MATCH REPORT: ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0, STEVENAGE 1
Stevenage made it three away wins in the league on the bounce, as a Matt Godden second half goal was enough to seal all three points for Darren Sarll’s men at Accrington Stanley.
Clear cut chances were few and far between as horrific conditions played their part at the Wham Stadium. Large areas of the pitch were covered in water - making it difficult for the ball to run - but Boro were able to assert their authority in the second half and come out with the win.
The manager made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at home to Yeovil last week, with Dale Gorman and Steven Schumacher both coming into the starting XI. It was Schumacher’s first start in the league since his ACL injury at Bristol Rovers last season.
Boro started the game immediately on the attack and it was the youthful vigour of Ben Kennedy and Harry McKirdy that caused Accrington problems within the opening minute. The two attackers both with opportunities around the Stanley box but MrKirdy was unable to pick out a man before Kennedy's shot was blocked.
Accrington grew into the game and went onto keep Stevenage pinned deep inside their own territory for much of the half. Clark was having an impact for the home side yet unable to make the most from a couple of sights at goal.
A quick free-kick for Boro on 25 minutes saw Godden released behind the defence, but his shot on goal lacked the pace to really trouble Parish. Moments later Stanley had the best chance of the half as McCartan ran through on goal but Jones was out quickly and made a brilliant save to keep it goalless. Stanley were to have one more opportunity before the break but Beckles headed wide from a corner.
If Accrington had the better of the first half, Stevenage were to have the upper hand in the second as wave after wave of attack started coming at the home defence.
Stanley were struggling to get out and Ben Kennedy began to run riot down the right. Schumacher saw his shot deflected wide after good work from the youngster driving the play forward.
It took until the 70th minute for Boro to find the breakthrough, Matt Godden getting onto a ball over the top before firing under Parish from an acute angle.
Stanley survived an incredible goal line scramble not long after conceding, as both Godden and Charlie Lee had chances with the ball ricocheting around the area.
Jamie Jones didn't have too much to do in the remaining period although he did have his say in spectacular fashion near the end. Accrington forward O'Sullivan split the defence but Jones was quick off his line and made himself big to keep the score 1-0.
There wasn’t to be the late drama of a week ago as Stevenage held on throughout extra time to earn a crucial win away from home.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Wilkinson, Franks, Ntlhe, King, Gorman (Wells 78), Schumacher, McKirdy (Lee 68), Kennedy, Godden (McAnuff 90)
Subs not used: Liburd, Pett, Day, Cowans
Accrington: Parish, Vyner, Beckles, Pearson, McConville, Boco, Conneely, Brown (Lacey 82), Clark (O'Sullivan 67), McCartan, Gornell (Kee 72)
Subs not used: Hughes, Taylor-Fletcher, Chapman, Ogle
Referee: Michael Salisbury