Stevenage 1-1 Coventry City: Tom Pett salvages valuable point for Boro

PUBLISHED: 23:13 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 23:59 21 November 2017

Tom Pett celebrates scoring the equaliser for Stevenage in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Tom Pett celebrates scoring the equaliser for Stevenage in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Darren Sarll’s Stevenage claimed a 1-1 draw against fellow play-off hopefuls Coventry on Tuesday night after a plucky and spirited display.

Sarll’s young side were gritty throughout, with their outstanding winger Tom Pett notching the equaliser.

Alex Samuel and Tom Pett celebrate scoring the equaliser for Stevenage in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooAlex Samuel and Tom Pett celebrate scoring the equaliser for Stevenage in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

The opening twenty minutes were exuberant, lively, snappy - but short on quality. Pett showed some superb, gossamer-woven touches on the wing, but neither side was able to fashion a shot on target.

Tom Pett dribbles into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooTom Pett dribbles into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Coventry’s opening spell didn’t do justice to their magnificent away fans, either. For all their incessant singing, the Sky Blues might have just won the FA Cup again – three decades on from their 1987 heyday.

Joe Martin looks to get a cross into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooJoe Martin looks to get a cross into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Newton hustled impressively up top for Stevenage, clearly keen to prove Coventry boss Mark Robins wrong. Robins admitted this week he was ‘looking into’ signing Newton, but ultimately chose not to buy him. His performance will have made Robins think twice about his decision.

Tom Pett puts a cross into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooTom Pett puts a cross into the box in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

On twenty minutes, the game sprang to life. Joe Fryer made a superb recovery save from Mark McNulty’s shot after a defensive mix-up, but the resulting corner led to another mix-up which Boro should have dealt with better. The ball was eventually forced over the line by McNulty. Unfortunately for Stevenage, Fryer’s superb recovery save counted for nothing.

Coventry City keeper Lee Burge misses a corner in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny LooCoventry City keeper Lee Burge misses a corner in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

Pett continued to drive at the Sky Blues defence, with one snaking run leading to a silly booking for Coventry’s local lad Jordan Shipley.

Tom Pett in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooTom Pett in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Boro began to push for an equaliser as the half neared its close, and a corner was spilled by Coventry keeper Lee Burge after some great work from Pett.

Joe Martin brings the ball forward in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooJoe Martin brings the ball forward in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Harry Beautyman was starting to influence proceedings, driving forward from central midfield nearly every time he got the ball. But Coventry kept it cool at the back, marshalled by impressive Rod McDonald, and they were still 1-0 up when the half-time whistle blew.

Coventry City fans in the away end during the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny LooCoventry City fans in the away end during the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

The second half began in controversial fashion, with the referee signalling a foul when Coventry were clean through. Seconds later, Sky Blues target-man Max Biamou was pulled up for a foul when again clean through, incensing their fans behind the goal. Boro were lucky not to be further behind.

Coventry City fans in the away end during the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny LooCoventry City fans in the away end during the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

With Coventry were spurred on by attacking the away stand where their loyal fans were housed.

Danny Newton volleys over at the back post in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooDanny Newton volleys over at the back post in the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Jones again drove at Joe Martin, fizzing in a low cross which was narrowly cleared. Winger Jodi Jones, Biamou and McNulty were starting to find each other’s rhythms, crafting triangles of passes and flitting between the lines.

Coventry City keeper Lee Burge spills a corner in the six yard box in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny LooCoventry City keeper Lee Burge spills a corner in the six yard box in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

But with fifteen minutes left, and Coventry looking the likely victors, Pett came up with his magic. The ball fell to him on the edge of the box after yet more Newton hustling, and he lashed a vicious drive into the roof of the net with his weaker left foot. If anyone on the pitch deserved a goal, it was the twenty-five year old.

Coventry City keeper Lee Burge spills a corner in the six yard box in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny LooCoventry City keeper Lee Burge spills a corner in the six yard box in the match against Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

Both sides could have won it at the death, Shipley volleyed over for Coventry and Boro went agonisingly close several times from a series of corners.

BBC Three Counties Dean Thompson and Steve Watkins before the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny LooBBC Three Counties Dean Thompson and Steve Watkins before the match against Coventry City. Picture: Danny Loo

Stevenage ultimately gained their point after seven minutes of added time after a serious injury for City’s Jones – for with Pett in this form, they have a player to salvage any match.

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