Stevenage failed to build on their midweek point at Plymouth by losing 3-1 at home to Wycombe this afternoon.
Darius Charles gave the hosts the lead on the half hour but the Chairboys responded with goals from Paul Hayes and Peter Murphy which handed them a half-time lead. Boro pressed in the second half but Matt McClure wrapped up all three points for the visitors late on.
Graham Westley named the same starting eleven from midweek but there were changes on the bench, with Ronnie Henry and Adam Marriott returning amongst the subs. Connor Calcutt missed out through injury.
In a low-key start to the half it took until the eighth minute for either side to register a real chance when Charlie Lee rattled the post from inside the box, but his effort bounced out for a goal-kick.
Whilst neither team were creating much in the way of goal-scoring opportunities it was Wycombe looking the more threatening, with Paris Cowan-Hall a lively outlet on the right for the visitors. They seemed content to keep possession and look for an opening but at no real point was there danger to Sam Besant's goal.
Stevenage, meanwhile, twice had to deal with going down to ten men temporarily, with both Dembele and Charles being forced off down the tunnel for a few minutes, disrupting Boro’s play.
On the half hour Darius latched onto a flick in the box, held off a defender and fired in a cross which seemed to take a deflection off a team-mate and behind for a goal kick. Moments later though Boro were ahead.
A neat flick from Charlie Lee set Charles free bearing down on goal and both he and ‘keeper Matt Ingram went in for the ball. With both on the floor Darius swiveled to neatly hook the ball home from the edge of the area. Confusion reigned as both players subsequently received treatment but eventually it was clear that the goal was given and Boro had the advantage.
That lead was to last only a matter of minutes, however, as Wanderers equalised with a goal of real quality. Stevenage will be disappointed to have given Paul Hayes so much time and space but what wasn’t in doubt was his excellent flick to retain the ball, close control in the box and expert volley past Beasant.
And the game was turned completely on its head just three minutes later. Dembele fouled the tricky Cowan-Hall on the edge of the box, handing the visitors a dangerous free-kick. In a well worked set piece three men looked to have messed up the routine, before the ball was neatly clipped in left-footed moments later and in nipped Peter Murphy to poke past Beasant from just yards out. 2-1 to Wycombe.
A goal to the good, the visitors pushed again for a third during six minutes of injury time but without success, leaving Stevenage with much to contemplate at the break.
Graham Westley responded at the start of the second half with two changes, Adam Marriott and Tom Pett coming on for Dembele and Bond. The change seemed to spur Boro into life temporarily and five minutes into the half Charles flicked onto Lee, whose dangerous low cross was cleared over his own bar by Pierre. Wells met the resulting corner with a powerful header but it hit Charles in the six yard box and the danger was cleared.
Pierre was then involved again on the hour, misjudging a long ball and allowing Marriott to latch onto it. The striker went down claiming a tug but the ref instead handed Boro a corner. Ashton met the resulting delivery but there was the man with the whistle again, spotting a shirt tug and thwarting Boro.
Mr Wright was seemingly proving unpopular in the eyes of both sets of fans with a host of dubious decisions causing the noise levels around The Lamex to rise considerably. There was a great atmosphere and Boro's fans were in full voice as they looked to inspire their team on.
To their credit, Stevenage kept plugging away but Marriott twice found himself caught offside and whenever a crossing opportunity came it was either blocked or Ingram was there to claim. Whelpdale looped a curling effort over the bar from close range in a rare home opportunity on 75 minutes and heading into the final 10 Boro forced three consecutive corners, but couldn’t make any of them count.
Wycombe were well organised and sent on midfield reinforcements as they continued to thwart Boro on each occasion. Even when the hosts did find a sight of goal, Lee’s volley from the edge of the box was straight down Ingram’s throat.
With Stevenage committing men forward there were always going to be opportunities on the break for the Chairboys and so it proved when they scored a killer third with moments to go. Lewis broke forward and once he’d poked past the committed Beasant there was only going to be one outcome - sub Matt McClure tapping home seconds after coming on.
Stevenage: Beasant, Ashton, Wells, Dembele (Pett 46), Okimo, Whelpdale, Bond (Marriott 46), Walton, Deacon, Lee, Charles (Johnson 87)
Subs not used: Day, Henry
Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson, Pierre, Cowan-Hall (Bloomfield 78), Hayes (McClure 87), Wood, Craig (Lewis 74), Murphy, Rowe, Mawson
Subs not used: Richardson, Walker, Holloway, Kretzschmar
Attendance: 2,832 (562 away)
Referee: Kevin Wright