Stevenage v Accrington Stanley (preview)

Boro looking to edge closer to League 2 play-off places

Stevenage v Accrington Stanley

npower League 2

Saturday, February 5

Last time they met

Stevenage travelled up to Accrington in November but Sean McConville’s 67th minute goal gave the home side all three points.

Lawrie Wilson and Jay O’Shea went close for Stevenage and Chris Holroyd had a goal chalked off, but Accrington could have added a second themselves only for Andy Parkinson to hit his fierce shot narrowly wide in the dying minutes.

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Boro line-up: Day, Wilson, Charles, Foster (Bridges, 79), Roberts, Henry, Mousinho (May, 85), O’Shea, Bostwick, Holroyd, Beardsley (Odubade, 79). Subs: Bayes, Laird, Long, Dixon.

This time around

Stevenage face their fourth consecutive home game with the visit of Accrington on Saturday, and they have taken seven points from the previous home games.

Boro remain seven points off the play-off places, albeit with two games in hand on seventh-place Crewe Alexandra, and they continue to have the best defensive record in the league having conceded just 22 times in 25 games.

Accrington, who are three places and two points behind Boro, have drawn more than half of their away games this season (seven from 13) but have only kept one clean sheet in their past nine games.

Team news

Boro could give a debut to record signing Craig Reid who joined on Monday from Newport County. Reid was in the crowd to watch his new teammates play out a 2-2 draw with Gillingham on Tuesday evening.

If Reid does start, than manager Graham Westley must decide on whether to play him instead of regular striker Chris Beardsley or the in-form Byron Harrison who has hit three goals in his last two league games. Alternatively, Boro could begin the game with three up front which they did numerous times last season.

Michael Bostwick is likely to return to the starting line-up and John Mousinho could feature but Stacy Long, who returned from injury to take a place on the bench against the Gills, may have to settle for a place on the bench again this weekend.

For Accrington, Joe Jacobson and Ian Craney could both feature. Defender Jacobson and midfielder Craney both signed for the club on transfer deadline day on Monday but neither made the squad for the 1-1 draw with Morecambe on Tuesday evening.

Boro (possible 4-4-2 line-up): Day, Charles, Ashton, Roberts, Henry, Laird, Bostwick, Sinclair, Wilson, Reid, Harrison.