Young Boro progress under the lights...
Stevenage Under 15s progressed through to the next round of the Floodlit Cup, under the lights at the Lamex Stadium. An expectant crowd of over 350 people attended the ‘Pay What You Want’ fixture, and were not left disappointed as goals from Granville, Halpin and Stevenson secured Boro’s place in the national knockout stages.
The young Stevenage side were almost ahead within the first five minutes, after some confident play from forward Cian Halpin inside the box played in Theo Alexandrou in the six-yard area, but the midfielder’s shot was stopped by a brave Southend goalkeeper.
The hosts did not have long to wait for the opener however, and on eight minutes Max Granville had given Stevenage the lead. It was Halpin again causing trouble for the Southend defenders, with pace and strength in abundance, Boro’s number nine played the ball across Granville to finish expertly.
It was almost an immediate second for the home side, when Halpin’s free-kick from 20 yards flew just inches over the opposition’s crossbar.
The lead was then doubled inside the first quarter of the game, and Halpin had the goal he deserved. The forward’s instincts paid dividends after responding the quickest to a goalkeeper parry, and finished with composure to put Stevenage two up.
Teddy Stevenson’s volley on the half hour mark almost made it three for Boro, but the Southend goalkeeper was there to parry wide of the goal.
As the referee blew for half-time, Stevenage were ahead and looked good for the lead.
Early in the second half, Southend halved the deficit with a tidy finish from inside the box following a wide free-kick.
Stevenage left no time to waste in restoring their two goal advantage, as Cian Halpin bagged his second of the night after taking on several Southend defenders inside the box, before smashing the ball past the goalkeeper into the corner.
With just under ten minutes to go, Teddy Stevenson extended the young Boro side’s lead to three goals, making it 4-1 with a tap in from close range after Billy Heaps had squared the ball across goal.
In the dying minutes of the game, Southend United grabbed a consolation, but it was not enough to stop a dominant Stevenage Under 15s side securing the win.
The victory meant Ieuan Lewis and his side had progressed through to the knockout stages of the EFL Under 15s Floodlit Cup, topping the group in style.
Stevenage FC Starting XI: Aitken, Mohoney, Bugyei-Kyei, Heaps, Cochrane, Wilson, Granville, Alexandrou, Halpin, Stevenson, Tinubu.
Substitutes: Onyegwara, Egeworth, Middleton, Stanley, Norris, Johnson.