Cheltenham Town F.C
George Lloyd 43
Stevenage starting to head to the beach as Cheltenham give them another loss
- Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO
Stevenage's season continues to unravel in a hurry as Cheltenham heaped another defeat on them at the Lamex Stadium.
At kick-off an actual game of football was a welcome diversion after the greed and bitter recriminations surrounding the European super league.
Even that got overtaken in a hurry but for Stevenage there was more to be chasing, with a huge hunger to get a positive result after back-to-back losses at Salford City and at home to Mansfield Town on Saturday.
A goal two minutes before half-time proved decisive though, George Lloyd getting it, and from a position where they were 12 games unbeaten and didn't want the season to end, Boro are now limping to the conclusion of the competition.
There was positives, the second-half pressure and certain parts of the build-up play, but again there was a lack of real quality where it truly matters, in the opposition penalty area.
Luther James-Wildin missed out with injury bringing a recall for Remeao Hutton. Eliot Osborne and Jack Aitchison, both ineffectual in Saturday's loss, dropped to the bench with man of the match against Mansfield, Jack Smith, and Ben Coker their replacements.
Also on the bench was 17-year-old Alfie Williams, part of the club's academy.
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The changes meant Joe Martin was left-back in a back-four while Coker payed ahead of him in midfield.
But for the opening period those changes had little effect.
In fact so little of note happened that there seemed to be more going on with the super league and at Chelsea than there was at the Lamex.
Cheltenham were happy to thump balls forward and start from there with quick and hard pressing.
Boro though were more than equal to the test, Jamie Cumming punching one corner away while the defence mopped up anything else.
And that's how it stayed for the majority of the half.
Liam Sercombe fired a rising shot towards goal, which Cumming tipped over, moments after a heavy touch from Elliott List took him too far round the keeper to score.
Both of those arrived around the 30-minute mark and it continued to be frantic, hectic and fast paced but a game that didn't look like bringing a goal.
That changed moments before half-time with a rare moment of quality. George Lloyd brought the ball down well on the left edge and after stepping inside, he hit it low to the right of the Boro keeper.
Manager Alex Revell felt a change was needed at the break with Aitchison coming on for Martin and Coker dropping into his usual left-back position.
It helped give them a noticeable increase in focus and the substitute even had the first chance of the second period, his effort from the left angle of the penalty area, deflected off Charlie Raglan and wide.
The slow building of pressure continued as the half went on too and Aitchison could have equalised if he'd been able to get the ball out of his feet quicker.
Moments later List broke clear but excellent defending by Ben Tozer stopped him from either crossing or shooting.
The problem was the longer the half went on, the more it started to feel like and resemble Saturday's game.
Cheltenham began to look like a side more than happy to defend what they had and the time wasting, sadly now a thing in football. just got worse and worse.
It was summed up by a substitution on 90 minutes where the wrong player jogged over only to be sent back and the correct one wander over even slower.
It meant longer than the minimum of five additional minutes added but it mattered little as the added time never even brought a shot from the home side.
Stevenage: Cumming, Coker, Prosser, Hutton, Vancooten, List, J.Smith (Osborne 83), Pett, Martin (Aitchison 46), Norris, Lines.
Subs (not used): Johnson, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Alfie Williams, Stevens.
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Long, Hussey, Tozer, Raglan, Thomas, S.Smith (May 90), Blair, Azaz (Chapman 90+6), Lloyd (Andy Williams 90+6), Sercombe.
Subs (not used): Flinders, Freestone, Wright, Vassilev.
Goals: Lloyd 43
HT: Stevenage 0 Cheltenham Town 1
Referee: Trevor Kettle (Leicester)