Yeovil snatch dramatic equaliser as Boro have to settle for point despite Kennedy's wonder goal
PUBLISHED: 09:49 13 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:00 13 November 2016
Danny Loo Photography 2016
'Play to the final whistle' is a maxim that has prevailed in football for good reason.
And at a sodden Lamex Stadium Stevenage felt the full impact of failing to do just that as they let their standards drop deep into injury time as Ben Whitfield fired Yeovil Town to a point.
It was almost a year to the day that Tom Pett’s 88th minute equaliser down at Huish Park had earned his side a late point between these two sides, but Whitfield’s goal cut much deeper.
Not just because it came after the allotted four minutes of injury time shown by the referee’s assistant – hands up anyone who knows where the extra extra-time came from – but because Stevenage had come from behind following Ryan Hedges’ 48th minute opener to lead through two wonderful Ben Kennedy goals.
Both had been sublime finishes from the boy wonder – the first, on 68 minutes, a low and slow curled effort into the bottom corner and the second a wonderful break the length of the field by the hosts resulting in Kennedy firing past Artur Krysiak in a sensational, jump-from-your-seat moment.
Yet his second was hardly surprising as, bizarrely, Yeovil had always looked likely to concede from their own corners.
Boro have turned the quick break – utilising the guile and youthfulness of Kennedy and Harry McKirdy along with that of Matt Godden – into an art form in recent games and it is astonishing that opposition teams are not better prepared for such a turn of attack. More fool them.
Boro had the better of the first half chances as Charlie Lee fired over, Fraser Franks forced a save from Krysiak and Matt Godden ran on to a Franks ball and volleyed home only for the whistle to blow for offside. Boro boss Darren Sarll said after the match that he’d seen the incident again, and his striker was on.
Sam Shephard also went close for the visitors only to be denied by Jamie Jones.
Hedges opened the scoring early in the second period.
The winger, who had a spell on loan at Stevenage last season, squeezed a shot past Jones as the visitors dominated the early stages of the second period. Tom Eaves, the former Bolton Wanderers striker, also went close with a deft flick which Jones saved.
Kennedy placed a neat shot in the corner for 1-1 before Godden, running onto a Jones long ball, nodded just wide when beating Krysiak to the ball.
Kennedy, though, then showed his class when Jones caught a header at a corner and sent the ball upfield. Kennedy got on his bike, and nobody was able to catch him as he curled home from 18 yards. It was a terrific move.
Kennedy almost got his hat-trick too with a similar shot, but this time Krysiak saved, but five minutes into injury-time and Yeovil turned party-poopers when Whitfield struck after Stevenage had failed to defend a throw-in.
It not only broke Boro’s hearts but it also sent them tumbling, remarkably, 10 places in the league table to 20th.
Stevenage: Jones, Ntlhe, Henry, Franks, Wilkinson (Schumacher 83), Lee, Cowans (Pett 70), King, Kennedy, McKirdy (Liburd 83), Godden. Subs: Day, McAnuff, Tonge, Wells.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak, Shephard (Whitfield 88), Smith, Dolan, Mugabi, Lacey, Eaves, Khan (Zoko 76), Butcher, Hedges, Ward. Subs: Maddison, Dickson, Ezewele, Sowunmi, Campbell.