Slideshow: Stevenage back to winning ways
Stevenage Town 7 Woodford 3 Stevenage Town got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory at home to Woodford. In a game that was always competitive but very disjointed with few scoring opportunities, Town ran out victorious by virtue of a brilliant
Stevenage Town 7 Woodford 3
Stevenage Town got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory at home to Woodford.
In a game that was always competitive but very disjointed with few scoring opportunities, Town ran out victorious by virtue of a brilliant individual try by Ian Crompton.
The fact that there were 40 scrums in the match was testament to how difficult it was to get any cohesion from either side.
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For Stevenage, this was a welcome reverse from recent weeks when they have succumbed to late pressure and conceded victory.
Coach Terry Penny was pleased afterwards that his side were again on the winning trail and with the spirit and application shown by his team. Town looked more solid in defence and Woodford, despite prolonged periods of possession, rarely threatened the Stevenage try line.
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In wet, blustery conditions, Town played up the slope and into the wind in the first half.
Stevenage played the conditions well as they denied Woodford too much possession from which to make a sustained assault.
Woodford looked to move the ball at every opportunity but they were never able to gain any momentum or make any decisive breaks through stubborn defence in which centres Peter Smith and Matt Smith excelled.
For their part, Stevenage also failed to make the most of their own possession and too frequently the ball was kicked away when a better option may have been to keep it in hand and pressurise the visitors' defence.
The half remained scoreless until a minute before the interval when Town conceded a penalty in front of their own posts for a scrum infringement. Full-back Hyatt kicked the penalty to give the visitors a lead at half time.
Woodford started the second half in a lively fashion, but again they were unable to break the Stevenage line.
In fact, it was Town that nearly took the lead in the 50th minute when they put together the best move of the match involving Gareth Lewis, Gary Trewartha, Crompton, Matt Smith and Tavita Faamausili, taking the ball from inside their own 22 before the ball went to ground inside the Woodford 22.
The stalemate was finally broken in the 54th minute. Adam Amos, who had a fine game, turned over the ball near the Town 10m line.
Scrum-half Crompton collected and make a decisive break, which took him inside the Woodford 22 before he was tap tackled and went to ground, but was not held. Crompton got to his feet and then beat two covering defenders before finishing in fine style to give Town the lead. Kyle Lemon added the conversion.
Woodford rallied in the final 10 minutes as for the first time in the match they put together a number of phases of sustained possession, due in the main to Town's inability to find touch from their clearance kicks.
But still they were unable to breach the Stevenage defence in which Tom Meller and Roberts were excellent at denying Woodford any progress.
Town visit Bury St Edmunds this Saturday.