A hardworking Stevenage fall just short to Tranmere Rovers who take all three points through Kieron Morris’ second half strike…
Paul Tisdale’s men made the near 200-mile trip to The Wirral on a cool Tuesday night after the initial fixture in November was postponed due to storms. The side consisted of three changes from Saturday’s victory at The Lamex as Luther James-Wildin, Michael Bostwick and Ed Upson returned to the starting eleven.
The opening moments of the game went mostly Tranmere’s way as they were immediately on the front foot. Stevenage had a couple of scares in quick succession as Paul Glatzel was allowed to have two headed efforts on goal. His first was superbly denied on the line by Christy Pym before the goalkeeper was then forced to acrobatically save Glatzel’s second effort in two minutes.
After just ten minutes, Paul Tisdale was forced to make an early change as left-back Ben Coker received a knock and was replaced by Luke O’Neill who usually finds himself playing on the right-hand side of defence.
Stevenage created their first chance of the game six minutes later as Luke Norris received the ball in Tranmere’s half before laying it off to Jake Taylor on the left. Taylor drove all the way to the box and played it across goal, forcing Ross Doohan to get down and save.
The next ten minutes was slower in pace as Stevenage made it difficult for Tranmere to break them down. On the twenty fifth minute, the ball was played to Kane Hemmings on the edge of the area, but his tame effort was simple enough for Pym to collect.
Stevenage grew into the game around the half-hour mark, keeping a hold of the ball and attempting to move it forward when the opportunity arose. Jamie Reid was set through on goal, but the linesman’s flag put an end to a promising attack for Boro.
Boro were arguably the better side in the closing stages of the first half as they held on well and even created another chance of their own. Luke Norris’ low driven cross almost ended up in the back of the net, but Jake Taylor couldn’t quite connect with the ball.
Just two minutes into the second half, the hosts opened the scoring. The ball was played into Kane Hemmings who laid it off for Kieron Morris who struck from the edge of the box and found the bottom right corner.
Ten minutes later, Stevenage came close to grabbing an equaliser. Luke O’Neill’s cross fell to the head of Luke Norris who nodded it back to Jake Reeves. The midfielder took aim but was denied on the line by Nathanial Knight-Percival’s head.
Tisdale introduced his final two substitutions as Charlie Carter and Luke Prosser replaced the tired legs of Jake Reeves and Michael Bostwick respectively.
In the final twenty minutes, it was clear that Stevenage were desperate to nick a result from this game. A couple of chances came Boro’s way, first with Jake Taylor’s low driven shot rolling past the post before Charlie Carter fired straight at the Tranmere keeper five minutes later.
As the rain started to pour, the pressure continued to pile on the Tranmere defence. Luke Norris came inches away from scoring an outrageous overhead kick, but the striker looked in disbelief to see the ball go just wide.
With five minutes to go, Tranmere almost killed the game off as Kane Hemmings’ header bounced off the post. Stevenage’s hard work continued for the remainder of the game but unfortunately Tisdale’s men couldn’t find the back of the net as Tranmere held it out until the referee’s whistle.
A performance not to be too unhappy about for Boro but ultimately it was Micky Mellon’s side who walked away with all three points. Now onto Saturday as the team travel to Crawley Town.
Match tickets for Stevenage vs Bradford City are now available from www.borotickets.co.uk.