Elliott List's strike awards Stevenage a 1-0 win over Sky Bet League One opponents, Derby County, in the final home fixture of pre-season...
On what was regarded as the hottest day of all time in the UK, Stevenage welcomed recently relegated League One side Derby County who had been very active in the transfer window prior to this fixture.
Boro initially lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Ashby-Hammond in goal, a back three of Piergianni, Vancooten and Sweeney, as well as Clark and Kane Smith either side as wing backs. A midfield trio of Bostwick, Taylor and Reeves sat behind the deadly attack of List and Norris.
Derby attempted to apply the pressure in the opening ten but it was the hosts who created the first real chance. Luke Norris cut in on his right foot before aiming for goal with a curled effort, but Joe Wildsmith held on to deny.
Just after twenty minutes, Norris came close again. Elliott List drove down the left wing before finding Luke Norris’ head with the cross, but the striker’s effort went just inches wide of the post. The expected drinks break then followed.
On the half hour mark, Boro broke the deadlock. Michael Bostwick’s strong tackle led to the ball falling to Jake Taylor’s feet who quickly played in Elliott List. The attacker then cut in on his left foot before striking the ball clean into the bottom right corner.
Five minutes later it was List once again in a dangerous position. A fantastic pass from wing-back Max Clark found its way to Elliott List but Joe Wildsmith superbly pushed his effort wide of the mark. This chance was the final one of note for the first half as Steve Evans’ men went into the break one goal up.
At half-time, Evans made six changes with Kane Smith, Sweeney, Reeves, Taylor, List and Norris being replaced by Earley, James-Wildin, Read, Roberts, Rose and Reid.
On a day which reached 39 degrees, the rain at the start of the second half was more than welcome as Boro remained the dominant side. Jamie Reid set up Michael Bostwick on the edge of the area, but the midfielder was unable to curl his low effort into the back of the net.
The second half was far quieter than the first as Boro remained one goal up with twenty minutes to go. At this stage of the game, Evans opted for a change of keepers as Aaron Chapman replaced Taye Ashby-Hammond.
Jamie Reid looked to create a second for his side as he played the ball back to Max Clark from the left hand-side but Clark’s effort was denied. Reid then took aim himself a minute later but his shot was deflected over the bar.
With ten minutes to go the score was still 1-0 to the hosts as Stevenage academy product Mackye Townsend-West replaced Carl Piergianni in defence. Then, two minutes later fellow academy product Jack Smith was brought on in place of Max Clark in midfield.
The academy substitutes did not stop there however as youngster Alfie Williams replaced the experienced Michael Bostwick with three minutes to go. The referee then blew for full time as Stevenage walked away on the hottest day ever with a 1-0 win over former Premier League opposition.
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