New Boro trio play against the Hatters
TONY Thorpe wasted little time in breaking his duck for Stevenage Boro. Thorpe took just 11 minutes to find the net after coming on as a second-half substitute in Saturday s 2-1 home defeat against one of his former clubs Luton. The diminutive striker was
TONY Thorpe wasted little time in breaking his duck for Stevenage Boro.
Thorpe took just 11 minutes to find the net after coming on as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat against one of his former clubs Luton.
The diminutive striker was one of three new signings revealed by Boro boss Mark Stimson at the weekend.
Forwards Thorpe, who joined from Colchester, Hector Mackie and Cambridge City winger Craig Dobson all joined in two-year deals.
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The 32-year-old Thorpe, has moved for big money in his career. He was the subject of a £1m move to Bristol City and an £800,000 transfer to Fulham.
Thorpe was a prolific scorer in the Football League, scoring 137 times in 288 appearances.
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Dobson, who provided the cross for Thorpe's goal, is a 22-year-old right winger who won the Nike UK Free Skills competition five years ago.
He has played his recent football at Lewes and Cambridge City after appearing briefly for Barnet.
Boro agreed a small four-figure fee with City for his transfer.
The third new signing, Mackie, also played the second 45 minutes against the Hatters.
The 18-year-old trialled at West Brom, Reading and Spurs last year and Stimson has been following his development closely for two years.
Stimson feels the teenager has done enough in the last few weeks to earn a professional contract.
The manager said: "Tony is a great signing for us. Just seeing him at training in the last week, he still has the desire and awareness around goal.
"Craig has got fantastic ability, skills and bags of pace.
"Like Dale Binns, who he was with at Cambridge City last season, he now has to adapt to full-time football.
"Hector was with me from a 16-year-old at Grays and went out on loan to several clubs last season. He has got a great attitude and desire to succeed."
After a slow start, Boro more than held their own against the Championship visitors at Broadhall Way on Saturday.
The Hatters scored at the start and end of the half through Ahmet Brkovic and Steve Robinson.
Robinson crossed for Brkovic's goal after just four minutes before a rocky Boro settled down.
Darryn Stamp had a couple of headed opportunities before he skied over a decent chance created by the impressive Binns.
Binns himself had a shot deflected over following a glorious solo run.
Despite this Boro pressure, Luton scored a second a minute before the break when Robinson thundered a shot home from Steve Howard's lay-off.
Boro made seven changes at the break, with Dobson and Mackie given their opportunity.
One of the four that remained on the field, Stamp, went close to halving the deficit with a good strike.
He was soon replaced by Thorpe, who himself missed a good chance within a minute of entering the action.
The appearance of a fit-again Jon Nurse was encouraging for the Boro faithful, as was Thorpe opening his account in the 69th minute when he headed home a Dobson cross.
The match fizzled out in the closing stages, although Luton could have nicked a third when Peter Holmes' header flicked off the top of the bar.
Stimson added: "Just like the Palace game, the quality of finishing was the difference between the two sides. Half a chance and they can score a goal.
"That's why their players are in the Championship and mine are in the Conference.
"But we can learn from them and that's what we will be doing.