Stevenage saw much of the possession and camped in Orien’t half for large periods of the game, but fell to a single goal defeat at the Lamex Stadium.
They were condemned early on when Dean Cox smashed in a close range effort but it could have been a different story had they made more of the ball, and had opposition ‘keeper Jamie Jones not had a brilliant game in goal.
The entire second half was Stevenage’s, dominating in possession but not creating the chances to get back into the game meant that it was a defeat at home but the way they controlled the proceedings will give spirit for a tough month ahead.
Gary Smith handed a debut to central defender Ben Chorley, who made his first appearance for the Boro against his former club. It was a start to forget for he and his side though, and his partner at the back, captain Mark Roberts, would have been equally frustrated with the manner in which Boro went behind.
Smith’s side were looking for a positive result at home, and the manager had spoken about his wish for some luck to go his sides way but inside ten minutes it was Russell Slade who had the rub of the green. A nasty ricochet in the box allowed left the ball for Cox inside the six yard box and Steve Arnold was helpless as the powerfully struck effort smashed the back of the net.
More frustrating was that Boro had began the game well – two were in attack in the form of Lucas Akins and Sam Hoskins and in the opening stages before the goal the latter showed great movement and pace to make space in behind the opposition defence. He won a corner well too, when trying to feed the ball into the box after latching onto a well played Greg Tansey ball down the right but Stevenage failed to make the most of it.
Still, they pushed for an equaliser and Hoskins again looked a threat. The on-loan Southampton striker strode forward, dancing through their defence at will before making space to drill a shot form the edge of the box – Jamie Jones made a great save to his right to put it out for a corner but Stevenage’s pressure wasn’t over.
The ball in was headed back into the centre by David Gray and was turned goal wards with another header but somehow Jones kept it out and a clearance was hit up the field.
Before the break Boro pushed on to draw level and it would certainly have fair to have the spoils shared at the break, Morais went close with a powerful effort but Jones again stayed strong in the Orient goal. The half time whistle came with the away side still in the ascendancy, but you felt that if Boro continued in the same vein then they could certainly get back into it.
Smith brought on Beleck for Grant, with Akins moving onto the wing, Tansey into the centre and the on-loan Watford man up top. It was a move that would add more sting to the width of the side with more than half an hour remaining.
Still Boro bossed the possession stats but un truth, Jones was relatively quiet between the sticks. The half was passing by as Lopez came on for Akins, and the striker showed good movement but headed over from a corner with his first touch.
Time was well and truly running out as Beleck struck a hard effort across goal only for Jones to tip it wide, three minutes were added on but even Tansey couldn’t rescues a point – his effort from range going over the bar.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Arnold; Gray, Chorley, Roberts, Charles; Tansey, Dunne, Grant, (Beleck 56) Morais; Akins (Lopez 75), Hoskins
Unused Subs: Day, Hills, Comminges,, N’Gala, Shroot
Att: 3577 (787 away)