then Day was the hero again as he turned another shot wide.
Altrincham made the breakthrough after Colin Little was brought down by Roberts inside the area. Little brushed himself down and, although he fluffed his shot, it was enough to defeat Day from 12 yards.
The goal gave Altrincham added impetus. Dale Johnson saw his shot palmed away amazingly before Day turned Chris Senior's shot over the bar as it seemed to be dipping into the goal.
Johnson came close again from a corner before half time, but once again Day turned the ball wide.
The second half gave Boro the chance to show more of themselves. Mitchell Cole came close to converting before Stevenage were denied a penalty as Steve Morison's shot was blocked but the referee waved away appeals for handball.
Boro finally drew level thanks to a looping header from Andy Drury. Scott Laird's free kick was only cleared as far as the midfielder, whose header evaded three defenders and into the top corner.
Bostwick and Peter Vincenti both saw their headers saved by Coburn as Boro continued to pile on as much pressure as they could muster. Morison connected to Drury's free kick, but could only head over the bar.
Boro entered stoppage time hoping they could steal the win. Just a minute into the remainder of the match Roberts swung his right boot to gift Stevenage the three points from the edge of the area. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and it more than made up for his earlier mistake.
So Boro made it 17 games unbeaten as they escaped to victory. It may have been a difficult game, but Stevenage showed their tough side as they showed an immense amount of tenacity to win this tricky encounter. Boro can be pleased with the result, and will hope they continue this form into a new month.
Boro (4-4-2) C Day 7, M Albrighton 6 (Sub: P Vincenti, 71 mins 6), J Ashton 7 (Sub: L Wilson 36 mins 6), M Roberts 7*, S Laird 7, A Drury 7, M Bostwick 7, D Bridges 6, M Cole 6, S Morison 6, L Boylan 6 (Sub: C Willock, 90 mins)