Late equaliser denies Boro all three points
A late equaliser from Morecambe denied Stevenage all three points this afternoon in a 1-1 draw at The Lamex Stadium.
After a first half which the Shrimps dominated, Boro took the lead on the hour through a Simon Walton penalty. It looked to be enough for the win but Padraig Amond salvaged a point with an 84th minute header.
Graham Westley made four changes to his starting eleven from last weekend’s defeat at Northampton, with Okimo, Walton, Beardsley and Deacon coming in. Dean Wells missed out through injury whilst there was a place on the bench for new loan signing Ryan Brunt.
It was a cagey start from both teams with Stevenage having more of the ball in the early stages, but finding themselves frustrated by a combination of the offside flag and a visiting defence that repelled the early pressure. They also had to deal with the blow of losing Jon Ashton to injury after just five minutes with Chris Whelpdale coming on at right-back and Ronnie Henry shuffling along to partner Darius Charles.
Morecambe meanwhile, with just one win in their last five, were looking the more dangerous and created by far the best chances of the half. With a quarter hour on the clock the tricky Jack Redshaw forced Chris Day into a low save after weaving his way into the box from the right.
The striker was soon to depart due to injury but his replacement Padraig Amond was straight into the action with a low shot that looked comfortable for Day.
Still Morecambe came forward and when Walton was robbed in midfield on 35 minutes it set up a dangerous counter. The ball was worked out to Amond in acres of space in the box but out came Day to deny him with a sprawling block.
Boro's defensive rearguard continued with Ronnie Henry clearing off the line a minute later and Charles putting in a crucial challenge on Mullin, after the striker had picked up possession in the middle of the park and sped into the box.
For Graham Westley's men it was a frustrating half but Roarie Deacon looked the most likely to create something. Three minutes before the break he cut inside and unleashed a thunderbolt just wide, which had half The Lamex on their feet who thought it had gone in.
However for all their efforts it remained goalless at the break, leaving Boro with plenty to ponder.
Stevenage came out much brighter after half time and when Whelpdale volleyed over a Walton corner four minutes in, with the aid of a deflection, it set the tone for a much improved display. Roarie Deacon continued to look lively, Whelpdale was finding himself further forward and McAllister saw a shot blocked before Boro took the lead on the hour from the spot.
Deacon was again involved, laying the ball off to McAllister who took a touch before being scythed down. Up stepped a confident Walton to slot home his first Boro goal and put the hosts 1-0 up.
A goal down, Morecambe remained a threat on the break and nearly fashioned an equaliser on 66 minutes. A through-ball pierced Boro’s defence leaving Amond through on goal, but Day stayed big and was able to both block and then pounce on the loose ball. Excellent work by Boro’s keeper.
Unlike the first half the game was much more open now with Devitt scuffing a shot at one end before McAllister saw another shot blocked in the box after Barnard had laid the ball off to him.
With 11 minutes left McAllister saw another shot blocked after good build-up play by Beardsley, with Lee Barnard also finding himself with the ball in the box two or three times but crowded out on each occasion.
However six minutes from time Morecambe hit Boro with a sucker-punch and one they will feel they thoroughly deserved. An excellent cross from the right was tucked behind brilliantly by Okimo but from the resulting corner, there was Amond all alone to power a header into the far corner to level things up.
Ryan Brunt came on for his debut as a late substitute and looked bright in his short spell on the pitch, but despite late pressure Boro couldn’t muster a second goal and had to settle for just the single point.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Ashton (Whelpdale 9), Charles, Okimo, Deacon, Walton, McAllister, Lee (Adams 59), Barnard, Beardsley (Brunt 85)
Subs not used: Beasant, Dembele, Pett, Jebb
Morecambe: Davies, Devitt (McGowan 85), Kenyon (McCready 75), Hughes, Edwards, Redshaw (Amond 32), Williams, Mullin, Drummond, Wilson, Parrish
Subs not used: Arestidou, Watson, Bondswell
Referee: Mark Heywood
Attendance: 2,464 (87 away)