Teddy Sheringham gets his first win as Stevenage boss
- Credit: Archant
Match report: Stevenage v Hartlepool United
Fraser Franks and Brett Williams handed Boro all three points against an in–form Hartlepool.
In many ways it was a huge win for the club. Not just because it is manager Teddy Sheringham’s first in charge, but also because it’s Stevenage’s first victory in seven matches leading back to April’s 1-0 success over Carlisle United.
And not only did it come against one of the division’s form teams, with three wins from three so far, but against a resurgent Hartlepool side that avoided relegation last season it came from a Boro team that contained four teenagers in the starting XI.
Stevenage made three changes from the side that lost at Leyton Orient midweek, with Tom Pett and Jerome Okimo dropped to the bench while Dean Parrett missed out through injury.
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In came 19-year-old Rohdell Gordon for just his second start for the club, and his first since April 2014, while Dale Gorman, also 19, was given his first professional start in midfield. On-loan Spurs youngster Connor Ogilvie, the same age, was also drafted into the defence at left-back while fellow teenager Dipo Akinyemi started up top.
But what they lacked in experience Boro’s young line-up made up for in enthusiasm and they had three early chances in which to take the lead.
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First, Franks set up Charlie Lee who scuffed his shot just wide. Then, Gordon played in Gorman in the box and his shot from 16 yards was deflected away off target. Gorman then hit a powerful shot off target from 25 yards.
Hartlepool, though, are a team on the up and they were soon back at Boro.
First, Rakish Bingham stung the palms of Chris Day with a neat turn and shot in the box. Then, former Grimsby midfielder Carl Magnay eased the ball on to his right only to curl his shot over the bar.
It was Stevenage, though, who went in the happier of the two sides, and that was because they took the lead just before the break.
They were awarded a corner in first-half injury time, and Steven Schumacher’s ball in was met by the head of Franks, and he directed it into the corner.
For the first 15 or so minutes of the second half, Boro’s goal remained untroubled. Further upfield they brought on Chris Whelpdale, for his first action of the season, in place of the injured Gordon, while Tom Pett’s introduction came in place of Akinyemi.
It was a Hartlepool substitute, Rhys Oates, who set pulses racing however when he was sent through on goal with 20 minutes remaining.
With Boro’s defence failing to get close to him, the striker was left with only Day to beat but the Stevenage keeper was quickly off his line and got down low to make the block.
There was also an expected, and sustained, assault on Boro’s box in the final 10 minutes, but for all of their possession the visitors rarely troubled the home goal despite a late shout for a penalty went Dean Wells went down to block a shot from Bingham and appeared to touch the ball with his arm.
In fact, the only goal action came at the other end and when Williams was played in behind the Hartlepool defence he lifted his shot over the onrushing Adam Bartlett to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Stevenage: Day, Franks, Wells, Hughes, Ogilvie, Gordon (Whelpdale 63), Schumacher, Gorman, Lee (Hitchcock 83), Akinyemi (Pett 71), Williams. Subs: Kettings, Okimo, Casey, Conlon.
Hartlepool: Bartlett, Magnay, Carroll, Harrison, Bates (Boyce 19), Bingham, Paynter, Woods (Nelson-Addy 72), Featherstone, Fenwick (Oates 61), Duckworth. Subs: Denton, Walker, Jones, Smith.