Mouth of the Tyne: Boro's win at Tranmere was good but can it get better?

The view from the press box before Stevenage beat Tranmere Rovers 2-1 in League Two.

The view from the press box before Stevenage beat Tranmere Rovers 2-1 in League Two. - Credit: NEIL METCALFE

Day one of the new season it may have been but I'm going to open with an outrageous statement - that was the best performance I have ever seen from a Stevenage side.

Now OK, there are a few caveats to that. I've only been covering the club properly for a season or so and let's be honest, that hasn't exactly been a time of milk and honey.

But even ignoring the result, the performance alone was the best I have ever seen from Boro.

It was full of everything I love about football. From the first whistle, the men in purple thundered into challenges, they won balls on the ground and in the air, they pressed, they harried and they made life ridiculously uncomfortable for their hosts.

That's what I came to see. I'm a Geordie so I'll cheer a tackle almost as loudly as a goal but give me hard work and graft all day long.

But then they started playing and that too was excellent.

They have so many strengths, the aerial threat, in both defence and attack, and set-pieces being the obvious ones but they got the ball into the right areas at Prenton Park and pleasingly, they created chances when they got there.

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But before I get too carried away, time to throw a healthy sprinkling on reality on proceedings.

They won the opening two games last year before their form fell off a cliff and so need to back it up on Saturday at home to another of the pre-season fancied sides in Stockport County.

Their home defeat to Barrow was labelled by Steve Evans as the shock of the opening day in League Two and they will be smarting from that loss when they arrive at the Lamex.

But regardless of the outcome in game two, the very least the 2-1 success on Wirral should give players and fans alike is hope. Hope that they can compete, hope that they will win more than they lose and hope that, at long last, they can enjoy a season.

That's not a bad place to be in.