A win for Boro as we say goodbye to the Checkatrade Trophy..
A young Stevenage side put in a terrific performance against Brighton U23’s on a cold and wet Tuesday night as they recorded a 3-1 victory at the Lamex.
A brace from Alex Samuel was sandwiched between a Kyle Wootton penalty as the visitors from the south coast struggled to cope with the youthful vigour of Boro’s play.
Brighton named a number of senior players in their side as the likes of Jamie Murphy, Liam Rosenior and Tim Krul all featured.
Despite the result, Boro exit the Checkatrade Trophy as MK Dons and Oxford progress from Southern Group G.
The manager named a mixture of scholars, first year pro’s and senior squad members, allowing valuable game-time for a number of players on the fringes of the First Team squad.
Highly rated Second Year apprentice, Ben Wilmot made his second start of the season whilst first year pro’s Mark McKee and Luke Wade-Slater also started.
With wet conditions playing their part, the game got off to a sloppy start with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball.
It took until 15 minutes for the first real chance of the game, smart build up play in-and-around the box before Alex Samuel got onto the end of Harry Beautyman’s low cross to make it 1-0.
Stevenage held a strong shape throughout the half and restricted Brighton to very little going forward. Aaron Connolly skewed a decent chance wide on 30 minutes but other than that, Boro were very much comfortable.
With the game heading towards the break, Tom Conlon and Alex Samuel combined in the area before the former was tripped up, resulting in the referee pointing towards the spot.
Kyle Wootton stepped up, sending Tim Krul the wrong way and giving Stevenage a 2-0 half-time lead.
Brighton upped their game in the second half and had a superb double save from Fryer followed by a vital clearance from Wilkinson just a few minutes in to maintain the clean sheet. Heroics from both men as a goal for the Seagulls seemed inevitable.
Fryer was at it again on 60 minute, extending his reach to palm away a blasted Hunemier’s close range strike following a Brighton corner.
Second year scholar, Georgiou entered play moments on as he replaced Kyle Wootton and it didn’t take too long before he caught the eye – close touch and a quick change of direction winning a free-kick out wide, an indication of his obvious talents.
After putting in the mightiest of shifts, Harry Beautyman made way for James Ferry with 20 minutes to go and ten minutes later, it was 3-0. A smart turn and shot from Alex Samuel caught out Krul to put the finishing touches on a fine performance.
Jamie Murphy struck back for the visitors in added time but Boro were able to see the game out to record a first Checkatrade Trophy win of the season, although previous results mean we bow out of the competition for another year.