Stevenage brought their 2022 fixtures to a close with a crushing victory over crisis club Crawley Town. 

The visitors had arrived in turmoil. Manager Matty Etherington and assistant Simon Davies were given the sack just over 24 hours before kick-off, ending a stay of just 32 days in West Sussex.

They had also lost striker Tom Nichols and had a much-changed squad at the Lamex, making five changes from the Boxing Day loss to Sutton United.

But goals from Jordan Roberts and a double for skipper Carl Piergianni gave Stevenage a 3-1 victory.

The reality is it should have been by more but as the halfway point of the season is reached, and Boro still second but now nine points ahead of Carlisle in fourth, the second reality is they just need to continue picking up the points.

Steve Evans went for the exact same team that drew at Leyton Orient on Tuesday, both starting and on the bench.

And they started in exactly the manner they needed to, almost scoring three in the opening six minutes.

First an Alex Gilbey volley from the edge of the box was pushed away by Ellery Balcombe and from the resultant corner, Danny Rose's volley just cleared the bar.

The best chance of the lot fell to Roberts, unmarked 12 yards out in a central position.

He took a touch but somehow pushed it wide of the target.

Crawley then got up the other end and almost scored until Luke Norris cleared it off the line.

But it was while the visitors were attacking that Boro opened the scoring, and this time Roberts made no mistake.

He had a load of work to do after getting on to Reeves ball forward just inside the away half.

He was helped by Brandon Mason's slip but still had to fend off Travis Johnson before slipping it under the keeper.

The rest of the half was mostly in the Crawley half but while Boro had chances, they never seemed to be getting out of second gear.

Piergianni headed over and Roberts got into some good positions but without testing Balcombe.

A second did arrive though before the break, Luther James-Wildin delivering a beautiful cross that the unmarked Piergianni guided in from seven yards.

The other tale of the half was the almost continuous scathing songs from the Crawley fans towards their owners.

The Reds made a change at the break to try and stem the tide, Jack Powell on for Ben Wells, and it had an effect, if not a true inspired alteration.

They did have a few chances, Nick Tsaroulla having the best of them with a fizzing drive from distance that whistled just past the post, and they got forward more than they had but a lot of it was to do with Stevenage letting them.

Boro did wrestle back most of the momentum though and after a couple of half-chances, they stuck the knife in late on, Piergianni getting his second with another header.

A foul by James-Wildin on Tsaroulla gave Crawley a penalty that Dom Telford converted with a minute to go.

It was enough to give their suffering fans something to cheer about but they left with more vitriol towards the owners.

The second half of 2022 means Stevenage now look on turmoil as a thing of the past.


Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris (Amoo 90+4), Roberts (Taylor 75), Vancooten, Gilbey (Clark 90+4), Earley, Rose (Reid 75).

Subs (not used): Chapman, Campbell, Smith.

Goals: Roberts 10, Piergianni 40, 83

Booked: Gilbey 85


Crawley Town: Balcombe, Mason (Davis 75), Ransom, Francillette, Telford, Balagizi (Khaleel 84), Wells (Powell 46), Johnson (Ogungbu 75), Tsaroulla, Fellows, Chukwuemeka (Oteh 67).

Sub (not used): Addai.

Goal: Telford (pen) 89



HT: Stevenage 2 Crawley Town 0

Referee: Robert Lewis (Shropshire)

Attendance:  ( from Crawley)