Williams’ goal at death earns Stevenage a point at Portsmouth
- Credit: Archant
A dramatic injury time Brett Williams goal earned Stevenage a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park on boss Teddy Sheringham’s return to Portsmouth.
In the dying stages of the game, with Pompey leading 1-0 courtesy of a 76th minute strike from teenage substitute Conor Chaplin, Charlie Lee’s long throw found Williams who flicked in to stun the hosts and earn Boro a point to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
Stevenage went into the clash looking for their first away win of the season and that hunt continues, however a point will more than delight Sheringham against a side he played for under Harry Redknapp.
With Tom Conlon dropping to the bench, Steven Schumacher suspended and Chris Whelpdale out with a groin injury picked up in the weekend’s 2-1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers, manager Sheringham brought debutant Michael Tonge, Tom Pett and teenager Dipo Akinyemi into his starting XI.
The hosts started strongly with Gary Roberts bringing a first minute save from keeper Jesse Joronen.
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Just a couple of minutes later, Saturday’s surprise goalscorer tipped Rommy Boco’s 20 yard drive round his left hand post.
Stevenage enjoyed some nice passages of play as they settled into the game with Dean Parrett and Tonge looking to keep the ball and Pett looking to surge forward when possible.
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It was from wide on the right though that Pett’s tantalising cross beat home keeper Aaron McCarey, however no Boro man was able to turn it home.
The visitors kept possession from that move with Parrett then delivering for Armand Gnanduillet who nodded off target.
On 23 minutes the Pompey faithful howled for a penalty when Ben Davies went down after tangling with Akinyemi with nothing given.
Right-back Davies was in the thick of it again soon after crossing for Matt Tubbs who found space in the box to head the ball, but only glance it off target.
Boro almost gifted the home side the lead as skipper Mark Hughes slipped and let in Tubbs, the ball was played to Roberts who could only drive into the side-netting.
With the first half ending goalless, Boro started the second well taking time to build an attack which resulted in Pett slipping a ball through to Akinyemi who dragged his shot across goal and wide.
The hosts responded and Roberts’ cross-shot should have been turned in by Tubbs, but he failed to connect from close range.
Joronen was alert once more on the hour mark diving low to his left to turn behind a drive from Pompey skipper Michael Doyle.
On 70 minutes the home side brought on Chaplin for Boco and just six minutes later the youngster broke the deadlock.
Adam Webster picked out the 18-year-old substitute and his fierce drive beat Joronen at his near post.
Portsmouth went on the search for a second and had chances with Chaplin going closest with a curling effort just wide.
On 90 minutes Williams was introduced for Parrett and just three minutes later Boro launched one final attack.
And it was Williams who earned a point for his side to silence the home fans, but send the travelling support back to Hertfordshire delighted.
Stevenage: Joronen, Franks, McCombe, Hughes, Okimo, Pett, Parrett (Williams 90), Tonge, Akinyemi (Conlon 57), Kennedy (Lee 71), Gnanduillet
Subs: Day, Wells, Jebb, Loza.
Portsmouth: McCarey, Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens, Barton (Atangana 76), Doyle (c), Boco (Chaplin 70), Roberts, Bennett, Tubbs (Lavery 60).
Subs: Murphy, Clarke, Hollands, Naismith.
Referee: Andy Woolmer