League Two: Notts County 3 Stevenage 3
PUBLISHED: 17:06 15 September 2018
©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved
Stevenage had to settle for a point against basement boys Notts County after a six-goal thriller.
The hosts had an early chance on two minutes as Lewis Alessandra dragged a shot wide, but Boro began to apply pressure of their own and Ben Kennedy saw an attempt miss the target from the edge of the box on six minutes.
Jon Stead forced Paul Farman into action after wriggling into the box soon after, but in an end-to-end start, Michael Timlin saw a curling shot saved by Ross Fitzsimmons.
The visitors had a great chance on 11 minutes when Kennedy’s chipped pass found captain Alex Revell, whose early shot flew over the crossbar, but County saw Kane Hemmings head a decent opportunity over the crossbar just three minutes later.
And the hosts were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes when Stead was fouled in the box at corner, with Stead picking himself up to send Farman the wrong way from the spot.
Boro continued to enjoy good possession and attempts on goal, but remained behind as Danny Newton scuffed his attempt on 31 minutes when picked out by Luther Wildin from the right.
And the home side saw Enzio Boldewijn fire just wide of the far post after a driving run at the Boro defence from the left moments later.
It was all square seven minutes before the break, though, as Kennedy found the net with a tap in, after great work on the left from Newton, who played the ball across the face of goal for the Northern Ireland under-21 international to apply the finishing touch.
Stevenage’s joy was shortlived, as County regained the lead on 43 minutes when Boldewijn cut in from the right and placed his shot into the bottom corner of Farman’s net.
But it was 2-2 on the stroke of half time as Revell connected with a superb cross from Steve Seddon to loft a header over Fitzsimmons and cap a breathless first half.
Ronnie Henry replaced Ben Nugent during the interval for Boro, who saw Farman rush out of his goal to deny Stead from close range at the start of the second half.
But Stevenage did not heed the warning and fell behind for a third time as Hemmings struck on 49 minutes.
Emmanuel Sonupe replaced James Ball in Stevenage’s second substitution of the game soon after and the visitors went close as Newton hit a half-volley from 25 yards which flew just over the crossbar.
A Kennedy cross picked out Newton on 56 minutes, but the striker’s header did not have sufficient power to significantly trouble Fitzsimmons in the home goal.
And Boro had a let-off when Boldewijn’s cross found Stead at the far post when he looked set for an easy finish, but scuffed his effort back across goal and saw Stevenage regain possession.
Play was held up while Revell received treatment on halfway and Boro had another chance on 63 minutes when Joel Byron’s corner found Kennedy on the edge of the box, but after cutting inside his shot didn’t quite come off.
But Boro were back on terms once again when a ball to the far post found Revell, who laid it off perfectly for Newton to net from 10 yards.
Wildin had penalty appeals waved away nine minutes from time after going down in the box, while Kennedy was unable to take a chance that fell his way on the edge of the box on 85 minutes as it ended all square.
Stevenage: Farman, Wildin, Timlin, Cuthbert, Ball, Byrom, Revell, Kennedy, Seddon, Newton, Nugent. Subs: Dieng, Hunt, Sonupe, Ferry, Reid, Henry, Wilkinson.