Stevenage FCW came back from the long trip to Norfolk with all three points in hand after a positive display with goals from five different players on the pitch. Kings Lynn will feel aggrieved not to have got back into the game before it slipped away from them, but ultimately the scoreline reflected the difference on the day.
The opening moments saw plenty of possession for Boro’ with very little actually created in front of goal. So it was effectively the first chance of note that was converted twelve minutes in. A ball into Anna Baker-Re saw Deanna Boon do a fantastic job of thwarting her, only for the ball to roll agonisngly slowly to Lilia Dempsey at the far post, who made no mistake from close range to open the scoring with her second goal of the season.
Borough entered a purple patch with control of the game and numerous chances. Amy Gooderham, Hannah Nebbitt and Dempsey all had opportunities, with the latter perhaps missing the best of the three as the ball came in at an awkward angle to control.
The Linnets would be frustrated to see their first attack of note create an excellent opportunity. Alisha Juby’s effort from Chloe Gunn’s interception ricocheted off the crossbar and was eventually cleared by a Boro’ defence that was given fair warning that the opponents were still capable of a good counter-attack.
As it was, it was the visitors who went down the other end and extended the lead. Gooderham effectively assisting her own goal as she beat her player only for her cross to be cleared back to her as she continued her entry into the box. Gooderham went on to bamboozle everyone as she sent a beautifully placed left footer over Boon and into the net.
Still Lynn didn’t give in. They regained composure and on another attack a left footed shot, once again from Juby, cannoned off the crossbar to safety. The hosts could be forgiven for feeling disappointed, but they still fought on forcing Celine Ray into a couple of good solid saves.
It was Stevenage however, who would end the half well in the ascendancy. First came an opportunity for Sophie Hendy. The ball from Hannah Bodily was inch perfect and Hendy simply lifted the ball over Boon and into the net for her second goal of the season.
Within a minute, Stevenage had put Lynn into a huge hole. A Nebbitt corner was initially cleared by Oksana Imanalijeva, but only to Emily Schofield who thumped the ball with venom into the back of the net to open her account for the year. Boro’ went in much the happier of the two teams, with the break also seeing last season’s top scorer for the development squad given her senior debut in Matilda Thomas-O’Keefe.
The second half saw few chances of note for the hosts as Boro’ turned the screw. A corner routine somehow missed both Rebecca Edge and Hendy, whilst Nicole Farmer sent a free kick from 20 yards just over the bar. Ellie Stammers, also making her debut for Stevenage, had two opportunities that were both snaffled by Boon and Schofield had another opportunity from outside the box that she couldn’t quite keep on target.
However, following Edge’s dismissal for dissent to the sin bin, Boro’ found their shooting boots again. First up, Gooderham with her brace. After winning the ball back high up the pitch she raced through to face Boon and in a battle of composure, Gooderham won, passing the ball into the net at the near post.
She would have been a touch sad not to be able to try and complete her hat trick as she made way for Dempsey who within minutes had a shot fired over the bar that was a harbinger of things to come.
Before that, Kristal Clarke was in line to face Boon herself. A good ball saw her use her pace and control, getting her shot away just before Imanalijeva could get the tackle in. It was a carbon copy of the Gooderham finish that had gone before, as she stroked the ball expertly past an exasperated Boon.
There was still time for Dempsey to cut inside and blast a net buster into the top corner, but the linesman flagged for offside in what appeared a very tight decision. Regardless, it was a display for Stevenage that saw them reduce the deficit in goal difference and chalk up their first three points of the season.
Manager, Dave Perry was pleased after the final whistle, “It’s a confidence builder. We still have a gear to go up. We started well again and it could have been more, but we won and it’s a start. It will come with results.” Undoubtedly, the biggest relief of all was finally getting a result their play deserved.
Kings Lynn XI: Boon, Rix, Hicks, Meale, Cobb, Hopkins-Duckhouse (c), Porter, Skinner, Williams, Juby, Imanalijeva
Stevenage XI: Ray, Nebbitt, Gunn, Edge, Farmer, Schofield, Bodily (c), Baker-Re, Dempsey, Hendy, Gooderham
Subs: White, Millen, Clarke, Stammers, Thomas-O’Keefe
Goals: Dempsey, Gooderham x 2, Hendy, Schofield, Clarke
Sin Bin: Edge
You can see Stevenage FCW in action in their next away game of the season as they do battle with Luton Town on Sunday 24th September. Keep your eye on the social media platforms – Instagram, TikTok and X for more details - @stevenagefcw.
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