Boro lose it late...
Stevenage’s run of three straight league wins came crashing to a halt at Crewe as a last minute winner for Jordan Bowery won it for the hosts.
Boro never really showed their best stuff on the day and despite a strong defensive performance for 93 minutes, it wasn’t enough as the Railwaymen snatched it with the last kick of the game.
Darren Sarll named three changes from Saturday’s win against Port Vale - bringing in Wilkinson, Whelpdale and Conlon for Vancooten (International duty), Kennedy (International duty) and Tom Pett (injury).
After featuring in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy draw at Milton Keynes, there were places on the bench for first year pro, Wade-Slater along with scholars Wilmot and Georgiou.
It took a little while for Stevenage to get hold of the game as Crewe enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. Dagnall spurned a chance just one minute into the game, seizing onto Gorman’s loose ball before firing straight into the hands of Fryer.
George Cooper was very much the danger man for Crewe early doors and missed two good opportunities inside the first 20 minutes. The first a scuffed effort which was simple enough for Fryer to deal with before another loose ball presented him with the chance from 12 yards, but a lack of composure on the strike saw it fly over and into the stands.
30 minutes into the game and Boro were beginning to get a grip on things. A couple of nearly moments soon followed before a penalty was awarded after Godden was taken down having burst into the area from a wide position.
With a 100% conversion rate from the spot last season it was no surprise to see Godden step up, yet Richards stood his ground to beat it away as he opted to rifle it down the middle.
The contest was competitive and downright chippy. Yellow cards to Conlon, Wilkinson and Franks were all given in the first half whilst Nolan of Crewe received one himself.
With ten minutes of the half left, Danny Newton was unlucky to see the linesman’s flag raised after finding the net with a powerful first time hit, but Boro went into the break all square with it all to play for in the second half.
Sarll rung the changes early, bringing on Wootton and Wade-Slater for Newton and Conlon in the 54th minute hoping to spark the team info a new lease of life.
Crewe continued to threaten down the flanks and with both Stevenage centre-backs already on cautions, high alert and full concentration was needed throughout the rest of the contest.
Neither Franks nor Wilkinson shied away, both needed for timely interventions, blocks and challenges as Crewe got in down the sides but were unable to carve out a chance.
Whelpdale almost scored the opener after an hour as he received the ball on the edge of the box following a swift break up the pitch. The winger turned inside before firing at goal, the ball taking a deflection and landing just on the roof of the net.
With 15 minutes to go, Stevenage had their best chance of the half. Kyle Wootton using his strength to beat his man out wide, before finding the on-rushing Jonathan Smith who could only blaze over from 12 yards away.
Crewe kept on going though, piling on the pressure late in the game.
Andronicos Georgiou came on for Matty Godden to make his league debut and with the last kick, Bowery won it for the home side. Despite batting away everything that came at them throughout the contest, it was one too many in the end as Stevenage travel home heartbroken.