Stevenage pick up point...
There was nothing to split Stevenage and MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening as neither side were able to find a route to goal inside 90 minutes. As per the Checkatrade Trophy rules, the game went straight to penalties for an extra bonus point which the Dons won 5-4.
The result leaves Boro bottom of Southern Group H and in need of results and a nine goal-swing in order to qualify for the knockout stages.
Darren Sarll named ten changes from the side that beat Morecambe, Carlisle and Port Vale over the past ten days, opting for a mix of youth and experience to face MK Dons.
The manager handed second year scholar Ben Wilmot a start in the heart of defence alongside Luke Wilkinson. First year pro, Luke Wade-Slater and loanee Kevin Toner made up the rest of the back line whilst Tom Conlon and Dale Gorman started in central midfield.
James Ferry, Chris Whelpdale and Harry Beautyman started in support of Kyle Wootton whilst Andronicos Georgiou (second year scholar) and Paul Field (first year scholar) were rewarded with places on the bench.
The first half failed to really ignite and it was Chuks Aneke - making his first start for the home side since February - who caught the eye during the opening period.
Seager and Aneke both saw chances fly wide of the post during the early exchanges and it was MK who looked the more dangerous outfit. Boro failed to create any chances of note during the first 45 minutes but looked bright in spells as they pushed forward for an opening.
Aneke saw another couple of opportunities go missing and just on the stroke of the half-time, Ben Wilmot was needed to make a last gasp goal-line block to deny Tshibola a certain goal.a
Danny Newton replaced Kyle Wootton at the break and within five minutes he had Boro’s best chance of the game. A snap shot inside the box on his left foot which Dons keeper Sietsma did well to keep out.
The contrast between the first and second half couldn’t have been much greater as Stevenage controlled possession and had the home side pinned back for the first 15 minutes of the second period.
As the half wore on the game broke out into an entertaining contest, both sides getting forward, playing with energy and creating chances. Wilmot was on hand to make a last-gasp sliding tackle on Thomas-Asanta, whilst Chris Day rolled back the years to make three quick fire saves in as many minutes to keep the scores level.
Georgiou replaced Beautyman in the 62nd minute to make his first team debut and he could have won it for Boro with less than 10 minutes to go. The youngster unable to nod the ball in from 6 yards out following Conlon’s corner.
The game could have been won at either end in the closing moments - Day again showing his class to prevent Nombe from a couple of yards out whilst James Ferry saw his close range header pushed away by Sietsma.
Despite a much improved second half, the game ended a stalemate with a point shared for each side.
In the bonus point penalty shootout, Wheldale's effort which struck the crossbar made the difference as MK Dons won 5-4.