Swaine strike sees Boro through to final
Stevenage Borough 1 (Theo Swaine 56) Leverstock Green 0 THEO Swaine s superb 30-yard strike sealed Boro s place in the Herts Senior Cup Final despite a dogged display from Spartan South Midlands opponents Leverstock Green. With fixtures starting to pile
Stevenage Borough 1 (Theo Swaine 56)
Leverstock Green 0
THEO Swaine's superb 30-yard strike sealed Boro's place in the Herts Senior Cup Final despite a dogged display from Spartan South Midlands opponents Leverstock Green.
With fixtures starting to pile up, Boro fielded a youthful team with the exception of Gary Mills, Jerome Anderson and captain-for-the-night Calum Willock, who lined up at centre half.
Stevenage were indebted to young goalkeeper Jordan Gibson early on as he produced two fine saves to deny Leverstock Green an opener.
First of all he had to react quickly to tip Marcus Gross' header over the bar with just three minutes on the clock and then five minutes later he pulled off a great point blank save to keep out Frank Jowle's volley.
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The closest Boro came to an opener was when Jowle hacked Harry Atkins' header off the line from Mills' corner and then Swaine nearly capitalised on a short back pass by Daniel Weeks but the Leverstock 'keeper Graeme Milner snuffed out the danger.
Jowle was denied again by a smart save from Gibson and the visitors felt they should have had a penalty when a cross appeared to bounce up and strike Willock's arm.
Gibson's early performance deserved a bit of luck and he got it in the 34th minute when a long throw was flicked over his head but, with the goal gaping, Leverstock captain Daniel Griggs headed over.
The first chance of the second half went the way of the Spartan South Midlands side but despite having two players free at the far post neither could connect with the ball.
Boro made the opposition pay for not taking their chances when they struck what turned out to be the winner on 56 minutes.
Gibson came and collected a Leverstock free kick and although his long clearance up field was met by a Leverstock defender he could only clear it as far as Swaine. He controlled the ball, looked up and unleashed his shot into the top corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and was the one bright spark in an otherwise dull encounter.
Only a last-ditch tackle prevented Boro from extending their lead with 13 minutes remaining. Anderson latched onto a long ball from Mills and, after turning the left back inside out, he cut the ball back for Swaine only for a Leverstock defender to nip in and steal the ball with Swaine poised to score.
The young Boro team held on to their slender advantage to secure their place in the final where they will meet Cheshunt on April 8.
Boro: Gibson, Boreland (Snell 45+2), Willock, Atkins, McDonald, Cazoubon (Loftman 78), Abiola-Daramola, Mills, Junaid, Swaine, Anderson. Subs not used: Cowell, Nwosu, Charles.
Leverstock Green: Milner, Hull, Gross, Hawes (Warysnuick 86), Weeks, Jowle, Sears (Davies 78), Welling, Griggs (Gorman 86), Armstrong, Wardle. Subs not used: Morgan, Thomas.