Stevenage goalkeeper scores freak long-range goal to help team to all three points against Wycombe

Jesse Joronen is congratulated after scoring for Stevenage

Jesse Joronen is congratulated after scoring for Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Match report & photos: Stevenage 2 Wycombe Wanderers 1

Stevenage goalkeeper Jesse Joronen scored a freak long-range goal to help his side to their first win in all competitions for six weeks.

The on-loan Fulham man, who has just returned from international duty with Finland, had Boro’s fans in raptures when his hefty 80-yard first-half clearance bounced over the head of Wycombe goalkeeper Matt Ingram and into the net.

Armand Gnanduillet also scored as the hosts took a 2-0 lead against Gareth Ainsworth’s promotion hopefuls, before a late Max Kretzschmar header gave Wycombe a lifeline, but it was Joronen’s goal that will live long in the memory.

In what had been a regulation clearance for the Stevenage goalkeeper, he smacked the ball upfield where it bounced in front and then over Ingram and into the back of the net in one of those stunning, mouth-open-wide moments.

Ingram looked aghast, but at the other end of the pitch Stevenage’s players all ran towards their Finnish goalkeeper who seemed to stand there in as much disbelief as his opposite number.

And he has every right to as well, as not since Des Gallagher in 1987 against Billericay has a goalkeeper found the net for Stevenage.

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The closest the first half came to another goal was when Boro’s Jerome Okimo strode up the pitch on the left, cut inside into the box and picked out Gnanduillet with a delicate chip. The striker, who had been a real handful for much of the first half, had to adjust his body shape and somehow managed to head onto the bar from 12 yards.

Just 10 minutes into the second half and Boro almost had a second. Dean Parrett was found in the box and the former Spurs man headed towards goal, only for Wycombe to clear it off their line.

And then Steven Schumacher produced an outstanding last-gasp challenge to nick the ball off the head of Kretzschmar with the Wycombe man diving in at the far post trying to get on the end of a Garry Thompson cross from the left.

With just a single-goal advantage Stevenage could not rest easily, and in recent weeks they would have crumbled under the pressure.

But something seems to have changed – the late goal at Exeter, perhaps – and Boro scored again as they looked to put the game beyond doubt.

Ahead of today five out of Boro’s last six goals had come from set pieces. And when Parrett picked out Gnanduillet with a corner that figure rose to six out of eight.

However, all was not over and substitute Michael Harriman picked out Kretzschmar at the far post where the midfielder nodded in a simple goal to give the visitors some hope.

But although they had hope, they had no other goals in them and Boro were able to hold on for a much-needed victory.

Stevenage: Joronen, Okimo, McCombe, Hughes, Franks, Whelpdale (Pett 24), Conlon, Schumacher, Parrett, Kennedy (Williams 66), Gnanduillet. Subs: Day, Jebb, Loza, Kerr, Smyth.

Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson, Pierre, Thompson, Bean (Sellers 77), Bloomfield (Harriman 66), Kretzschmar, O’Nien, McCarthy, Ugwu (Amadi-Holloway 66). Subs: Lynch, McGinn, Rowe.

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