Stevenage 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage moved to within a point of the League 2 play-off places with a fourth win in five games.
Simon Walton’s second-half penalty moved Graham Westley’s side up to eighth in the table after Wimbledon’s George Francombe had earlier cancelled out Tom Pett’s opener.
It was a deserved victory against an AFC side that battled hard but were short of quality in the final third, a result, perhaps, of the departure of striker Matt Tubbs following the end of his loan spell.
In their team was Adebayo Akinfenwa, in the news earlier in the week for his exploits against Liverpool, but as he was shackled by Darius Charles in a man of the match performance, Neal Ardley’s men struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Stevenage had already gone close twice before they took the lead; Chris Beardsley had stooped low to head a Chris Whelpdale pass off target, before Whelpdale then produced a diving header which James Shea pushed over the bar.
But just after the half-hour mark Boro went ahead, and although Pett got the goal the plaudits deserve to go the way of Adam Marriott.
Collecting the ball in the box and with a handful of defenders surrounding him, the striker somehow managed to escape them, push the ball in front of him and power a shot at goal.
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It was blocked, and following up was Pett to put away the opener.
Yet the lead lasted barely two minutes, and with their only decent chance of the half AFC Wimbledon’s George Francomb curled a shot past Chris Day and inside the far post for 1-1.
Whelpdale went close again after the break with a deflected effort while Pett forced a low save out of Shea. For AFC, Akinfenwa headed over from a corner during a period of prolonged pressure.
However, with 20 minutes to go Dean Wells was felled in the box and up stepped Walton to fire home the winner and extend Boro’s unbeaten run to five matches.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Okimo, Wells, Charles, Whelpdale, Pett, Walton, Parrett, Beardsley (Zola 61), Marriott (Lee 85). Subs: Beasant, Dembele, Conlon, Deacon.
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bulman, Francomb, Rigg (Oakley 81), Kennedy, Reeves, Goodman, Oshilaja, Azeez, Akinfenwa. Subs: McDonnell, Bennett, Pell, Moore, Harrison, Fitzpatrick.