Stevenage continue their positive pre-season campaign with a victory and a clean sheet…
Stevenage made the short trip to Hitchin Town as preparations for the 2023/24 League One campaign continued. Steve Evans named a strong side with a back three of Terence Vancooten, Nathan Thompson and Carl Piergianni starting in front of Taye Ashby-Hammond between the sticks.
Luther James-Wildin and Dan Butler occupied the wings, either side of a midfield trio of Louis Thompson, Ben Thompson and Alex MacDonald. The exciting partnership of Jamie Reid and Elliott List led the line.
Boro looked to dominate in the early stages against their non-league opponents but were unable to create a clear-cut chance. Jamie Reid took aim from the edge of the area after fifteen minutes, but his low driven effort was collected by the Hitchin stopper.
The Canaries defended well and even applied some pressure onto the visitors at times, but half an hour in the score-line was still goalless. Stevenage came close shortly after as Luther James-Wildin’s delivery found Dan Butler at the back post, but his shot was superbly kept out by Hitchin’s Charlie Horlock.
Just moments later, Boro were able to break the deadlock. Terence Vancooten found himself in a rare attacking position as he took on his defender and squared the ball to Jamie Reid who fired home from close range.
One goal soon turned into two for Stevenage as Elliott List was brought down in the area, with Hitchin’s Stan Georgiou seeing red after a reckless challenge. Jamie Reid stepped up to take before finishing into the bottom left corner, grabbing his second goal of the evening.
Half-time saw ten changes made by Steve Evans, aswell as a change of formation from a back three to a back four. In goal for Stevenage was a trialist, who stood behind a back four of Owen Cochrane, Luther James-Wildin, Kymani Skyers and Kane Smith. The new midfield trio consisted of Nick Freeman, Jake Forster-Caskey and youngster David Hicks. Jordan Roberts, Josh March and Theo Alexandrou made up the second-half attack.
There were very few chances in the early stages of the second half as Stevenage looked comfortable with their two-goal advantage. Nick Freeman tried his luck from range just after the hour mark, forcing the Hitchin goalkeeper to pull off a smart save.
Hitchin had a rare sight on goal with fifteen minutes to go as a lobbed effort from distance caught everyone off guard, but luckily for Boro the ball bounced off the crossbar and out for a goal-kick.
Ten minutes remained when Stevenage increased their lead to three. Kane Smith sprinted down the left wing before receiving the ball from Jordan Roberts and drilling it across the face of the goal to Jake Forster-Caskey who grabbed his first goal in a Boro shirt.
Eventually, the referee blew his final whistle to conclude another successful pre-season outing against non-league opposition. Boro travel to Stamford on Saturday for yet another test.
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