Cleansheet and a point on the road...
Alex Revell named four changes to the side who suffered defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers last Saturday at The Lamex Stadium, with Scott Cuthbert, Terence Vancooten and Elliot Osborne returning to the team, as well as a first league start for Brad Barry.
169 Stevenage supporters made the long journey up to North Yorkshire to cheer on the Boro side who had recently been struggling for form and were looking for their first win of the month against an in-form Harrogate Town, sitting in 3rd place before the game.
The first chance for Boro came after eight minutes as Jamie Reid touched the ball down for Jake Taylor, whose shot was calmly saved by Harrogate’s Mark Oxley.
Two minutes later, it was Luke Armstrong’s turn to take aim at goal but Joseph Anang managed to pull off an impressive save to deny The Town’s top scorer this season.
Boro were a matter of inches away from taking the lead as an outstanding cross from Elliott List was met by the head of Brad Barry. The shot was then blocked and cleared off the line by a Harrogate defender.
By the half hour mark, both teams had had a couple of decent chances and the game was still open to whichever side wanted it most. Elliott List’s shot was blocked on the eighteen yard line before Jack Diamond made a darting run down Harrogate’s left flank but the chance came to nothing.
Another close chance came Boro’s way as the ball was cleared off the line a second time after Elliott List’s quick free kick found the feet of Jamie Reid who, after beating his man, found his shot palmed by Mark Oxley and eventually cleared away.
Moments before the half-time whistle a Harrogate cross looked like it was heading in the Stevenage goal but no one managed to get the final tap-in. The sides then went into the break goalless after the first forty five.
Fifteen minutes into the second half and neither team had managed to break the deadlock. Harrogate found themselves with the majority of possession but no crucial chances could be made due to Boro’s determined defence.
Scott Cuthbert was the first to find himself in the referee’s book after a small tussle with Connor Hall who was also handed a yellow card. Jake Reeves and Luther James-Wildin followed their lead with fouls of their own.
Alex Revell introduced his first substitution of the game as Luke Norris was brought on the pitch to replace Elliott List who had caused several issues for the Harrogate defence.
With just ten minutes left, both sides were working tirelessly for that deciding goal. Pressure was applied to both defences in a half that included a few handball claims, mostly from the Boro fans behind the goal.
A free-kick cross almost crept into the Stevenage goal but Joseph Anang did well to deny the Sulpherites. Bruno Andrade then replaced Jamie Reid in an attempt to grab a late goal.
In the three minutes of injury time indicated by the fourth official, Stevenage were awarded a corner and came close with a Luke Norris header and a Bruno Andrade shot which was blocked.
This turned out to be the final chance of the game as Carl Boyeson blew his whistle to end what was a gruelling, end-to-end contest. Boro fans were seen applauding the team off the pitch after they picked up a hard-earned point on the road.
Enjoy a Stevenage FC double-header on Saturday 2nd October and watch our Under 18s take on Southend United before the First Team play Hartlepool United on Academy Day.