A typical end of season battle this was not but Stevenage's late winner sent Cheltenham Town down from League One.

Cheltenham needed to win and hope that one of either Cambridge United or Burton Albion lost.

It was the latter who slipped to defeat but the Robins could not find the three points at the Lamex, with Nick Freeman's 90th minute winner securing a 2-1 success for the Boro.

Stevenage finish the year in ninth, five points behind Barnsley in the last play-off place, but will now have to focus on meanwhile knew they were guaranteed a ninth-place finish no matter what.

Alex Revell went for three changes from the squad that drew with Oxford United , Dan Sweeney, Elliott List and Ben Thompson coming in for Nick Freeman, Harvey White and Jamie Reid.

If the thought was it was going to be a bit of a scrappy game, with nerves getting the best of the Robins, then that was soon forgotten.

Cheltenham could have scored twice in the opening five minutes, the first of them inside two minutes the best of those.

It came from a corner on the left and dropped to the back post, but was somehow shovelled wide.

The second was a long drive by Sean Long that was dipping but only when it went over the bar.

Matty Taylor was also off target but that came at him quick from Will Ferry's reverse pass and then Louis Thompson produced a superb block in stoppage time to deny Elliot Bonds a goal.

Stevenage were playing some decent stuff of their own but often it would fall apart just before the final ball.

They did have two chances in one move, List forcing Luke Southwood into a save from a snap drive with the keeper then getting up to block Nesta Guinness-Walker's angled follow-up.

Southwood didn't last too much longer though as he went off following an innocuous clash with Jordan Roberts, a bash to the knee ending his season early.

It brought young Jamie Pardington on for a debut and his first few touches brought huge cheers from the noisy away support.

He looked to be getting to the break with his clean sheet intact but a connection by Bonds to List sent the Boro man down and gave them a penalty.

And after a delay for a rogue beach ball, Hemmings sent the ball just to the right of the keeper and Boro into a 1-0 half-time lead.

Cheltenham's brief by this point was easy, they only had to win and after a half-time change, they got the perfect response.

Stevenage will point to the defending but Matty Taylor nipped in at the near post to head Cheltenham level.

It wasn't until the final 10 minutes that the final onslaught arrived from the visitors, Stevenage having controlled the game from the goal to that point, but it was a good one.

Craig MacGillivray first made a superb stop to deny substitute James Olayinka and then Kane Smith had to head off the line.

There were other scrambles but the gaps were appearing at the other end and after Louis Thompson had scuffed an effort, and Jordan Roberts hit the foot of a post with a deflected shot, Stevenage broke Cheltenham hearts with the winner.

It was a fine goal too, Jordan Roberts slid the ball to the edge of the box and Nick Freeman provided the first-time finish, passed into the corner.

It was tough on the Robins but a fine end to a good season for Stevenage and it almost ended in real joy.

Academy star Harrison Smith was given a debut and produced a wonderful flick over the keeper and then lob to a near empty goal.

However, the ball hit Aaron Pressley as he and a defender ran in and Smith was denied a memorable debut.

Match details

Stevenage: MacGillivray, Piergianni, Sweeney, List (Freeman 54), Roberts (Smith 90+2), Smith, Vancooten, Guinness-Walker, B.Thompson, L.Thompson, Hemmings (Pressley 68).

Sub (not used): Mitchell, Wildin, N.Thompson, White.

Goals: Hemmings (pen) 45+1, Freeman 90

Booked: Revell (bench) 45+3, Roberts 50, Pressley 71


Cheltenham Town: Southwood (Pardington 26), Long, Bradbury, Kinsella (Thomas 46), Sercombe, Taylor, Ferry (Shepherd 82), Bonds (Olayinka 68), Nuttall (Keena 68), Davies, Pett.

Subs (not used): Williams, Harrop.

Goals: Taylor 53

Booked: Nuttall 45+3, Thomas 50, Davies 77, Shepherd 84


HT: Stevenage 1 Cheltenham Town 0

Added time: 5

Referee: Lee Swabey (Plymouth)

Attendance: 5,441  (including 1,207 from Cheltenham)