FA Cup first round replay
Jamie Reid 61, Luke Norris (pen) 120+1
M.K Dons F.C
Harry Darling 36
🟥 Josh Martin 45+1, Harry Darling 119
Penalty drama sends Stevenage through in the FA Cup against MK Dons
- Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO
Stevenage and MK Dons served up memories of a famous Boro win and FA Cup run in their first round replay at the Lamex Stadium - and it again ended in a Boro win.
Back in the 2010-2011 competition, the pair had met at the same stage and after a 1-1 draw, Stevenage won 7-6 on penalties, eventually going on to a famous victory over Newcastle United.
This time though it only needed one penalty for Stevenage to advance, scored by Luke Norris as the clock ticked beyond 120 minutes.
Josh Darling had put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute, two minutes later than his opening goal in the first meeting
The annoying thing from a Stevenage point of view was it was yet another soft goal conceded from a set-piece, a right-wing corner this time, but it wasn't defended properly again, an unwelcome habit which developed in the latter days of Alex Revell's reign.
However, a red card on the stroke of half-time handed Boro a carrot and after Jamie Reid equalised, they piled forward looking for the winner.
It came when Elliott List was hauled down in the 118th minute by Darling, earning him an early exit, and more than two minutes later Norris calmly scored to set up a clash with ex-manager Darren Sarll's Yeovil Town.
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Boro's head of academy Robbie O'Keefe took charge of the clash and opted for four changes from the home game against Mansfield on Saturday.
In came Ben Coker, Luke Prosser, Bruno Andrade and Chris Lines, replacing Terence Vancooten, Arthur Read, Max Melbourne and Brad Barry.
MK went with six charges from the side that comprehensively defeated Cambridge United 4-1.
The start was what you would have expected from a team who wanted to prove a point.
There was a big shout for a penalty after six minutes when Elliott List went down under a challenge from keeper Andrew Fisher.
The referee had a long think and was waiting for his assistant but in the end he went for a goal-kick.
They didn't create too many chances though, the only real one came when List turned at the near post after being fed by Luther James-Wildin. He fired over though.
MK's chances weren't too much better though.
Ethan Robson, one of three to go in the book in the first half, hit a tame volley at Adam Smith while Mo Eisa also lacked power after a slick passing move.
It was disciplinary problems though that handed Stevenage a boost on the stoke of half-time as Josh Martin saw red for raising his hands to Jake Reeves.
It looked innocuous and caught a lot of people off-guard but the referee decided it was worthy of ending his game early.
Stevenage came out, as expected, on the front foot. They forced a few corners but again couldn't force Fisher into a save and after five positive minutes they retreated back into their shell.
It was similar to the tactic at stadium MK and yet again, an equaliser looked out of the question.
Again though they proved everyone wrong, and with a beauty of a goal too.
List did excellently to slither away from a couple of challenges before spraying it out to the left wing for Coker.
His cross was just as good and landed perfectly onto the head of Reid who powered it beyond the keeper.
They almost repeated the trick minutes later, Melbourne this time with the delivery and List getting to it first at the near post.
He put it wide though.
Boro continued to be the one team on the front foot and a couple of corners in stoppage time raised hopes and almost stole them the win.
Darling's block from a Luke Norris header was as priceless as his goal had been. The ball was powering towards the net but the defender got in the way, mostly out of luck than judgement, but worth it.
With MK a man short it seemed as if penalties would be their only hope of advancing and Stevenage poured forward from the beginning of extra-time.
List fired over and then Norris did the same although after taking a touch and turning he will probably have felt he could have done better.
There was one other shot that fizzed past the post but after dominating the first half of the extra 30, Milton Keynes actually started the second period the better.
The drama though came at the other end to send Stevenage through.
Stevenage: A.Smith, James-Wildin, Coker, Reeves, Cuthbert (Vancooten 106), Prosser, List, Taylor (Osborne 114), Andrade (Norris 82), Lines (Melbourne 62), Reid.
Subs (not used): Anang, J.Smith, Marshall, Townsend-West, Barry.
Goals: Reid 61, Norris (pen) 120+1'
Booked: Taylor 51, A.Smith 120+1
MK Dons: Fisher, Watson (Parrott 46), O'Hora, Darling, Eisa (Watters 79), Martin, Baldwin, McEachran (Twine 79), Robson (Kasumu 67), Boateng, Harvie.
Subs (not used): Ravizzoli, Lewington, Ilunga.
Goal: Darling 36
Booked: Darling 5, 119, Robson 10, Boateng 34, Kasumu 112
Sent-off: Martin 45+1, Darling 119
HT: Stevenage 0 Milton Keynes Dons 1
90: Stevenage 1 Milton Keynes Dons 1
Referee: Alan Young (Ely)
Attendance: 1,876 (336 from MK Dons)