Stevenage moved back into second place in League after the nemesis of Crewe Alexandra struck again.

Jamie Reid had scored two at Gresty Road in September as Boro won 2-1.

He arrived on the pitch with 75 minutes to go in this one and four minutes later a low shot from the right-hand side clipped off a defender and broke Alex's brave resistance for a 1-0 win.

It was a deserved victory but it didn't seem like it was ever going to come until Reid's vital intervention.

It means Stevenage are two points above Carlisle now, as their game in hand disappears, but it also raises the importance of Saturday's trip to Cumbria that bit further.

There was perhaps no surprise that Steve Evans went with an unchanged side after the win over Walsall on Saturday.

In fact the only change from that time came on the bench, Luther James-Wildin replacing Daryl Horgan.

The first half was noticeable for one thing, zero shots.

Boro had more of the possession, more of the territory but didn't have one shot, either on or off target.

Their play was way too predictable and Crewe defended with ease.

It wasn't much better at the other end but Alex did at least have one effort that counted as a shot, Rio Adebisi's header well off target.

There was a substitution for Crewe, Ryan Finnigan limping out on 24 minutes, and a number of other stoppages as players held their heads before recovering moments later.

But that was it and at half-time Stevenage needed to find a way to break the deadlock, whether that was by alternating the pace or playing more passes down the channels or better crosses.

The opening to the second period did at least feature a couple of efforts at goal, if not forcing James Beadle into any telling saves.

But as Boro pressed that little bit more, it left gaps behind them and Dan Agyei almost made them pay when he went bursting through with just Kane Smith to bet.

The Crewe man had support while the former Hitchin full-back didn't, and yet it was still Smith who came up trumps with a superb sliding block to send the shot wide of the goal.

But as the half continued, the pressure from the home side started to crank up.

Saturday's hero, Josh March, had a glorious opportunity after being found by Alex Gilbey with a clever, cushioned touch.

However, with the full game to aim at, he hit it straight at Beadle who tipped it over the top.

Luke Norris and Jordan Roberts both got clear down the left but while the former forced the keeper to beat it away, the latter didn't catch it well enough and the deflection looped up into the arms of the keeper.

But with 15 minutes to go, the Stevenage boss made his double change, putting on Reid and Danny Rose.

That did the trick and there could have been more afterwards, including a rare Michael Bostwick goal, the frame of the goal and Beadle denying him.

That would have been greedy though and the victory and three points was all that mattered.


Stevenage: McCracken, Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Taylor (Forster-Caskey 58), Norris (Rose 75), Roberts (Bostwick 82), Smith (James-Wildin 82), Gilbey, March (Jamie Reid 75).

Subs (not used): Przybek, Tomkinson.

Goals: Jamie Reid 79

Booked: Reeves 52, Rose 85


Crewe Alexandra: Beadle, Mellor, Adebisi, Offord, Ainley (Amoo 69), Agyei, O'Riordan, Finnigan (Thomas 24), Nevitt (Baker-Richardson 81), Uwakwe (Brook 81), Tabiner (Colkett 81).

Subs (not used): Richards, Robertson.


HT: Stevenage 0 Crewe Alexandra 0

Referee: Alan Young (Ely)

Attendance: 2,670 (including 132 from Crewe)