Frustration at The Lamex as Oldham Athletic come out on top in a crucial clash for survival...
Boro and Oldham went into this game level on points as they continued their fight for league survival. Steve Evans named four changes from his first game in charge at Exeter as Luther James-Wildin, Michael Bostwick, Chris Lines and Arthur Read returned to the starting eleven.
Stevenage were on the front foot from the get-go as they searched for an early goal. Arthur Read’s cross landed on the penalty spot, but an off-balance Luke Norris was unable to get enough power behind his effort as the ball rolled past the post.
Just after ten minutes, Boro had the momentum once again as Arthur Read played in Elliott List whose effort was denied by Danny Rogers in goal.
However, the momentum soon changed hands as the visitors took the lead after fifteen minutes. Jordan Clarke delivered a cross to an unmarked Jamie Hopcutt at the back post who calmly headed Oldham into the lead.
Despite the goal, it was Stevenage who were applying the pressure and creating the most chances, with Arthur Read playing a key role in that department. The midfielder’s corner was punched out by Danny Rogers but only to Jake Taylor’s feet who blasted his shot over the bar.
Just after the half hour mark, Boro had arguably their closest chance of the half. Luther James-Wildin drove down the right wing with pace before cutting the ball back to Elliott List whose effort from the edge of the area flew agonisingly wide of the post.
Unfortunately for Evans’ men they were unable to convert their chances as the referee blew for half time, sending Boro into the changing rooms a goal down.
The second half started off slower than the first as Oldham were attempting to hold on to their one goal advantage whilst Boro searched for the equaliser.
On the hour mark, Stevenage created their first real chance of the half. Arthur Read’s clever backheel allowed Ben Coker to run on and whip the ball into the area. His cross fell to Michael Bostwick who blasted his effort wide of the mark.
Steve Evans made his first substitution after sixty-seven minutes in search of an equaliser as Bruno Andrade replaced Chris Lines. Then, roughly ten minutes later Arthur Read was brought off for Jamie Reid.
Stevenage were unable to create the number of chances they did in the first half as Oldham held on well. Luther James-Wildin battled well on the right to get a cross into the box, but no one could get on the end of it.
With just five minutes left Evans made his final change as Michael Bostwick was replaced by Ed Upson in a like-for-like change.
Oldham managed to hold on their lead for the whole second half as the referee blew for full time to the dismay of Stevenage fans around the ground. It was a frustrating afternoon for the Boro faithful who came out in numbers as the side dominated most of the contest but failed to find the back of the net.
Now onto the away trip to Colchester next weekend where the stakes are raised even higher.