Sensational Kiwomya puts Stevenage to the sword

Alex Kiwomya fires past Jamie Jones. Photo: Alan Millard

Alex Kiwomya fires past Jamie Jones. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage fell to a 2-1 home defeat as their League Two campaign kicked off in disappointing fashion against Crewe Alexandra.

Jobi McAnuff comes under pressure. Photo: Alan Millard

Jobi McAnuff comes under pressure. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll’s men were hit by two fantastic goals in a match defined by the substitutions made by Crewe midway through the second half, with Boro’s changes unable to respond.

Crewe took the lead with a moment of magic from Chelsea loanee Alex Kiwomya just two minutes after he arrived on the pitch when he played a pass with such exquisite judgement that it split Stevenage’s two defenders allowing Ryan Lowe, not the quickest of marksmen, to hardly break stride.

Jamie Jones sensed the danger early and made a run for Lowe, but the striker calmly slotted it beyond the Boro goalkeeper to hand the visitors the lead.

With 10 minutes remaining Kiwoyma trumped even his own earlier pass when confronted with two defenders just inside the Boro area.

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He somehow tricked his way past them with such skill as to leave them bewildered while he caressed the ball into the corner to make sure of the three points before Charlie Lee’s last-kick-of-the-game consolation.

Between the goals Jones, in the home goal, was called upon to make three terrific saves, the last of which saw him diving full-stretch to his right to keep out a shot in what was one of the best saves seen at the Lamex in recent seasons.

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That Boro had to rely upon their goalkeeper to keep them in the game showed just how disappointing Stevenage were at the back.

Sarll said afterwards that his defence had not been organised, and he was right. They also struggled with their distribution, too.

Left-back Fraser Franks was taken off late on with Andrew Fox given the chance to both attack down the left but also nullify Kiwomya’s breaks down Crewe’s right. It worked, but the damage had already been done.

It was a strange opening game. While some of the paint at the ground wasn’t quite dry and some supporters took to social media to voice their frustration about the availability of drinks at the tea bars, the one area that wasn’t supposed to be under-cooked going into the match was the team.

And yet Crewe were able to pick them off for a fully deserved three points leaving Sarll to say afterwards that Boro will have to go back to the ‘blueprint’.

That said, there were some encouraging signs. Striker Matt Godden looked lively while Tom Conlon was Boro’s best player in the first half.

He looked tremendous on the ball at times when drifting inside from the right wing, and could end up giving Sarll a welcome headache should his manager think he’s developed enough to make a central position his own this season.

Ipswich Town are up next for Boro. Mick McCarthy’s men beat Barnsley 4-2 in their league opener today. Stevenage will hope to have ironed out their issues by the time that they make the trip to Portman Road in Tuesday’s evenings EFL Cup match.

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