Stevenage go top of League One despite a late Carlisle leveller cancelling out Jamie Reid’s double…
With a plethora of League One games postponed due to international call-ups, only Exeter City and Leyton Orient would be playing at the same time as Stevenage and Carlisle in League One this afternoon.
Although only seven games into the campaign, Boro’ knew that bettering Exeter’s result would see the Club go top of League One for the first time in its history.
With both Luther James-Wildin and Kane Smith side-lined, Nick Freeman deputised at right-wing back following his sensational display at Leyton Orient last weekend.
Carl Piergianni, Nathan Thompson, Dan Sweeney and Dan Butler completed the defensive five, backed by Taye Ashby Hammond in goal.
Jamie Reid and Charlie McNeill paired up top in front of a midfield three of Jordan Roberts, Louis Thompson and Finlay Burns.
The first effort of the game came Stevenage’s way within the first ten minutes, after a forward, driving run from Dan Sweeney ended with the defender dragging his shot wide of the far post.
Minutes later, Jamie Reid spun on the edge of the Carlisle box before taking aim, with his effort falling just past the post.
Jamie Reid didn’t have to wait long for another bite at the cherry though, and this time converting to give Stevenage a deserved lead after fifteen minutes. Dan Butler’s free-kick from the halfway line found the head of Carl Piergianni in the box, who flicked the ball on, finding Jamie Reid to nick it past the goalkeeper and into the net.
A positive start and a justified lead for Steve Evans’ men.
Stevenage then forced Jokull Andresson into his first save of the game minutes later, when Jordan Roberts’ volley on the edge of the area looked destined for the net before the former Boro’ goalkeeper got down well to his right to keep the lead from doubling.
The visitors equalised five minutes later against the run of play, when a long Carlisle clearance found Sean Maguire in what looked an offside position, who levelled the score.
The Carlisle goalkeeper was called into action almost immediately after the equaliser when Charlie McNeill’s effort took a fingertip deflection to keep Boro’ from regaining the lead.
Jamie Reid then went close just before the break, driving through the Carlisle defence and forcing another save.
The referee called half-time after six minutes added in a sweltering Lamex Stadium.
Steve Evans freshened things up at half-time as Kane Hemmings made his Lamex Stadium debut in place of Charlie McNeill.
The new signing came straight into the action soon after the restart, breaking away past the Carlisle defence down the right before squaring it to Jordan Roberts, who couldn’t quite get the right connection on his effort from the edge of the box.
As Stevenage continued to look to regain their advantage, Carl Piergianni continued to look a mean threat to the Carlisle goal. After his header from Dan Butler’s corner crashed off the crossbar, the Skipper then saw another header this time saved by the fingertips of Andresson in goal.
Ten minutes later at the 75-minute mark, Stevenage would finally see a chance converted to take back the hard-earned lead.
A fantastic bit of skill from Jordan Roberts allowed him space on the left to cut inside, before an inch-perfect diagonal pass found Jamie Reid inside the box. Reid took a touch before beating his man, firing goal bound and seeing his shot ripple the back of the net after a goalkeeper deflection. Boro’ were back in front.
Kane Hemmings then went close to doubling our advantage minutes later, firing over from inside the area.
Carlisle’s Andresson seemed to be having the game of his life against his former club, as yet another Jamie Reid strike was saved to deny the Boro’ goal machine a hat-trick with ten minutes to play.
Five minutes later, Stevenage should have finally had their sought-after two-goal cushion when Carl Piergianni struck home from a loose ball in the box, but somehow deemed offside the linesman on the far side.
This would become a pivotal moment of the match, as minutes later Carlisle equalised on the hour mark through Joe Garner at the back post.
Jordan Roberts saw his header tipped over the bar in injury time, and Steve Evans’ men were forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite having enough chances to see them out of sight.
With a point gained, Stevenage went top of League One for the first time in the Club’s history as Leyton Orient claimed a late win at Exeter City.
The squad now have a free week on the training ground before entertaining Charlton Athletic at The Lamex Stadium next weekend.
Attendance: 4,228 including 428 (A)