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Club News


24 November 2015

Stevenage recorded their first away win of the season with a fine 2-1 victory away at Bristol Rovers this evening.

Steven Schumacher blasted Boro ahead after just four minutes and although Rovers equalised just past the half hour, a second half screamer from Chris Whelpdale won all three points for the visitors.

Before this game four of Stevenage's last five goals had come from set plays and after a bright start in Bristol, Boro took the lead after just four minutes from a corner. Kennedy's pass to Pett at the near post saw the midfielder flick the ball back to Schumacher. The midfielder saw his initial effort blocked but when the ball came back to him he made no mistake, drilling into the far corner.

Boro continued to enjoy the best of the opening quarter of an hour before Matty Taylor finally registered Rovers' first chance after twisting and turning on the edge of the box, but fired over. A second chance came a minute later as Billy Bodin's shot from 20 yards was palmed to safety by Day.

Stevenage continued to pass the ball around comfortably without creating much in the final third, presenting the Gas with opportunities to counter quickly when they won the ball back. Jermaine Easter found himself crowded out in the box on 23 minutes after a good ball into the striker, with Dean Wells also clearing away from danger moments later after more Pirates pressure.

Despite creating chances to score the hosts were proving rather erratic with some of their passing, causing moans and groans among the home faithful. A free-kick on the half hour was a prime example, with a ball curled into the box but missing everyone, much to the crowd's displeasure.

Three minutes later, however, they were on their feet celebrating as the Gas equalised. Loanee Paris Cowan-Hall cut in from the left and clipped a ball over the top, giving Matty Taylor all the time in the world to bury his shot past Day with Boro's defence static, looking for an offside flag.

Schumacher saw a trademark piledriver blocked and Kennedy blazed a volley high and wide as Stevenage opted for efforts from distance approaching the break, but the two teams went in level.

Rovers came out with renewed purpose at the start of the second half and Stevenage had to be alert, with a 50th minute defensive header from Ogilvie perfectly timed to thwart two onrushing attackers.

Schumacher went close soon afterwards with a free-kick straight at Nicholls before Boro went ahead just before the hour in brilliant fashion. Attacking down the right hand side, Schumacher found Whelpdale in space on the edge of the area and he rifled home into the top corner to put Stevenage back in front.

From then on it was pretty much back-to-the-walls as Rovers pushed forward, with Boro defending brilliantly as a team. One counter though nearly put Boro 3-1 up, with Whelpdale this time rolling his marker 20 yards out but seeing his fierce effort turned away by a flying Nicholls.

Just past the hour Jermaine Easter ran through on goal and forced a fine save from Day, only for the referee to signal a goal-kick, much to the home faithful's horror. You sensed it might just be Boro's day, but they remained hardworking throughout the remaining half hour and saw out the game expertly.

That's not to say the hosts didn't create chances though, with a 69th minute header bouncing off the top of the bar despite Day looking comfortable and sub Ellis Harrison smashing wide from close range.

As time ticked on Boro conceded several free-kicks around their area, leading to cautions for Franks, Lee and Ogilvie, but whatever was thrown at them the visiting defence stood firm.

An injury to Schumacher during four minutes of injury time saw the midfielder stretchered off but Boro saw out the win and should have even stretched their lead when sub Gnanduillet fired inches wide on the counter.

A first away win of the season stretches Stevenage's recent unbeaten record to four ahead of Saturday's visit to The Lamex by Morecambe. Tickets for that game can be bought now at

Bristol Rovers: Nicholls, Brown, Lockyer, Parkes, Taylor, Lines, Clarke (Leadbitter 77), Easter (Harrison 65), Bodin, Sinclair, Cowan-Hall (Cristian Montano 65)

Subs: Mildenhall, McChrystal, Mansell, Clarke

Stevenage: Day, Henry, Franks, Wells, Ogilvie, Whelpdale (Gnanduillet 88), Schumacher (Gorman 90), Tonge, Whelpdale, Pett, Kennedy (Lee 70), Matt

Subs not used: Voss, McCombe, Conlon, Hughes

Attendance: 5,819 (101 away)

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