Stevenage Football Club pick up all three points through a Luke Norris brace as safety in Sky Bet League Two is all but confirmed...
Prior to kick-off, everyone at The Lamex Stadium observed a heart-warming minute’s applause in remembrance of a true Stevenage legend Martin Gittings, who sadly passed away earlier in the week, aged 61.
Stevenage returned to The Lamex in search of their fourth game unbeaten as the club push for Football League survival. A win for Boro along with Oldham falling to defeat would secure safety but promotion-chasing Tranmere looked to stand in the way. Steve Evans named just one change from his side’s 1-1 draw in Scunthorpe as Arthur Read replaced Chris Lines in midfield.
The first fifteen minutes were bright for Stevenage as they applied pressure on the opposition defence. Luther James-Wildin delivered a cross into the box which caused chaos for Tranmere defenders, with Jamie Reid’s close-range shot being denied and Jake Taylor’s effort deflecting past the post.
Five minutes later, Luther James-Wildin delivered a cross into the box once again but this time the ball struck Josh Hawkes’ arm and the referee awarded a penalty. Luke Norris confidently stepped up and converted from the spot to give Stevenage the lead and get the East Terrace bouncing.
Boro spent the remainder of the first half on the front-foot as they searched for an all-important second goal. The side showed some extremely promising signs with work from the training ground clearly on display. Luke Norris’ deflected effort fell to Jake Taylor, but the midfielder was off-balance and dragged his shot wide.
The second half got underway and Stevenage looked to hold onto their lead. Jamie Reid commited a foul on Tranmere’s right wing which resulted in the Boro man picking up a yellow card. Chris Merrie whipped the ball into the box but Christy Pym got both hands comfortably on it.
On the hour mark, Stevenage played some wonderful football with Jamie Reid and Jake Taylor having big parts to play. The ball was then sent to Luther James-Wildin who fired the ball across goal, but no one could get the decisive touch.
Just seven minutes later, Stevenage deservedly doubled their lead. Ben Coker received the ball on the left-hand side before delivering a perfect cross to Luke Norris at the back post who headed across goal and found the back of the net.
In an attempt to hold on, Steve Evans soon made two changes with Chris Lines and James Daly replacing Arthur Read and Luke Norris who received a standing ovation has he left the pitch.
The fourth official held up an additional nine minutes to be played due to stoppages earlier in the match. Jamie Reid took aim from the right hand side but fired inches past the post.
A real sense of jubilation and relief surrounded The Lamex as Boro walked away with all three points and a job well done. Football League status all but confirmed on the day we remember a Stevenage icon, Martin Gittings.