Super Kennedy strike lands Stevenage victory over Morecambe

Ben Kennedy

Ben Kennedy - Credit: Archant

Ben Kennedy’s wonder strike helped Stevenage to their first away win in the league this season.

Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley - Credit: Archant

The forward curled home from 30 yards to double Boro’s lead following Matt Godden’s first-half header, while a late Paul Mullin penalty for the hosts hit the post as Stevenage saw out a deserved 2-0 victory.

Boro had gone into the clash having not won any of their last four matches, and so a shift in formation was called upon.

Boss Darren Sarll dropped wingers Tom Pett and Andrew Fox after last week’s lacklustre attacking display against Plymouth, while Dean Wells also missed out.

Sarll opted to change from 4-3-3 by bringing in Kennedy in up front alongside Godden in a 4-4-2 formation, with Luke Wilkinson coming into the defence and Dale Gorman on the right of midfield.

Before Stevenage’s opener blows had been traded by both sides, with the hosts hitting the crossbar through Lee Molyneux. The same player then had a shot cleared off the line, but they had made the most of the referee’s decision to allow play to continue despite a foul on Ronnie Henry on the halfway line which left Boro exposed down their right.

Stevenage took the lead when Godden nodded in from Gorman’s smart cross, while both sides had claims for a penalty in the first half. Both were rejected by the referee, who also booked Stevenage winger Henry Cowans for a dive when he had gone to ground in the box after Roche had darted off his line and dived at his feet. Sarll later called the decision ‘ridiculous’, believing that his man had had to take evasive action to get out of the way of being clattered.

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Stevenage performed better after their goal, and they started well in the second period with a second looking likely.

And when it came it was a peach of a strike. It came from the left boot of Kennedy, who smartly curled home from 30 yards in a goal reminiscent of a couple he put away in training on Thursday.

Jamie Jones made a couple of smart saves in the second half, one at his near post, while Roche made a magnificent stop from a Charlie Lee header as Boro, who twice scored four against Morecambe last season, looked for a third.

They had to settle for just the two, but this was a much more satisfying performance from Sarll’s men.

They’ll be looking for similar when they welcome the only unbeaten team in the league, Carlisle United, to the Lamex on Saturday.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Barkhuizen, Molyneux (Mullin 60), Ellison, Whitmore, Fleming, Jennings (Conlan 60), Stockton, Rose (Murphy 75). Subs: McGowan, Nizic, Massanka, Yawson.

Stevenage: Jones, Ntlhe, Henry, Franks, Wilkinson, Gorman, Cowans, Lee, King, Kennedy (Hyde 83), Godden (Liburd 83). Subs: Day, Fox, Schumacher, Pett, Tonge.