Boro suffers fourth defeat
Tamworth 2 Stevenage Boro 1 MARK VENABLES reports Boro suffered their fourth defeat in six matches and are still left searching for their first victory after a disappointing defeat against fellow early-season strugglers Tamworth on Saturday. An own goal f
Tamworth 2 Stevenage Boro 1
MARK VENABLES reports
Boro suffered their fourth defeat in six matches and are still left searching for their first victory after a disappointing defeat against fellow early-season strugglers Tamworth on Saturday.
An own goal from John Nutter just before the interval and a powerful close-range header from Taiwo Atieno early in the second half, after Barry Fuller had needlessly conceded a free-kick wide on the right, saw Boro two goals down.
George Boyd reduced the deficit with a fine shot on the turn after excellent work and a cross from substitute Craig Dobson.
But despite Tamworth being reduced to 10 men after Alan Neilson was dismissed for a second yellow card, Boro could not force an equaliser.
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"In patches we were decent but overall I was not pleased," said manager Mark Stimson.
"We came out second half and gave away a cheap goal.
"Their player has got the ball on the goal line, going absolutely nowhere and we think that we have got to win the ball.
"That frustrates me because the major thing there is not to give away a free-kick and for some reason Barry Fuller has gone through the guy, given away a free-kick.
"The delivery was good, the boy beat our man to the ball and it's 2-0 and you have a mountain to climb."
The justification for such a disappointing performance was there for all to see - a vicious, swirling wind that hampered the passing football that Stimson is preaching to his emerging side and an opposition who worked tirelessly to stifle Boro's midfield.
But the truth is that all over the pitch Boro lost their individual battles and only Steve Morison emerged with any real credit.
The striker worked tirelessly and intelligently against a trio of bruising and uncompromising centre-backs and although he failed to find the target for the first time in a Boro shirt, his display gave much hope for the season ahead.
Despite being closely shackled he came close on several occasions - his best chance came early in the match when his glancing header from a Steve Guppy cross beat Sean Bowles in the Tamworth goal but drifted just wide of the post.
However, despite failing to impress as much as in previous outings, Boro were never really threatened by Tamworth.
When Nutter sliced Atieno's cross past Alan Julian it came in Tamworth's first serious attack of the afternoon - Julian parrying away John McGrath's initial effort.
And after Atieno had doubled the home side's advantage on 52 minutes, Tamworth offered no further threat.
For Boro's part, David Hicks had a 20-yard drive that looked a goal all the way until it struck Gavin McAllum on the line, a dipping drive from Dobson struck the bar with Bowles well beaten and in the game's dying seconds Darryn Stamp headed a glorious opportunity wide.
"The conditions were blustery but it was the same for both sides," added Stimson. "It is then a matter of who deals with it better and probably Tamworth dealt with it better but we have helped them with the two goals.