Terrific Tansey free-kick sees Stevenage defeat Scunthorpe United
GREG Tansey’s superb second half free-kick earned Stevenage a 1-0 win against Scunthorpe United at The Lamex this afternoon (Saturday).
Boro secured their second home win of the season to remain unbeaten in League 1 and stay second in the table behind leaders Tranmere Rovers.
Team news at the start of the afternoon saw Steve Arnold keep his place between the sticks after making his league debut for Boro in the 2-1 midweek triumph at Notts County.
James Dunne slotted in at right-back for the suspended David Gray and Robin Shroot was rewarded with a start after coming off the bench to hit the winner against County.
Not for the first time this season Boro started the game slowly, with their opponents forcing a couple of early corners which they dealt with comfortably.
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Stevenage’s only real chance of a tepid first half came on 20 minutes.
Filipe Morais saw a gap on the left flank and motored into it.
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His centre was cleared to the edge of the box by United where Tansey was lurking and he saw his arrowed effort come back off the crossbar.
Immediately at the other end Mark Duffy fired over Arnold’s bar after a free-kick from the right was cleared to him on the edge.
As both sides huffed and puffed Marcus Haber’s cross from the left failed to find Shroot, who was in space in the box, but the Canadian’s delivery was too close to keeper Sam Slocombe.
Soon after there was more good work from Haber down the left until he was held by full-back Christian Ribeiro who gave away a free-kick on 33 minutes.
Tansey’s following deflected set-piece was hacked away from in front of his own goal by The Iron’s skipper David Mirfin.
Both sides used their big men up front with Haber working hard for the hosts and Leon Clarke battling away for Scunthorpe.
As the half came towards an end Tansey’s drilled right flank cross was held by Slocombe after he received the ball from Morais, who had switched from the left to right wing.
Scunthorpe, who had tried their luck from distance without troubling Arnold, had a great opportunity after a Miguel Comminges foul on the right edge of Boro’s box.
The full-back was booked for his misdemeanour.
He was not further punished however, as Duffy’s woeful kick, which summed up the opening half, hit Akins and was cleared for a corner.
Boro started the second period at a much higher tempo with Akins forcing an early corner, which came to nothing, and Shroot smashing a fierce 30-yard drive goalwards that was turned away by the diving Slocombe.
For Scunthorpe, Tom Newey sent in a deep cross from the left which Duffy met full on the volley, but Darius Charles was there to block what would have been a real tester for Arnold.
The keeper was then called into action as Clarke played the ball out to the left for Jimmy Ryan who advanced and shot low at goal, Arnold was there to collect at his right hand post on 55 minutes.
As Boro looked to break the deadlock Charles headed off target from Tansey’s right flank free-kick on 62 minutes.
A driving run from Akins to the edge of the box saw him lay the ball to his left for Morais who sent a shot at goal from 20 yards straight down the middle to the grateful Slocombe.
Duffy looked like the most likely player to create an opening for the away side and he teed up Mike Grella whose cross failed to find an attacker.
A much more entertaining second period continued with Haber’s run and cross which looked to have hit the hand of Niall Canavan, play continued though and the ball fell to Akins who had shot deflected wide.
Clarke got his first real chance of the day as he broke through the Boro back-line only for his attempt to be turned round the post by Arnold.
The deciding moment of the match came as Ribeiro bundled over Grant who was chasing Akins ball over the top, with the full-back booked.
Tansey’s right-footed free-kick from 30 yards was sent curling into the top left corner to break the deadlock on 75 minutes.
With their tails up Boro went in search of their second of the afternoon.
Grant was fouled again 30 yards from goal just minutes later, this time Tansey’s set-piece took a nick off the wall and was collected by Slocombe.
With three minutes left Akins went to ground between two Scunthorpe defenders looking for a penalty, but, rightly, nothing was given.
Scunthorpe’s best chance of a leveller fell to the impressive Duffy whose drive was parried by Arnold with his team-mates unable to snap up the ball before it was cleared.
In added on time United secured a late corner, but Josh Walker’s set piece came to nothing.
With the visitors pushing for the equaliser Luke Freeman, a 70th minute substitute, cleared to Haber.
He held up the ball on halfway and sent Freeman away in the clear, but his attempted lob was too high over Slocombe’s goal.
The final whistle sounded to the delight of the home crowd of 2,953 who celebrated their second home triumph of the Division 1 campaign.
Stevenage: Arnold, Charles, Tansey, Dunne, Haber, Morais (Freeman 70mins), Akins, Roberts, Comminges, Risser (Grant 58mins), Shroot (N’Gala 90mins).
Unused subs: Day, Ball, Rogers, Lopez.
Scunthorpe Utd: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Walker, Mirfin, Ryan (Sedgwick 72mins), Clarke, Grella, Gibbons, Canavan, Duffy, Newey.
Unused subs: Kennedy, Reid, Barcham, Jennings, Severn, Keegan.