Stevenage posted their first away win of the season on Saturday at Grimsby Town, as unbelievable late drama saw Matty Stevens score with the last kick of the game to seal all three points...
After taking the lead through Elliott List's goal late in the first half, Boro seemed on course for a relatively straight-forward three points as three of four minutes of added time were played.
Then, in a rare Grimsby foray forward, new signing Stefan Payne struck a late equaliser, before Stevens sent the Stevenage staff and players wild with a lofted finish right from kick-off.
The result moved Stevenage up a place to 21st and four points clear of the relegation zone, ahead of the Mariners in 23rd place, to create clear daylight at the bottom for Boro for the first time in months.
Alex Revell made just one change from Tuesday’s point against Colchester, bringing Jack Aitchison back into the side following his return from injury, in place of Matty Stevens.
Stevenage started the game strong and for the first 10 minutes, had almost total control of the game. Revell’s side were dominating possession and working good crossing opportunities, but the Town backline were able to deal with these and keep out any clear goalscoring chances. The first shot of the game came to Arthur Read on 8 minutes, who fired wide from the edge of the box when he could have found a fellow teammate.
Boro had an appeal for a penalty turned down on 13 minutes, as the ball ricocheted inside the Grimsby box with Luke Norris trying to get a shot away and Grimsby grew into the contest as the half wore on, as Stevenage’s grip on proceedings loosened.
One of Boro’s brightest bits of play came around the 25 minute mark, as good build up play between Norris, Coker and Aitchison led to Norris getting a blocked shot away from a tight angle but the home side were beginning to cause problems for the Stevenage defence.
Michael Rose fired high and wide from 25 yards and Matete forced Cumming into a fine low save soon after, before shooting wide from a similar position. On the whole though, Stevenage were coping well with everything the Mariners were throwing at them.
Although it was the home side in the ascendency as the half drew to a close, it was Stevenage who struck first, through Elliott List who scored his second goal in a week. After intercepting the ball inside the centre-circle, Jack Aitchison played a well weighted pass through to the on-racing List, who brushed past his marker before applying a deft finish to give Boro a vital lead at the break.
Stevenage came out of the traps quickly in the second half, and it was List again who came closest to scoring a second. After hitting the bar from a narrow angle two minutes into the half, he poked a cross wide seconds later.
Aitchison slipped List in again on 54 minutes, but despite the forward’s speed, Grimsby keeper McKeown came out just in time to do enough and divert the ball behind.
Alex Revell rang the changes on 68 minutes, as Newton and Stevens replaced List and Norris, to bring some fresh legs and energy into Stevenage’s forward line.
The home side offered little in-front of goal throughout the second half as Boro were able to manage the game on their terms, but Matty Stevens could have made the remining minutes more comfortable, as he lofted an effort over the bar.
Joe Martin came on for Jack Aitchison to make his second Stevenage debut soon after, and Jack Smith replaced Arthur Read, and Smith almost made an immediate impact, letting fly with a powerful half-volley from 20 yards which flew just wide of the post.
Newton could have also wrapped things up after 82 minutes, as he ran onto a clipped ball into the box by James-Wildin, but could only poke the ball wide.
Revell’s final chance saw Remeao Hutton come on for Ben Coker and in the 93rd minute, it looked like a draw was snatched from the jaws of victory, as Stefan Payne equalised for the home side against the run of play.
What happened next was extrordinary - with seconds to play and straight from the restart, James-Wildin played a long ball forward for Stevens to run onto, who reached the ball before the goalkeeper to give Boro the most dramatic of wins. The result makes it three wins from Stevenage's last six league games to move away from the bottom three.