Elliott List 52
Stevenage win again with Harrogate Town the latest to fall
- Credit: NEIL METCALFE
Stevenage continued their impressive rise up the League Two table with a stoic victory over Harrogate Town at the Lamex Stadium - their sixth game without defeat.
Elliott List got the only goal in the 1-0 win, seven minutes into the second half, the fourth successive home game where he has found the net and ninth in total, as Boro moved up a place to 15th.
It lacked lots of free-flowing football but they were solid again, chalking up a fourth successive clean sheet.
And these sequences are bringing great belief to all Stevenage supporters, if not always for this season.
Fanciful talk of a charge up to the play-offs had been mentioned prior to kick-off and it had even started to turn my cynical mind.
The first-half though was enough to slap a huge dollop of reality into people's faces.
Stevenage lacked any of the fluency they had shown when turning over Forest Green Rovers in midweek. Gone was the incisive breaks and quick passing and instead both the home bench and players used such words and phrases as "lazy", "sloppy" and "wake-up" to try and elicit a response.
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It didn't really work though, only once did Boro show something that would have brought a warm and appreciative round of applause if fans were allowed in.
That saw a move that began inside their own box and moved with purpose and precision up the park, ending with Elliot Osborne's low cross being hurriedly bundled behind the visitors.
It had been from that flank that their best chance had come too. A deep looping cross was only just clawed away by goalkeeper James Belshaw but it left him stranded when Ben Coker lofted the ball back into the middle.
Unfortunately it was too high for List to get any sort of meaningful contact on it and it ran harmlessly out of play.
Harrogate had the better of the few chances that were created but most were from distance and all were dealt with in one shape or form by Jamie Cumming.
Alex Revell had spoke on Tuesday that the only reason for his frustrations was because he knew how good Stevenage could be.
So it was expected that a more-fried-up home side would emerge from the dressing room, this probably being one of the few occasions where he could have justifiably raised his voice at half-time.
And it was a better start from both teams. although noticeably more for Stevenage.
Harrogate still had the first real opening though when a quick break sent Jack Muldoon away but after drifting inside, he poked a shot wide of the target.
Almost instantly Boro had a chance to go in front. List robbed Will Smith and when he delivered a deep cross to the back post, it found Danny Newton charging in.
He got in on target too and it needed a spread-eagled Belshaw to produce a good save and kick it away.
It was only a temporary respite for the visitors though as Boro struck two minutes later with a route-one goal.
Cumming delivered a quick and flattish clearance and when List got to it milliseconds before Dan Jones, he was clear.
And he kept calm too to move wide of Belshaw and roll it into an unguarded net.
Muldoon had another good chance but missed the target when unmarked in front but the hosts should have made it two when Luther James-Wildin wriggled into space on the right edge of the six-yard box.
He went for the narrow angle though and only found the side netting, leaving a perplexed and free Newton to hold his hands out and ask why he didn't pass.
Harrogate though seemed to be building a head of steam after that but they never truly gave Stevenage too much problems, the hosts redoubling their efforts.
A late scramble and tackle in the box that had some in blue shouting for a penalty were all the away side could manage.
Fanciful they may be but with 12 games to go the play-offs are now within 10 points.
What isn't fanciful is that Boro are certainly on the rise and relegation is a thing of the past for this season.
Stevenage: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Prosser, Osborne, Newton (Norris 72), Vancooten, List (Aitchison 87), Pett, Lines (Vincelot 73).
Subs (not used): Johnson, Hutton, Read, Stevens.
Goals: List 52
Booked: Coker 70, Vincelot 88, Osborne 90
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Jones, Smith, Burrell, Thomson, Beck (March 73), Kerry (Falkingham 63), Muldoon, McPake, Power.
Subs (not used): Minter, Martin, Lawlor, Francis.
HT: Stevenage 0 Harrogate Town 0
Referee: Scott Oldham (Blackpool)