Early Stamp goal’s enough for a point

Accrington Stanley 1 Stevenage Boro 1 STEVE WATKINS reports Boro are at last finding some prime form on their travels and were in the end disappointed with only a point from the trip to runaway leaders Accrington Stanley on Saturday. An early strike from

Accrington Stanley 1 Stevenage Boro 1

STEVE WATKINS reports

Boro are at last finding some prime form on their travels and were in the end disappointed with only a point from the trip to runaway leaders Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

An early strike from Darryn Stamp, and several close calls, were eventually equalled by the soon to be crowned champions who looked second best in the difficult conditions.

Boro's newly-formed back four were the mainstay of the resurgence and their assured play provided outlets that have been missing in recent weeks.

They got off to the best of starts when the Stanley keeper Rob Elliot made a hash of a simple clearance into the strong wind.

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Quicksilver frontman Jon Nurse collected and floated in an inch-perfect cross for Darryn Stamp to bundle the ball home from close range.

With the wind at their backs, Boro continued to attack with Dino Maamria guiding a diving header goalwards only to see the ball palmed wide.

George Boyd also worked the goalkeeper with a drive from the edge of the box, with some desperate defence clearing the lines for the home side in the ensuing scramble.

Perhaps the closest effort though came from one of the numerous corners that Boro had earned, when Paul Mullins, in desperation to clear, headed inches past his own post with Elliot stranded.

Against the conditions, the home side mustered just the one opportunity, a blistering volley from Rommy Bocu that was expertly saved by Alan Julian.

But the question at the break was whether Boro had done enough with the elements that they had used so efficiently, knowing that Accrington were not going to hold back.

Indeed, the home side took up a shoot on sight policy with several long-range efforts that failed to trouble Julian.

Mullin did squander their best opportunity when Steve Jagielka squared low into the six-yard box and the striker lifted the ball high over the bar.

Stevenage were playing the ball nicely to feet and that was something that Leam Richardson took a dislike to.

He was rightly ordered off the pitch for a reckless challenge that ended Dannie Bulman's involvement for the afternoon at least.

Substitute Mickey Warner added an energy to the Boro approach play but while the home defence were kept busy, the keeper did not really get tested enough.

Accrington threw caution to the wind in the last 20 minutes.

After a succession of failed free-kick attempts from around 25 yards, they eventually got their match saving breakthrough as sub Andy Todd crashed home an unstoppable volley from 12 yards after Mullin had neatly headed over the Boro defence.

All in all, it was a pulsating game that ebbed and flowed nicely.

Boro were left licking their wounds though and wondering just quite how they failed to secure all three points.