Our review of 2014 continues with a look at events on and off the pitch at Stevenage FC from April through to June...
On the pitch...
When you’re struggling for points the last thing you need is the visit of the league leaders. Stevenage welcomed Wolves to the Lamex on April Fool’s Day but proved no joke in an exciting yet goalless draw watched by 4,660. Defeats by a single goal against Shrewsbury (0-1), Colchester (2-3) and Sheffield United were hammer blows to hopes of staying in League 1, with relegation confirmed on Easter Monday after a 3-1 home defeat to a resurgent Bristol City. One bright spark was the opportunities handed to some of Boro’s U18s with Rohdell Gordon and Fejiri Okenabirhie both handed their debuts and Jo N’Guessan also given opportunities to shine up top.
Having their fate sealed seemed to lift the pressure off Boro slightly and an entertaining 3-2 win over Walsall followed as their league campaign at home came to a close. Jimmy Smith struck again, there was a first Stevenage goal for Jo N’Guessan and Luke Freeman scored his final Stevenage goal to win the game.
Off the pitch...
- A Stevenage FC Foundation trip to Gambia saw a 15-strong group of volunteers working hard to improve the lives of youngsters in the town of Sitanunku. Over the next three days the Stevenage group designed and constructed a brand new adventure playground, provided football coaching for the local team and visited local homes and schools and donated items provided by the Foundation, nPower and Stevenage supporters.
- The club announced the launch of Boro Fest, a new musical festival to be held at The Lamex in May
- The Lamex played host to a Barclay’s Under-21 Premier League game between Spurs and Reading. Spurs won and Boro were to benefit later in the year from a new agreement between the two sides to host six further games in 2014/15 at The Lamex.
- Luke Freeman swept the board at the end of season awards, picked up the Supporters Association Player of the Season, the Players’ Player of the Season and the Season Ticket Holders’ Player of the Season awards during the short presentation in the Broadhall Suite after the Walsall win.
- Manager Graham Westley held a Meet the Manager event in the Broadhall Suite for season ticket holders, giving them the chance to sit down with Graham and discuss a variety of topics.
- Stevenage Ladies hosted QPR Ladies in their inaugural game at The Lamex Stadium and scored first before eventually falling to a 3-1 defeat. Roared on by 780 spectators Boro took an early lead through Nicole Perschky before their opponents, who play a league higher, improved to equalise before half-time and then score twice in the second half without reply.
Video of the Month
Jo N'Guessan scores his first Stevenage goal as Boro complete their home games with a 3-2 win over Walsall
Photos of the Month
Luke Freeman sweeps the board with the end of season awards
Stevenage Ladies FC played QPR Ladies in their inaugural game at The Lamex Stadium in front of 780 fans
Boro Bear is part of the Stevenage FC Foundation group which visited The Gambia
On the pitch...
Stevenage’s Sky Bet League 1 season concluded with a 2-0 defeat at newly promoted Brentford. First year scholar Ryan Johnson made his full debut as second half goals from Trotta and Judge saw Boro lose in a party atmosphere of over 11,000 at Griffin Park.
Off the pitch...
- 2014/15 season tickets went on sale with prices starting at just £25 for U12s throughout the stadium as part of a new membership for our youngest supporters who also received a Stevenage polo shirt. All other season tickets were reduced in price, leading to savings of up to £135 compared to 13/14 prices.
- The club achieved the Football League Family Excellence Award for the third time in four years. The final report praised the family experience at The Lamex Stadium, with numerous positive examples recorded of family engagement during two mystery shopper visits.
- West Ham, Coventry, Reading, Barnet, Tonbridge Angels, Arlesey and Chesham were all confirmed as pre-season friendly opponents.
- BoroFest took place at The Lamex Stadium, offering live music from the best local acts around and plenty attractions for all of the family to enjoy.
- Chairman Phil Wallace held two “Meet the Chairman” events at the Broadhall Suite, giving fans the opportunity to hear his thoughts about the season just gone and the forthcoming campaign.
- Luke Freeman, Roarie Deacon and Dean Parrett all had their contracts extended by the club as Graham Westley looked to reshape his squad. Chris Day and Jon Ashton also signed new deals.
Jimmy Smith (Crawley - undisclosed)
Steve Arnold (free)
Matt Ball (free)
Jordan Burrow (free)
Anthony Furlonge (free)
Michael Thalassitis (free)
Oumare Tounkara (free)
Francois Zoko (free)
Dani Lopez (free)
Craig Reid (free)
Filipe Morais (free)
Luke Jones (free)
Peter Hartley (free)
Simon Heslop (free)
Sam Wedgbury (free)
Marcus Haber (free)
Photo of the Month
The Club receives the Football League Family Excellence Award for the third time in four years
Off the pitch
- A group of cyclists representing Stevenage FC cycled from London to Amsterdam in support of Prostate Cancer UK, raising over £10,000. Seven Boro fans - Steve Watkins, Steve Clarkson, Rich Cooksley, Mike Green, Andrew Southwell, Ben Storey and former player Neil Trebble - were amongst 150 riders from across the Football League who set off from Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium en-route to the Dutch capital over two days.
- Hundreds of fans visited the club’s stall in glorious weather at Stevenage Day to see the brand new home and away shirt designs from FILA, try the STS Tyre Pro Challenge, meet Boro Bear and much more.
- The Club launches a new brand film, an emotive, hearts and minds video to create a brand proposition and visual identity for the Club
- Andy Bond, Sam Beasant and Harry Worley became the first three new additions to the Stevenage team with Calvin Zola, Tom Pett and Dean Wells, Ronnie Henry, Chris Whelpdale and Simon Walton arriving later in the month.
- Luke Freeman departed for Bristol City for a six-figure fee with Lucas Akins and James Dunne also moving on,
- Stevenage were drawn to play Watford at home in the first round of the Capital One Cup, forcing the cancellation of a planned pre-season friendly between the two sides.
- The fixtures for the new 14/15 season were revealed handing Boro a home game against Hartlepool to start the new campaign.
- Graham Westley strengthened his backroom team with Dave Beasant arriving as goalkeeping coach and Dan Barnes stepping up from the Academy to become the first team Fitness Coach.
- Jon Ashton announces he is stepping down as captain.
Lucas Akins (Burton - undisclosed)
James Dunne (Portsmouth - undisclosed)
Luke Freeman (Bristol City - undisclosed)
Photo of the Month
Boro fans take part in the Football League's cycle ride to Amsterdam, raising money for Prostate Cancer
The new Stevenage FC kit designs are revealed