Elliott List 8, Luke Norris 81
Toumani Diagouraga 28, Cole Stockton 32
Gritty point against Morecambe the very least that Stevenage deserved
- Credit: BRADLEY COLLYER/PA
Stevenage showed character in abundance as they came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at home with promotion-chasing Morecambe.
Elliott List had fired them in front on eight minutes but two goals in four first-half minutes gave the visitors to the Lamex Stadium the advantage.
But from the moment they returned to the pitch after half-time, they grabbed the initiative and with the attacks growing and growing as the half went on, Luke Norris finally broke his Boro duck to grab a share of the points.
It could have been more but they couldn't find a winner. However, the performance in the second half was in complete contrast to the one in Tuesday's defeat to Exeter City and will be a source of pride and comfort for all connected with the club.
Manager Alex Revell had made four changes from that loss to the Grecians.
Joe Martin, Luther James-Wildin, Arthur Read and Chris Lines, back from injury, were the four men drafted in with Ben Coker, Remeao Hutton Jack Smith and Romain Vincelot the quartet making way.
The visitors had arrived on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers but that was only their second loss in nine games.
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- 2 Unannounced safety inspection of care home following COVID-19 outbreak
- 3 Council tax to rise in county after 'extraordinary' year
- 4 Historic school to close at end of academic year
- 5 Development plans for 16.5-acre Stevenage site could create 1,000 jobs
- 6 Decision made on opening play areas in Stevenage
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And the early stages gave an indication of why they have been playing so well.
Quick, incisive passive led to a couple of good opportunities in the opening five minutes.
A flick by Cole Stockton found Aaron Wildig but with David Stockdale, still deputising for the injured Jamie Cumming, covering his near post, he fired into the side netting.
Stockton had the next chance but when presented with an unmarked header at the back post, he got underneath it and put it over.
It made Stevenage's goal on eight minutes all the more important.
List got it with a well-struck half-volley that flew through the crowd of players in front of Kyle Letheren, maybe with a knick off one, and into the far corner.
But for a short while it gave the hosts the ascendancy and some much-needed confidence.
But slowly the tide seemed to turn back towards the Lancastrians. Moments before they equalised their pressing meant that although Stevenage kept hold of the ball, their passing took them from the edge of one box to the edge of their own.
The goal was another good finish, Toumani Diagouraga guiding it across Stockdale and into the corner but the cross had come from deep on the by-line with Stevenage seemingly cutting off all escape routes.
Four minutes later the Shrimps were in front with the ball finding the same corner. This though was a lovely goal.
It only featured two passes, the first a clever reverse made by Wildig inside his own box to set John O'Sullivan away. He then hit it cross-field to Stockton who controlled it beautifully.
The striker then turned back inside before sweeping it across the keeper and in.
There was a pivotal moment in between these two strikes though at the other end.
A free-kick in a central area just outside of the box was curled wonderfully over the wall by Martin. The ball was creeping under the bar too until Letheren scampered across and tipped it over one-handed.
Half-time would have been welcomed by Boro though with the management team able to calm them down and get some clear instructions across. They were still in the game but too often in the closing stages the passes were rushed and failed to find a white and red shirt.
The second half did see an improvement and there was some decent pressure applied from the home side. The problem was for all the territory, Letheren didn't have to make a save.
He had his defenders to thank for a couple of very timely blocks that prevented shots from Luke Norris and Jack Aitchison getting to him.
There were other chances. Ross Marshall couldn't guide a header from a corner towards goal and Terence Vancooten headed over.
The best fell to Norris who every slithering inside his marker, had to stretch and could only watch as his shot climbed agonisingly over the bar with the keeper well beaten.
It was starting to feel like another one of those games for the former Hitchin Town junior but with nine minutes to go he finally found the net.
It was one to forget for Letheren who after his good show in the first half let the downward header creep under his hands.
It would have been doubly galling for Sam Lavelle as the Morecambe defender made two superb blocks, the first at full stretch to deny Danny Newton as he got in behind.
Stevenage now sensed victory and continued to press home their dominance.
There was to be no dramatic conclusion though. They will take the point though and turn to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday with a greater sense of positivity.
Stevenage: Stockdale, James-Wildin, Vancooten, List (Carter 67), Read (Pett 80), Marshall (Coker 80), Aitchison, Martin, Stevens (Newton 76), Norris, Lines.
Subs (not used): Johnson, Vincleot, Prosser.
Goals: List 8, Norris 81
Morecambe: Letheren, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Lavelle, Diagouraga, Stockton, Wildig, Mendes-Gomes, Kenyon (Davis 59), O'Sullivan (Lyons 77), Cooney.
Subs (not used): Halstead, Slew, McAlinden, Denny, Gibson.
Goals: Diagouraga 28, Stockton 32
HT: Stevenage 1 Morecambe 2
Referee: James Oldham (Erewash)