REPORT: Boro leave Yeovil with frustrating share of the spoils
Stevenage were made to settle for a point at Yeovil as Josh McQuoid’s first goal for the club cancelled out Akpa Apro’s opener.
Boro dominated proceedings throughout the afternoon but just couldn’t find that crucial second goal as Yeovil goalkeeper, Jonny Maddison put in a Man of the Match display for his club.
The result means Boro will more than likely need a win at home to Accrington on the final day of the season along with a slip up from either Blackpool or Carlisle in order to make the play-offs.
Darren Sarll made four changes to the team that lost out to Mansfield as Ben Kennedy, Josh McQuoid, Steven Schumacher and Dean Wells all were named in the starting line-up.
Stevenage began the game on top and in charge of the ball. Ben Kennedy was particularly lively during the early periods, always looking to dictate play and make things happen.
He had the first chance of the game after only three minutes, dragging his shot wide from a tight angle.
Yeovil seemed happy to allow Boro possession but remained a threat from out wide when in advanced positions themselves. Dolan had the home side’s first opportunity on goal but could only hit the side netting after Khan cut the ball back to him from the edge of the box.
Khan was by far Yeovil’s biggest threat and came close from an acute angle after cutting in from the left onto his favoured right foot.
All the play was in Yeovil’s half as Boro looked to get the go-ahead goal but as often has been the case in recent weeks, that final pass, cross or shot was just lacking.
Often Stevenage were forced to shoot from distance as Kennedy and then Pett were both denied from outside the penalty box.
As the half was coming to a close, Josh McQuoid was released into the area after a brilliant flick by Steven Schumacher but the Yeovil defenders closed him down quickly and snuffed out the chance.
Then came the sucker punch on the stroke of half-time - Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro pouncing from close range after Boro failed to deal with a cross into the box. If Yeovil were going to score, it was going to come from out wide and so it proved.
Stevenage knew they needed an early goal in the second half and that is exactly what they got thanks to Josh McQuoid. The on-loan striker stabbed in his first for the club after Jack King knocked down Steve Schumacher’s corner right into his path.
With their tails up, Stevenage were on the hunt for another. Schumacher forced Maddison into a fine, low stop from 25 yards and moments later a long throw from Charlie Lee somehow avoided both Kennedy and McQuoid who were ready and waiting from a few yards out.
Just a couple of minutes on, Jobi McAnuff and Ben Kennedy were both denied by Maddison. McAnuff letting off a powerful effort which the keeper parried before stopping Kennedy on the rebound too.
From the press-box it felt like a crucial stage of the game with so many chances coming and going within a short spell of time.
Francois Zoko dragged a shot wide on 60 minutes and then Ben Kennedy was forced off due to a problem with his groin. Michael Tonge was the man to replace him which allowed Tom Pett to move further up the pitch.
Pett was arguably Stevenage’s best player on the day and continued to run at and ask questions of the defence. With 71 minutes on the clock he stung the palms of Maddison after another burst thought the middle and then he headed wide at the back post just a minute or so later.
The opposition weren’t doing anything to threaten Jamie Jones in goal and it was all Boro going into the final period.
Having got his first taste of League Two football against Mansfield last week, Jamie Gray was given another as he replaced Charlie Lee with 15 minutes to go.
Luke Wilkinson came on for Josh McQuoid which allowed Jack King to move up top and it was the two substitutes that came so close to combining for what would have been a memorable winner.
Wilkinson, carrying the ball out from the back, played a delicate ball over the top for Gray and the young striker held off his man, aimed for the bottom corner but once again, Maddison was on hand to make the stop.
So a frustrating afternoon as Boro did everything but find the winner. The point could turn out to be an important one though as it puts Stevenage in the box seat for the play-offs should either Blackpool or Carlisle slip up next Saturday.
One thing is for certain though; Boro will need to do the business at home to Accrington in a week’s time.
Yeovil: Maddison, Shephard, Smith, Lacey, Dickson, Whitfield (Butcher 90+3'), Lawless, Dolan, Khan, Zoko, Akpa-Akpro
Unused Subs: Mugabi, Eaves, Sowunmi, Goodship, James, Harrison
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Wells, King, Ogilvie, Lee (Gray 75'), McQuoid (Wilkinson 81'), Schumacher, Pett, McAnuff, Kennedy (Tonge 69')
Unused Subs: Day, Franks, Gorman, Ntlhe