Stevenage began their adventure in the Football League with a point against Macclesfield Town at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday. Goals from Peter Vincenti and Charlie Griffin ensure it was a day to remember for the hosts.
The Boro were hassling every ball, including one which could have had controversial merits early on. After the ball was put out for Jose Veiga to receive treatment, Peter Vincenti sent the ball into the corner. Veiga collected and Vincenti immediately set chase, with Veiga narrowly escaping the challenge.
Seven minutes into the fixture Stevenage took the lead and it was Vincenti who took the plaudits. Some great work by Charlie Griffin to beat his man and muscle his way to the ball, led to a deft cross that was inch perfect to evade Veiga and land plum on Vincenti's head for the goal.
Just five minutes later the tie was level again. A Matthew Hamshaw free kick was sent into the box for Nat Brown to rise the highest and nod the ball past Chris Day and into the net.
Stevenage came extremely close to getting in front once again, when Ronnie Henry floated in a tantalising corner which captain Mark Roberts got a clean head to, only for the ball to fly just wide of the post.
Boro continued to try and use the flanks well, and it was a move that seemed to be paying dividends. First a cross in from the right was taken from the foot of Griffin at the last second, and then another free flowing move ended up with Veiga plucking the ball from Lawrie Wilsons head just a few yards from goal.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing Macclesfield were next to chance their arm. Emile Sinclair did superbly to get around Henry and his ball to Richard Butcher was a good one. Fortunately for Boro, their defence were also on form and blocked the ensuing effort.
Eight minutes into the second half it was Macclesfield who took the lead for the first time. It was Sinclair once again who did well to get the ball into the box where Tyrone Barnett got a touch on the six yard box, which sent the ball slowly inside the post.
Although Macclesfield seemed to take control, Stevenage did not lie down and force a corner which had one of the white shirts in the box connected with, would surely have forced the equaliser. Indeed moments prior, Yemi Odubade and Chris Beardsley were brought on, and injected a new lease of life into the Boro.
Stevenage made their last substitution with just less than twenty minutes remaining as Robbie Sinclair joined the fray in place of Wilson. Sinclair, Griffin and Bostwick certainly seemed as though they would be integral in any come back as they helped Stevenage surge forward.
Macclesfield made a couple of changes of their own, with the impressive Sinclair leaving the field, but still Stevenage tried to create an opening to exploit. Even one of their training ground free kick routines failed to give them what they badly needed.
Boro's next opportunity arrived from yet another free kick, well put into the box by Laird, and met by Roberts who did all he could, but gave Veiga a bread and butter save. The chances were coming with Griffin and Byrom both sending efforts past the woodwork either side of the free kick, but none that would provide the elusive goal.
After a scramble in the box, with blocks a plenty, the equaliser nearly came off Roberts posterior, as Veiga pulled off a good, if not clumsy save at the top corner.
With just a minute of the half remaining, the hard work paid off, and the goal came. Sinclair sent a superb ball to Griffin who hit the ball home with aplomb.
Stevenage nearly stole the points at the end with Odubade firing over from close range, but it was not to be for the men from the Lamex.
All in all it was a thrilling game in parts, and one that fully hit home the fact that Stevenage, are a Football League Club. A well-deserved and well fought out point for The Boro. Now for Stevenage, it's the Carling Cup at home to Portsmouth. The fun continues.
Stevenage (4-4-2) C Day - R Henry, L Foster, M Roberts, S Laird - L Wilson (Sub: R Sinclair, 72), M Bostwick, J Byrom, P Winn (Sub: Y Odubade, 61) - C Griffin, P Vincenti (Sub: C Beardsley, 61). Substitutes Not Used: A Bayes, D Murphy, S Long, L Boylan. Booked: Byrom