League Two: Exeter City 2 Stevenage 1
PUBLISHED: 17:26 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 08 February 2020
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Struggling Stevenage were beaten by promotion-chasing Exeter, edging them a step closer to dropping out of the Football League.
The 2-1 defeat at St James Park means Graham Westley's men have now slumped to their fourth defeat on the spin, and a fourth away loss in five.
Exeter City winger Randell Williams scored the opening goal in the first half, giving them a 1-0 lead at half time.
The hosts dominated much of the play in the second half, but Stevenage were briefly level when Daniel Kemp scored on 79 minutes.
Their joy was shortlived, though, as Matt Jay scored the winner just two minutes later.
The visitors made five changes from their 3-0 home defeat to Leyton Orient a week earlier, as new signings Kemp, Patrick Reading and Canice Carroll all made their full debuts and Tom Soares and Simeon Jackson also came into the starting XI.
And Stevenage started the game well against their promotion-chasing opponents in a fairly even opening 20 minutes, keeping hold of the ball for periods and creating a chance for striker Jake Cassidy.
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On 20 minutes, Kemp got to the byline on the right wing and found Cassidy at the near post but his shot was deflected wide.
Exeter's first chance came On 27 minutes when a cross from Nigel Atangana was headed over the bar by top scorer Ryan Bowman.
From that point on the hosts began to dominate and on 36 minutes they took the lead as danger man Williams converted a Pierce Sweeney cross from the right to head home, unmarked.
In stoppage time at the end of the half, Stevenage narrowly avoided conceding again when Nicky Ajose got in behind and poked the ball past Paul Farman.
Exeter continued to dominate in the second half with Ajose going close on 58 minutes when his lob dropped just wide of the post and eight minutes later Ryan Bowman's shot hit the post.
Stevenage's equaliser came against the run of play on when new boy Kemp stole in on the right side of the box and fired past Lewis Ward for an unlikely equaliser.
However, Exeter went up the other end to regain the lead on 81 minutes as Jay weaved his way through the visiting back line to score and defeat leaves Stevenage five points adrift at the bottom of the League Two table.
Stevenage: Farman, Reading, Digby, Soares (Carter 79), Carroll, Parrett, Cassidy, Dabo, Nugent, Jackson (Folami 79), Kemp. Unused subs: Bastien, Cuthbert, Iontton, Lakin, Denton.