Honours were even in SG2 after Luke Norris’ first half penalty was cancelled out by Jonson Clarke-Harris’ header just after half-time…
On a warm, summer evening at The Lamex Stadium, Steve Evans’ men welcomed Grant McCann’s Peterborough United to Stevenage in the second of three home pre-season fixtures this July.
Boro lined up in a similar fashion to Saturday’s victory over West Bromwich Albion, opting for three centre backs flanked by wing backs. Dean Campbell started in an unnatural left-sided position, while Elliott List and Luke Norris were the top two partnership.
As much to be expected, the recently-relegated-from-the-Championship visitors began the tie seeing the majority of the ball, testing the Boro defence on the odd occasion with the prowess of Clarke-Harris leading the Posh line.
It was, however, Stevenage who would first go close to an opener in SG2, when Kane Smith’s effort from inside the area was tipped over the cross bar by Harvey Cartwright, forcing a corner of which the hosts have been dangerous so far this pre-season.
Arthur Read’s set-piece a quarter of an hour in was met by a Boro head and cleared off the line, before the rebound fell to Terence Vancooten who was then subsequently felled inside the area. The first penalty awarded to this new-look Stevenage, but it was a familiar face who stood up to the spot, ball in hand. From twelve yards out, Luke Norris sent Harvey Cartwright the opposite direction and sent Boro into the lead.
Five minutes after the opener, the visitors had a golden opportunity of their own. Some well worked passing found Jonson Clarke-Harris in a gap and through on goal, and if it wasn’t for Aaron Chapman, would have drawn the game level. The six-foot-eight goalkeeper reached down well quickly to get a hand on the Posh forward’s effort, nudging the ball just past the post much to the travelling contingent’s disappointment.
Half-time came and Stevenage were the dominant side.
Nevertheless, the dominance would not last long after the restart. Harrison Burrows cross from the left hung up for Jonson Clarke-Harris at the back post, who headed in off the post to level the game.
Shortly after the equaliser, Stevenage could have regained the lead when Arthur Read’s corner found Dan Sweeney’s feet inside the six-yard box, only for the defender to fire over the cross bar.
With just over a quarter of the game left to play, Steve Evans opted for almost wholesale changes with only Jake Reeves and Aaron Chapman staying on. New signing Saxon Earley stepped onto the pitch in a Boro shirt for the first time, after joining on loan from Norwich City earlier this week.
The changes almost paid off immediately, when Luther James-Wildin’s left-footed cross found the rising Danny Rose inside the Posh area who glanced his header just wide of the near post.
Alfie Williams was introduced for Jake Reeves with five minutes left to play, but the plethora of changes to personnel contributed to less free-flowing play and fewer clearcut chances for either team.
The result halts Stevenage’s winning run this pre-season, but more valuable minutes in the tank for the team ahead of the new season. A trip to St Albans next for Steve Evans’ men, before Derby County visit The Lamex Stadium next Tuesday for our final home friendly as preparations continue.
Attendace: 830 inc. 187 away.