Goals from Jamie Reid and Ben Thompson secure Stevenage a pre-season victory against Ipswich Town...
The pre-season campaign continued as Stevenage returned to The Lamex Stadium for the first time since their promotion day back in April. Newly promoted Championship side Ipswich Town were the opponents, giving Boro their toughest test of pre-season so far.
Hungarian goalkeeper Krisztian Hegyi, whose signing had been announced the day prior, started between the sticks. The back five consisted of Kane Smith, Luther James-Wildin, Nathan Thompson, Carl Piergianni and Dan Butler, with Louis Thompson and Ben Thompson sat in front of them. Alex Macdonald occupied the attacking midfield role behind the dynamic duo of Jordan Roberts and Jamie Reid.
It was a bright start in the pouring rain for the home side who took the lead after just five minutes. Alex Macdonald and Jamie Reid linked up nicely on the edge of the area, with the latter producing a smooth turn and finish to put his side in front.
Ipswich, who had taken a relatively strong squad to Broadhall Way, looked to grow into the game ten minutes later with midfielder Jack Taylor striking on goal, but his effort was blocked and out for a corner.
Boro were able to regain possession of the ball several times in the opposition’s half, as Ipswich looked to pass it round their defence. On one occasion, the hosts almost capitalised as Jordan Roberts found himself in a shooting opportunity, but his tame effort was simple enough for Christian Walton to collect.
At half time, no changes were made as Boro came back out of the changing rooms ahead of the second half. However, just two minutes after the break, Kane Smith went down and was substituted for Nick Freeman who slotted in at Right wing-back.
Shortly after, Stevenage doubled their lead in peculiar fashion. Alex MacDonald’s low driven free-kick deflected into the air, allowing Ben Thompson to nod home from close-range and give his team a two-goal advantage.
Little action occurred in the eighteen-yard boxes over the next twenty minutes as Boro looked to hold onto their lead. Debutant stopper Krisztian Hegyi was replaced by the familiar face of Taye Ashby-Hammond on the hour mark.
With just over twenty minutes remaining, Ipswich grabbed a goal back after a scramble in the box was converted by George Hirst despite Ashby-Hammond doing his best to protect his goal. Then, a further substitution was made by Steve Evans as Josh March replaced Alex Macdonald.
Boro remained largely in control with five minutes to go as the visitors failed to apply much pressure on the defence. An Ipswich back-pass almost made it three for Stevenage, but luckily for the Tractor Boys the ball trickled wide.
In the final five minutes, three youngsters were introduced in David Hicks, Theo Alexandrou and Kymani Skyers for a rare experience to play in front of The Lamex crowd. Eventually the referee blew his final whistle to conclude a positive pre-season challenge against higher-league opposition.
Boro return to The Lamex Stadium next Saturday for their final pre-season test as a Totttenham XI come to town.
Attendance: 1,826 including 788 away.