Stevenage fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon as goals from Marc Mcnulty and Kal Naismith were enough for the visitors to take home the points.
Darren Sarll named an unchanged line-up with Dean Parrett
coming onto the bench for the injured Aaron O’Connor as the only change to the squad.
Portsmouth started the game the better team and looked sharp in and around the Stevenage penalty area with their slick movement and passing. Ben Davies showed his quality from wide positions after only a couple of minutes with a whipped delivery into the box that somehow evaded everybody.
Boro struggled to create clear-cut chances in the early goings but came close when Michael Tonge
attempted a bicycle kick that flew narrowly over the bar.
Portsmouth remained on top for much of the first half but were given help for their opener as Boro gave the ball away in the final third which allowed McNulty through on goal to make it 1-0.
For the remainder of the first half, Stevenage improved and Tom Conlon
was the instigator of much of the good work, hitting the target with a dipping half-volley before heading narrowly wide from Michael Tonge
replaced Lee Cox
early in the second half and immediately got into the thick of the action, setting up Tom Pett
for a shot from inside the box but the effort hit Byron Harrison on its way towards goal.
came close again, this time from a free-kick as Fulton pushed his effort over the bar.
Portsmouth then had a flurry of chances within a few minutes; first Roberts stung the palms of Jones then saw his second effort smash into the side-netting. Jones was then called into action again a minute later as he saved from Doyle before Luke Wilkinson
was the right man in the right place as Evans fired the ball across Boro’s six yard box only for the defender to clear the danger.
It seemed as though we were set for a grandstand finish as Boro upped the ante with two chances either side of the 70 minute mark. First Tom Pett
curled wide from the edge of the area before Ben Kennedy
couldn’t quite get his shot away in a crowded area with the goal in front of him.
Ogilvie had a glorious chance to level things up moments later when he blazed over from Tom Pett
’s cut-back but that was to be the last opportunity before Portsmouth sealed the win.
Again, Stevenage gave the possession away which allowed Bennett to find Naismith through on goal and make it 2-0.
Although 2-0 down, Stevenage kept going and Tom Conlon
could only smash the crossbar in injury time which about summed up our recent run in form.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Franks, Wilkinson, Ogilvie, Tonge, Cox, Conlon, Pett, Harrison, Hedges
Subs: Day, Marriott, Parrett, Wells, Johnson, Kennedy, Gorman