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Club News


2 November 2013

Stevenage's mini run of form came to a halt this afternoon with a 2-0 defeat at high-flying Wolves.

Goals in each half from Kevin Doyle and James Henry were enough to see off a spirited Boro who played well and created a number of excellent chances of their own without finding the back of the net.

Team news saw Graham Westley name the same XI that started last weekend’s 2-0 win over Crawley with the only change being on the bench where Roarie Deacon replaced James Dunne.

James Henry was the first to put the Stevenage goal under threat, curling his free-kick just over after just three minutes after Filipe Morais had been penalised – and booked – for handball.

Indeed it was the visitors who took the lead on six minutes. A poor ball across to Smith saw Bakary Sako pounce, round the right-back and fire in a low cross which was converted at the far post by Kevin Doyle.

Moments later both Sigurdarson and Henry went mightily close to intercepting an Ashton back-header but Day was there to gather in the nick of time.

Boro responded and good work by Morais and Zoko saw the ball worked into the box but the Ivorian was tackled just as he threatened to pull the trigger. 

A foul on Heslop gave Boro a free-kick 25 yards out on 18 minutes. Smith floated the ball in and when it was only partially cleared by Wolves, Freeman fired in a low effort which Ikeme gathered down low.

Four minutes later the hosts went dangerously close to a second. The wandering Sako found Henry on the left and his drifted cross into the box was headed back by Doyle for strike partner Sigurdsarson to spin and fire just wide.

Wolves kept up the pressure and when Hartley nodded behind under no pressure they had a corner. The initial delivery was cleared with a diving header by Ashton with Henry’s curling effort going straight into Day’s hands.

Stevenage fought back and went close with two efforts in quick succession. Luke Freeman saw an effort deflect over from 18 yards and Tansey then saw a 30 yard screamer touched over by Ikeme. From the resulting corner Zoko went up with Ikeme to meet Doughty’s delivery but the ball bounced out for a goal kick.

The dangerous Sako saw an effort scream wide before Boro’s front two nearly combined to good effect. Excellent work by Morais saw him release Zoko in the left channel, who took on his defender and fired the ball across goal to a space just vacated by Morais.

At the other end Henry started and nearly finished a neat move with a beautiful flick but his effort blazed wildly over. And with half-time approaching Wolves went mightily close to a second. Sigurdarson took on Hartley and beat the defender for pace before cutting the ball back to Doyle. The Irishman’s first shot was blocked but his second effort from the rebound was headed off the line by Smith.

Stevenage were first out for the second half and were first out of the blocks too, forcing Wolves into conceding a free-kick and a couple of early corners, the second of which saw a Luke Jones header cleared off the line.

At the other end James Henry was having a fine game out wide and his cross somehow evaded everyone, much to Boro's relief.

Ominously for the visitors, Wolves threw top scorer Leigh Griffiths on just past the hour and the sub nearly made an immediate impact. Henry swung in another beautiful cross between Day and his defence but the striker completely misjudged his header which flew wide. He was at it again moments later, racing clear down the right and bearing down on goal, but Day stuck out a hand to parry and Hartley cleared.

Stevenage soaked up the pressure, somehow surviving another dangerous cross right across goal, this time from Sako, before going on to create three golden chances to equalise within a matter of minutes. 

First Doughty fed Morais on the edge of the box, who in turn found Zoko whose shot was parried by Ikeme.

Then from a quick free-kick Freeman found Ashton at the back post, whose header bounced before Zoko forced another save from Ikeme from close range.

Wolves were all over the place and couldn’t cope with Boro’s play and when Morais nodded a Freeman cross wide from six yards, when it looked easier to hit the target, it seemed only a matter of time until Stevenage pulled level.

However despite all their pressure, Boro were undone at the back with 10 minutes remaining when Wolves scored a killer second. The impressive Henry beat the offside track, advanced on Day and calmly slotted home to seal the points.

The two teams traded chances in the closing 10 minutes with Doyle blazing over and Freeman seeing an effort saved by Ikeme. Jon Ashton also fired over after a Boro free-kick fell to him in the box but it just wasn't to be.

The victory keeps Wolves second, whilst results elsewhere mean Stevenage drop two places to 19th and now turn their attention to the FA Cup when Sky Bet League 1 side Portsmouth visit in the First Round.

Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman, Batth, Ricketts, Golbourne, Henry, Davis, Evans, Sako (O’Hara 82), Sigurdarson (Griffiths 62), Doyle

Subs not used: McCarey, Edwards, Forde, Cassidy, Ebanks-Landell

Boro: Day, Smith, Ashton, Jones, Hartley, Tansey (Parrett 90), Heslop, Doughty (Andrade 87), Freeman, Zoko, Morais (Tounkara 79) 

Subs not used: Arnold, Wedgbury, Burrow, Deacon

Referee: Mr Kevin Wright

Attendance: 17,700

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