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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 2-1 Barnsley

9 April 2024

Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 2-1 Barnsley

9 April 2024

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Goals from Jamie Reid and Dan Butler get Stevenage back to winning ways at The Lamex Stadium...

Just four games remained for Stevenage as they looked to end the 2023/24 League One campaign on a high note. Barnsley arrived at The Lamex as the opposition, as they looked to cement themselves in the play-off places.

Five changes were made after Saturday’s defeat away to Exeter City as Craig MacGillivray, Dan Sweeney, Elliott List, Finley Burns and Aaron Pressley came into the starting eleven.

It was the final midweek fixture of the season at The Lamex, and despite the kick-off of 7.45pm, it was still light out, to the delight of many, as the game got underway.

The hosts certainly started the brighter of the two sides as they looked to take the lead early on. The returning Aaron Pressley got on the end of a Dan Butler cross after just a couple of minutes, but his headed effort fell into the goalkeepers’ hands.

The strong start continued for Boro as they looked destined to take the lead with several chances coming their way. They were able to find space down the right flank, firstly with Jamie Reid able to fire a ball into the box, but Aaron Pressley was unable to convert.

Two minutes later, Louis Thompson also crossed the ball from the right-hand side, this time with Elliott List heading into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Despite the positive start, it was Barnsley who broke the deadlock after thirty minutes, as Adam Phillips lobbed the ball over Craig MacGillivray to give his side the lead against the run of play.

The game slowed down following the goal, but Boro remained composed and looked to find a reply.

Eventually, Stevenage found their well-deserved goal minutes before half time to level the scoring. Louis Thompson played the ball to Jamie Reid on the left-hand side of the area, as he cut in on his favoured right foot before blasting the ball into the bottom left corner.

Despite not being in front going into the interval, it was a half to be proud of in many ways.

Neither side made a change going into the second half as Stevenage were now attacking towards the North Stand.

Boro looked to begin where they left off as they continued to apply the pressure on the Barnsley defence.

After fifty minutes, the hosts earned themselves a free kick 25 yards from goal, as Dan Butler stood over it with intent.

The 29-year-old fired low and hard past the wall and found the back of the net to score his first goal for the club on his 47th appearance. It was now 2-1 to Stevenage with the majority of the second half to play.

Aaron Pressley appeared to have a point to prove as he often found himself in promising situations. His presence in attack caused issues for the Barnsley defence, and he came incredibly close to getting his name on the scoresheet on the hour mark, but Liam Roberts tipped his header past the post.

Barnsley were not going down without a fight, as expected, as substitute Devante Cole looked to equalise with twenty minutes to go, but he could not quite get a decisive touch on it.

A first Stevenage change came with over ten to play as Dan Sweeney made way for midfielder, Ben Thompson. The hosts moved to a back four with Ben Thompson, Finley Burns and Louis Thompson in front of them as the midfield trio.

Barnsley really applied the pressure in the latter stages of the game, but Boro remained composed and resilient as the fourth official held up six additional minutes.

Moments before, Jamie Reid had an opportunity to kill the game and was incredibly unfortunate, as his powerful effort from outside the area crashed against the post.

A double change was then made as Jamie Reid and Elliott List, who had both been a nuisance all evening, were replaced by Jordan Roberts and Nesta Guinness-Walker to see out the game.

Barnsley saw almost all of the possession in added time, but Stevenage continued to keep them at bay and defended superbly. Kane Hemmings replaced Aaron Pressley with seconds to go.

After some inspiringly hard work from Boro, the final whistle was eventually blown to award the hosts all three points. It was a performance that all involved with Stevenage Football Club could be proud of as they returned to winning ways in style.

Three games remain now as we welcome Burton Albion to The Lamex on Saturday.

Attendance: 4727, including 769 away.

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