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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 1-0 Rochdale AFC

16 August 2022

Jim Steele

Carl Piergianni's headed strike awards Boro all three points in Sky Bet League Two as Steve Evans' men go five unbeaten...

Looking to continue an impressive run of form and make it five games unbeaten, Stevenage welcomed Rochdale to The Lamex who had failed to pick up a point in their first three games in the league.

Steve Evans named five changes from the dramatic 1-1 draw with Walsall on Saturday with Max Clark, Kane Smith, Jordan Roberts, Arthur Read and Danny Rose making the starting eleven.

The first chance of the game came within just two minutes for Stevenage as Kane Smith delivered a cross at the back post, but Danny Rose’s header flew just over the bar.

Boro were looking dominant in the opposition’s half and came agonisingly close to grabbing the all-important opener fifteen minutes in. The left-footed Arthur Read stepped up to take a corner with Carl Piergianni meeting it with his head in the box, but the effort skimmed the bar.

Ten minutes later it was Carl Piergianni with a cross of his own this time. Luke Norris rose highest to meet it but the ball fell comfortably into the hands of the Dale keeper Richard O’Donnell.

The headed chances just kept coming for Boro, with Saturday’s goalscorer Danny rose leaping above everyone past the half hour mark, but his effort flew just inches past the post.

Jordan Roberts picked up a yellow card shortly after for a rash challenge on his opponent who was bursting through on the counterattack.

Boro continued their dominant spell but couldn’t quite find the back of the net. Jordan Roberts took aim from inside the box after being set up by Luke Norris but O’Donnell denied.

Finally, with five minutes to go until the break, Stevenage got their well-deserved goal. Once again it was Arthur Read sending in a delightful delivery from a corner with Carl Piergianni’s powerful header flying into the net to give Boro the lead.

This was the final chance of the half as the hosts went into the break a goal up.

Seven minutes after the interval, Rochdale were on the back foot once again as Boro aimed to double their lead. Danny Rose did what he does best and met the ball with his head, but the effort went just wide of the mark.

Just after the hour mark, Stevenage had the ball in the back of the net with Danny Rose once again rising highest in the area, but his headed effort was ruled out due the linesman’s flag.

The East Terrace continued to be heard loud and clear and were determined to aid the team towards a second goal. Max Clark saw an opportunity from outside the area but blasted his effort just over the bar.

Despite Stevenage dominance, Rochdale found a rare chance with twenty minutes to go. Devante Rodney’s header at the back post rolled just past the post from a corner.

Steve Evans made two changes with fifteen minutes remaining, as midfielders Jake Taylor and Dean Campbell replaced Arthur Read and Jordan Roberts.

Rochdale began to grow into the game as the final ten minutes approached but the Stevenage defence were adamant on keeping out everything that was thrown their way. Luther James-Wildin replaced Kane Smith for some fresh legs in defence.

Two more substitutes were introduced in injury time with Michael Bostwick and Jamie Reid replacing Jake Reeves and Luke Norris respectively. To the delight of the Boro faithful, Stevenage managed to hold onto their one goal advantage as the referee blew for full time.

Yet another exciting victory in Sky Bet League Two for Steve Evans’ side as Boro return to The Lamex in just four days time for a clash with Carlisle United.

Attendance: 2,720 inc. 170 away. 

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