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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 1-0 Harrogate Town

24 September 2022

Jim Steele

Dan Sweeney's late header results in a well-deserved three points for Stevenage...

Looking to continue the impressive 100%-win record at The Lamex Stadium this season, Boro were met with Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town. Steve Evans made just two changes from Tuesday’s 3-0 victory against Wycombe with Taye Ashby-Hammond and Carl Piergianni returning to the starting eleven.

After six minutes, Stevenage were under some real pressure as a loose pass in defence was picked up by Harrogate’s Josh Coley. The forward appeared destined to score but his attempted chip was superbly denied by the strong hand of Taye Ashby-Hammond.

Boro looked the side on top over the next ten minutes with wing-backs Kane Smith and Max Clark aiming to send balls into the box, with Norris and Rose lurking. Eventually a clear-cut chance arose as Danny Rose laid the ball off to Alex Gilbey whose effort inside the box was well kept out by Pete Jameson.

Stevenage were quietly knocking on the door throughout the first thirty-five minutes but failed to really test the visiting goalkeeper. Luke Norris sent the ball into the area but Pete Jameson collected.

Norris was amongst the action again moments later as Max Clark delivered the ball over to the back post with Norris heading just wide.

Boro certainly upped the tempo in the closing stages of the half, but the ball just seemingly refused to hit the back of the net. First, Luke Norris’ header was saved before Jake Taylor latched onto the rebound, but once again the Harrogate stopper was there to deny.

The second half got underway, and Stevenage were now attacking in front of the travelling Harrogate support. Kane Smith’s left-footed cross found Jake Taylor in the box, but his headed effort was caught by Jameson.

Kane Smith appeared to be a creative threat for Stevenage down the right-hand side as his frequent crosses caused some problems. His delivery ten minutes into the half got the seated Boro fans on the edge of their seat, but it somehow flew past everyone and out for a goal-kick.

Just after the hour mark, Steve Evans made four changes in a bid to win the game. Luke Norris, Dean Campbell, Jake Taylor and Max Clark were replaced by Jamie Reid, Jake Reeves, Jordan Roberts and Saxon Earley.

Jamie Reid almost made an immediate impact moments later as he cut onto his left, fooling two Harrogate defenders, before his effort was deflected out for a corner.

With twenty minutes to go, it was becoming a mystery as to how the ball hadn’t hit the back of the Harrogate net. Danny Rose’s header was punched out to Dan Sweeney whose effort was miraculously saved, before Carl Piergianni fired over the bar. Stevenage fans were stunned.

The mystery continued soon after. Danny Rose’s cross hit the post as the ball then hit a Harrogate defender, bounced off the crossbar and then onto the line as Boro fans were in shock after not witnessing a goal. The score somehow remained goalless.

Ten minutes remained and Boro were throwing absolutely everything at the Harrogate defence. Kane Smith delivered yet another ball into the box, but Danny Rose’s header was tipped wide of the post.

Finally, an enormous sigh of relief surrounded The Lamex Stadium as Stevenage got their well-deserved winner in the ninetieth minute. Alex Gilbey’s sublime cross found centre-back Dan Sweeney in the box who nodded home to give Stevenage all three points on a day which looked destined to end in frustration.

A dominant performance which could’ve resulted in far more goals for Stevenage, but three points is all that matters.

Attendance: 2,547 with 75 away supporters.

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