Goals from David Amoo, Dan Sweeney and Arthur Read send Boro into the Round of 16 of the Papa John's Trophy...
After Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Grimsby, Boro turned their attention to The Papa John’s Trophy Round of 32 as Arsenal’s youth arrived at The Lamex Stadium. Steve Evans made six changes from Saturday, with Aaron Chapman, Dean Campbell, Kane Smith, Arthur Read and David Amoo returning to the starting eleven.
After just five minutes, The North London side took an early lead. Charles Sagoe Jr’s shot was initially saved, but the ball fell simply for Nathan Butler-Oyedeji to blast it home from inside the area to give his side the lead.
Arsenal’s pace in attack seemed to cause problems for the Boro defence but the home side began to grow into the game. Ten minutes after the goal, Stevenage came inches away from an equaliser, as Arthur Read’s cross found Jordan Roberts at the back post who headed into the side-netting.
Jake Reeves had a good chance to shoot just outside the area but was fouled in the process, giving Stevenage a dangerous free-kick opportunity. Max Clark stepped up to take, with his effort flying just wide of the near post.
The young Gunners almost doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark as Amario Cozier-Duberry cut in on his left foot and attempted to curl the ball into the top corner, but his shot sailed just inches wide of the mark.
With five minutes until the interval, Stevenage should’ve levelled the scoring. David Amoo’s shot from the right-hand side of the box fell into the path of Alex Gilbey at the back post who fired over an empty net.
Shortly after the break, Stevenage found their equaliser. The ball was sent into the area as Hubert Graczyk spilt it onto the foot of David Amoo to tap home from inside the six-yard box and get his first goal for Boro.
With just over twenty minutes to go, Boro took the lead. Arthur Read’s pinpoint freekick found the towering head of Dan Sweeney who found the back of the net for the third time this season to complete the comeback.
Despite this, Arsenal equalised just moments later. A spectacular passing move resulted in Amario Cozier-Duberry drilling it past Aaron Chapman to level the scoring.
The goals just kept coming though, this time with Boro regaining their lead. Alex Gilbey laid the ball off to Arthur Read who tried his luck from thirty yards and found the bottom right corner with a superb strike to get his first goal of the campaign.
Three substitutions soon followed, with Dean Campbell, Max Clark and Arthur Read being replaced by Luke Norris, Saxon Earley and Luther James-Wildin respectively.
Five additional minutes were to be played as Arsenal looked for a late equaliser. Stevenage managed to hold on though and earn a place in the Round of 16 of The Papa John’s Trophy. Attention now turns to The FA Cup, with a trip to King’s Lynn this Saturday.
Attendance: 2236 with 722 away supporters.