A late Swindon penalty denies Stevenage three points after Ben Coker’s second half opener…
Alex Revell named six changes from the side that fell to defeat in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening, with Joseph Anang, Luther James-Wildin, Elliott List, Jake Taylor, Elliot Osborne and Terence Vancooten returning to the starting eleven.
Sacha Bastien, Luke Prosser, Bruno Andrade, Arthur Read, Jamie Reid, Jack Smith and Brad Barry dropped to the bench.
James Daly earned his first start in the league for Stevenage since joining in the summer, behind the duo of Elliott List and Luke Norris up front.
After the coin toss, Swindon would shoot towards their own fans in the first half, who had all but sold out the Away Stand behind the goal. The travelling support made a fantastic noise during the first half, rivalled by Stevenage’s own East Terrace faithful.
The first shot on goal of the game came to Boro’s top scorer last season on ten minutes, but Elliott List’s effort from the edge of the area was tame enough for Wollacott to collect. Down the other end, Louis Reed blasted over from the opposing penalty area just minutes later.
Stevenage were just a fingertip away from taking the lead a quarter of an hour through the game, after Chris Lines vicious strike from the edge of the area was well saved by the Swindon stopper.
Louis Reed fired another Swindon effort over, before Jack Payne’s deflected effort forced Joseph Anang to readjust and tip the ball onto the woodwork.
Swindon’s Tyreece Simpson and Stevenage’s Jake Taylor both had half chances on goal before the break, but the two sides would go in level ahead of the second period.
As the teams came out for the second half, Stevenage had their tails up from the off and looked to impose themselves on the Swindon defence. Luke Norris almost nodded Boro into the lead after getting on the end of James Daly’s cross, but for Wollacott to make yet another top class save.
Stevenage did not have to wait long to gain the advantage though, and just five minutes later Ben Coker gave Boro a deserved lead. A chipped cross from Jake Taylor on the edge of the Swindon box looked to evade everyone, before Ben Coker collected the ball at the box post and passed his man, firing past Wollacott to give the hosts the advantage.
As expected, Swindon raised their game after going behind and Ben Gladwin’s strike five minutes later forced Joseph Anang to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Elliott List had a chance to double Stevenage’s advantage midway through the first half getting on the end of a Luke Norris through ball, but fired over from inside the box.
Bruno Andrade and Brad Barry were introduced to the game with around twenty minutes left to play, as Stevenage continued to defend well and limit any Swindon chances.
Terence Vancooten almost sealed victory for Stevenage with just minutes remaining, but his header was cleared off the line and over for a Stevenage corner.
Scenes then turned ugly as the Swindon fans lost their cool, hurling flares, bins, drinks and more onto the pitch in the dying embers.
As the seconds ticked by, Swindon continued to apply pressure and eventually found a break in the last minute as the referee awarded the visitors a penalty. Jack Payne stood up and converted from the spot, meaning the spoils were shared in an unsavoury ending at The Lamex Stadium.
Attendance: 3589 (1,005 away).
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