Boro lose opening day at Altrincham

Altrincham 2 Stevenage Boro 1 MARK VENABLES reports Defeat is not something that Stevenage Boro manager Mark Stimson is accustomed to, and it is certainly not something that he will accept. Last season it was mid November before his Grays Athletic side f

Altrincham 2 Stevenage Boro 1

MARK VENABLES reports

Defeat is not something that Stevenage Boro manager Mark Stimson is accustomed to, and it is certainly not something that he will accept.

Last season it was mid November before his Grays Athletic side first sampled the bitter taste of defeat.

But this time around his new charges fell at the first hurdle at Moss Lane on Saturday against relegation favourites Altrincham.

It was a tale of poor defending and unproductive finishing as Boro fell to an opening day defeat.

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But it was not all despair, however, as excellent performances from Craig Dobson, Barry Fuller and in particular, Adam Miller, gave the travelling faithful heart for the long season ahead.

Stevenage fell behind to two sloppy first-half goals and although George Boyd pulled one back early in the second-half, their late onslaught failed to rescue a point from the long trip North.

It is seven years since Boro triumphed on the road on opening day - ironically at Altrincham.

The early indications were good on Saturday with the visiting team carving out three presentable opportunities in an enterprising opening 10 minutes; Darryn Stamp and Tony Thorpe the guilty pair.

"To lose the game was disappointing - whether it was the first or last game of the season - because I am not used to losing," said Stimson.

"I don't like it, in fact I hate it, and it spoiled my weekend, because all I live for is results.

"That is what the players have got to take on board, they have to realise that is the most important thing."

The profligacy in front of goal was punished after 14 minutes when from a Robbie Lawton corner Ronnie Henry lost the dangerous Colin Little at the far post allowing the striker to volley venomously into the roof of the net from eight yards.

Henry was also at fault for the home side's second goal six minutes before the interval, when he was robbed by the corner flag by Joe O'Neil, whose charge into the penalty area was halted by a flailing leg of Luke Oliver.

Steve Aspinall sent Danny Potter the wrong way with the penalty kick.

"For the first goal we switched off and allowed Little to get a free volley and for the second goal there is only one place that the ball should have ended up and that should have been on the M6!" added Stimson.

"We tried to be clever and we got punished, and we cannot do that there, you have got to play the percentages."

Boro were fortunate not to fall further behind shortly after the interval when Robbie Peyton's 18-yard drive struck the post.

They rode their luck five minutes later when Thorpe appeared to juggle the ball as he chased towards goal but Boyd ignored the protests to fire home from close range.

Despite a late rally in which Jon Nurse and Boyd missed simple close range efforts, and Miller had a stinging free-kick palmed onto the crossbar, there was to be no reprieve for Boro and the new era at the club ended in defeat.