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Club News


23 July 2016

Club News


23 July 2016

Stevenage beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 this evening as a promising pre-season continues for Darren Sarll's men.

Rowan Liburd's first half goal was the difference for Boro who combined spells of promising forward play with some resolute defending, as they kept their Championship visitors at bay.

Brighton started brightly and only a good Ronnie Henry block denied Kazenga LuaLua from opening the scoring from close range after just three minutes.

Jobi McAnuff was making his Stevenage debut and it was his 11th minute pass to Matt Godden that saw the striker get the ball past David Stockdale but his effect was deflected behind.

Fraser Franks saw a header fly over from that resulting corner and soon Boro were back on the defensive. The visitors forced three corners in quick succession around the 15 minute mark, which were all well defended, whilst LuaLua was then denied by firstly Jones and then Wilkinson on the line.

Gradually Stevenage got their attacking game together and just past the half-hour took the lead. A ball-through the Brighton defence saw Rowan Liburd burst free and the striker advanced on goal, rounded Stockdale and slotted home from a tight angle.

Joy quickly turned to frustration for the former Reading striker who limped off shortly afterwards, to be replaced by Dipo Akinyemi, although Darren Sarll dismissed any real concern about his striker in his post-match interview.

Kayal fired over, Baldock fired wide and LuaLua shot over as the chances came and went for Brighton, whilst at the other end Fraser Franks stung Stockdale's hands with a fierce shot from 30 yards which was parried behind.

There were no changes at half-time for either side but within seconds Boro went close to a second. McAnuff threaded a ball into Godden's path and the lively striker took a good first touch before shooting straight at Stockdale.

Still Chris Hughton's men created yet wasted chances with LuaLua and Holla missing the target from distance, whilst Stockdale had to be alert to save a low effort from Tom Conlon on 58 minutes.

With 64 minutes on the clock Akinyemi saw a curling effort hit the far post yet moments later Brighton should have been level. Neat footwork by Baldock created space and his cross-cum-shot looked to be heading in, only for Hemed to head over from yards out.

Still the end-to-end football continued in the humid conditions, with Godden and Akinyemi combining to setup a chance for Pett which was blocked and Wells then blocking a Hemed shot at the other end.

A host of substitutions by both sides in the latter stages disrupted the flow of the game, although with Ryan Johnson, Mark McKee, Jamie Gray, Luke Slater all on the pitch for Boro it was a youthful looking side for the last 10 minutes.

The final chances of the game both fell to Stevenage with sub-keeper Sanchez denying Akinyemi and Luke Wilkinson seeing a late header cleared off the line.

Referee Collins blew for full time soon afterwards to cap a good day's work for Darren Sarll's men, who now travel to Boreham Wood (Tuesday 26th) and St Neots Town (Wednesday 27th) on consecutive days as pre-season continues next week.

Stevenage: Jones, Henry (Slater 74), Wilkinson, Wells (Johnson 77), Franks, Conlon, Tonge (McKee 77), Lee (Gorman 60), McAnuff (Pett 60), Godden (Gray 74), Liburd (Akinyemi 34)

Subs not used: Day, Brady, Cregan

Brighton: Stockdale (Sanchez 60); Rosenior, Bruno, Hall (Roscoe 72), Hunt (Hutchinson 80); Murphy (Ward 80), Holla (Adekugbe 80), Kayal (Tighe 80), LuaLua (Tilley 80); Baldock (Harper 72), Hemed (Ayunga 88). 

Referee: Lee Collins

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