A goal in the final minute of normal time sent Stevenage to defeat at Derby County in League One.

It was tough on Boro who had frustrated the home side for long periods and for who it seemed had got the light at the end of the tunnel in their sights.

But a low cross from the right was turned into the net by the near post by second-half substitute Louie Sibley.

It seemed to hit him more than anything else and that made it appear like an own-goal.

But it went in and left Stevenage choking on a 1-0 loss. 

There were three changes to the starting line-up after the capitulation at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.

The big change was in goal, Taye Ashby-Hammond returning in place of Craig MacGillivray while Dan Sweeney and Finley Burns made way for Luther James-Wildin and Louis Thompson.

After one point out of a possible nine, there wasn't so much of a burning need to get something from this one, but there was from a pride point of view.

And the opening 45 minutes were a case of job done.

Neither side really produced anything of note when they went forward but Boro would have been delighted with the way they were frustrating County on the odd occasion they went forward.

And it was Stevenage who had the only real efforts of the first period.

Jamie Reid nodded a makeshift and improvised cross from Carl Piergianni goalwards but always going wide of Joe Wildsmith's goal.

The next time the ball went towards goal it was off Curtis Nelson and needed Sonny Bradley to hook it away by his near post.

Something that wasn't noticed or apparent at the time but was picked up after watching the replay was it may have come off Nelson's arm. 

The fact was not many Boro players appealed for it, rather shouting hopefully to say the ball was over the line.

Jordan Roberts was not having the best of halves and sliced one horribly across the face of goal from the right.

But he did go closer when the ball fell to him on the edge of the six-yard-box,

His shot on the turn was pushed away by Wildsmith and Ryan Nyambe completed the clearance.

The second half began with the home side slightly more on the front foot but again without much to worry Ashby-Hammond.

They weren't helping themselves either, twice passing the ball out of play under zero pressure in the opening 10 minutes.

It was still scrappy though and the first change came from the Rams with Nyambe going off for Korey Smith.

It led to an improved spell for the hosts and it brought their first proper shot at goal, sliced wide of the near post by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Derby were then gifted a glorious opportunity after a rotten clearance by Dan Butler which went as far as Max Bird, still inside the box.

His curling effort though was saved at full stretch by Ashby-Hammond diving away to his right.

It appeared that would be it and Boro had done enough until the sting in the tail.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Butler, Piergianni, Forster-Caskey (Burns 73), Freeman, Roberts (White 80), Vancooten, Reid, Louis Thompson, Hemmings (Pressley 73).

Sub (not used): MacGillivray, Sweeney, MacDonald, Oliver.


Booked: Forster-Caskey 62, Ashby-Hammond 84


Derby County: Wildsmith, Wilson, Bradley, Cashin, Barkhuizen (Sibley 81), Bird, Mendez-Laing, Elder, Nyambe (Smith 63), Adams, Nelson.

Subs (not used): Loach, Hourihane, Liam Thompson, Fornah, Ward.

Goals: SIbley 90



HT: Derby County 0 Stevenage 0

Added time: 1

Referee: Tom Reeves (Coventry)

Attendance: 27,055 (including  from Stevenage)