Elliott List’s penalty just before half-time proved to be enough as Stevenage picked up the three points at The Lamex Stadium against a fighting Colchester United…
Robbie O’Keefe managed the side for the second time in one week after the impressive 2-1 victory against MK Dons in the FA Cup on Tuesday. His team consisted of just one change as Max Melbourne came in at centre back, replacing Tuesday’s Man of the Match, Luke Prosser who was out with illness.
Stevenage instantly showed promising signs as within two minutes Chris Lines played a perfect pass to Jake Taylor in the area, but he was quickly closed down by Colchester’s goalkeeper Shamal George.
Four minutes later, it was Colchester’s turn to get their first attack of the game as a low driven cross was played into the Stevenage area before bouncing out to Noah Chilvers who blasted over from the edge of the box.
Just after ten minutes, Colchester came close again through a blistering counterattack as Freddie Sears got on the end of a Frank Nouble cross but tapped the ball just past the post.
Stevenage struggled to get a hold of the ball in the opening twenty as Colchester’s ruthless intent added pressure to the Boro defence. Sylvester Jasper skipped past his man before firing at the bottom corner of the goal, but Adam Smith showed his talent to get down and deny.
Jasper came back again five minutes later, this time aiming for the top corner with Adam Smith acrobatically keeping the ball out.
Thirty-eight minutes in, Colchester’s Armando Dobra found his name in the referee’s book after a reckless challenge on Jake Taylor on the halfway line.
Just before half time, Elliott List was through on goal with just the keeper to beat. List got a touch on the ball before being taken down by Shamal George in the area, resulting in a penalty.
It was List who stepped up to the challenge, calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner, putting the hosts one goal up going into the break.
Moments into the second half, Stevenage had a slight scare as Frank Nouble headed the ball into the net before the linesman raised his flag, keeping Boro in the lead.
Nouble had another close chance just a couple minutes later, but his tame effort hit the side-netting and went out for a goal-kick.
Just before the hour mark, Ross Marshall was introduced in place of Chris Lines in the defensive midfield position. Then, it was Luke Norris to be introduced, replacing Jamie Reid up top.
Norris almost had an instant impact as Luther James-Wildin’s pinpoint cross found the head of the striker before his headed effort fell straight into the keeper’s arms.
On the sixty seventh minute, Boro looked to double their lead as Jake Taylor played the ball into Bruno Andrade whose first-time effort seemed comfortable for substitute keeper Jake Turner.
Three minutes later, the Essex side pushed for an equaliser with Sylvester Jasper picking up the ball on the edge of the box and firing just over the bar.
With just ten minutes to go, Stevenage looked to hold on to their lead and wind down the clock, frustrating Colchester in the process. The U’s came at Boro’s defence with everything in their arsenal but failed to find that crucial equaliser.
A huge chance came Stevenage’s way with five minutes to go as a nice passage of passing play resulted in the ball being played into the Colchester area. The ball fell to former U’s striker Luke Norris who touched the ball down and struck just over the bar.
Four minutes were added to the end of the second half with Boro pushing for a second. Elliot Osborne took aim from outside the box but blasted over.
Stevenage managed to hold onto the ball in additional time and prevent any danger from Colchester as Trevor Kettle blew his whistle, putting an end to a hard-fought victory at The Lamex.
Smiles all around as Robbie O’Keefe pulled off his second victory of the week and returned Stevenage back to winning ways in the league. Now the test of Rochdale on Tuesday looms.
Attendance for today’s game was 2946.