Stevenage M1 - 4 (Ben Oliver, Gary Brown 2, John Mould) Potters Bar M1 – 1
Stevenage bounced back from their consecutive defeats with an impressive win against Potters Bar on Saturday even if it took them a half to get going! Stevenage tried to consolidate in the early stages by holding possession deep in their own half and frustrate their opponents. This worked for a while but half way through the half the visitors made a couple of dangerous attacks which caused the home defence a few problems!
Stevenage did have two half chances which fell to Graves from a short corner then Jon Oliver who hit just wide. As half time approached Potters Bar had the best chance of the game which forced Dingley to make a fine save.
In the second half Potters Bar started the better and took the lead after a mix up in the home ranks! Within twenty seconds of the re-start Ben Oliver (left) equalised after great work from Swinyard and Mould. After this there was only going to be one winner as the home side just kept powering forward. It was soon 2-1 when Mould and Blackburn combined for Brown to slot home past a stranded keeper. Tim Wright the centre back made some rare drives in to unknown territory and after being sent flying won a short corner from which Mould drag flicked home to make it 3-1. Challenges were starting to fly in and a couple of cards were shown for some over keen tackling. Matt Oliver made some piercing runs down the right and crossed for Brother Ben to hit the post., before Stevenage got their fourth and final goal of the game. Hamilton crossed to Blackburn from a short corner, his shot was kicked off the goal line before Brown followed up and fired home. Potters Bar had a couple of late chances but the defence of Graves, Wright and Stevie Hamid stood tall and repelled any advance made by their opponents. The final whistle went with Stevenage gaining three crucial points in the hope of making a promotion challenge.
Sunday HA Trophy : Stevenage M1 (Danny Blackburn) – 1 Long Sutton M1 – 5
The mens Trophy got underway Sunday with Stevenage entertaining Premier opposition Long Sutton. With over half the first team unavailable several reserves were blooded with cup debuts given to Chris Hall, Dan Farnham and Stevie Hamid.
Stevenage were always going to be the under dogs in this encounter and were put under pressure early on by some fluent Sutton attacks. After enduring several attacks from the premier outfit Stevenage finally settled down and almost took the lead when Peter Hamid found Holt clear whose shot was well stopped by the away keeper. It wasn’t long before the visitors took the lead with a well worked goal which gave keeper Church no chance of stopping. Mould then put the ball across the area and Brown was inches away from equalising! Stevenage were battling hard but a very impressive move from the visitors made it 2-0 close to the break.
In the second half the home side held a bit of possession knowing the next goal could be crucial to the destiny of this game. Strickland controlled the back and made some invaluable tackles to keep Long Sutton out. Brown and mould then combined to win a penalty corner from which the goal of the game came. Danny Blackburn received the ball at the top of the penalty area and smashed the ball home to give his side a lifeline. The hope was short lived as a few moments later Long Sutton’s impressive right winger ran past several challenges to fire home his sides third goal and the killer blow for a feisty Stevenage side. Long Sutton added two more goals before late on Blackburn forced another fine save out of the impressive away keeper. The final score was 5-1 but A young Stevenage side can take a lot out of their performances and hopefully a bright future with impressive run outs from Hamid, Farnham , Hall and Gardner.
St Albans L3 - 3 Stevenage L1 - 4 (Caroline Ayles, Carly Seaton, Heather Hemmings, Lucy Harvey)
After a frustrating defeat last week Stevenage ladies first team travelled to St Albans with something to prove. With Hoskins and Oliver on the side with injuries the team had to take it to the opposition right from the start. Stevenage pilled on the pressure from the off with great runs from Heather Hemmings and Lucy Harvey , which earned Stevenage a string of short corners early on in the game. St Albans seemed unphased and managed to keep the score 0-0 . St Albans stepped up their game and were unafraid in going forward. Great defending from Jo Biggs, Jeffrey, Day and Harding helped in keeping it an end to end start. After some great saves from Lisa Pickard in goal Stevenage were unlucky to have a goal put past them minutes before the half time whistle blew - against the run of play! At half time Stevenage were more than positive and began the second half just as hard as the first and st Albans were lucky to get the ball out of their defence. With great distribution from Carly Seaton in the middle the ball was played around with great composition and Stevenage continued to threaten the defence. Stevenage equalized when a great ball From Ellie Biggs was met by Rachel Jeffrey who calmly gave the ball to Caroline Ayles who beat the keeper with ease with the reverse stick. Stevenage were unlucky when almost within 5 minutes another goal from St Albans made it 2-1. Stevenage unphased threw everything they could in to matching the score but ended up conceding a penalty flick. Which was taken with great power which beat Pickard in goal. Stevenage kept the pace of the game high and worked as a unit throughout. Great play from Jude Weston met Sasha Parker who earned a short corner for the focused Stevenage side. The score line changed to 3-2 as a strike from Carly Seaton (right) thundered the backboard. Stevenage with a new level of energy were to score again within minutes as a well worked out ball from the defence found Jo Biggs in the midfield who slipped the ball through the defender's legs to find Heather Hemmings who almost unchallenged beat 3 defenders and left the the keeper stranded with a strike from full stretch to make it 3-3 . Finally Stevenage had regained full control of the game and finished the time with 4 short corners. St Albans hung in for the first 3 as Stevenage worked the ball around to try and seal the win. Finally the ball met Lucy Harvey, Player of the match, who slotted the ball past the keeper after spotting a gap near post and from the oblique angle brought home the victory. A very exciting and deserved win for Stevenage first team. Stevenage are hoping to continue where they left off when they travel to Norwich next Sunday for a cup game.
M2 Won: Stevenage - 4 (Dan Farnham, Zac Shaw, Mitchell Snares and Freddie Stirling Brown) Blueharts - 0 M2 went top of their league with a 4-0 victory over Blueharts 4’s
M3 Won: Bedford - 1 Stevenage - 8 (Roderick Vaneiij 2, Nick Crocker, Harry Wheeler, Bailey Dingley, Barlow, Niall Anderson and Pinger)
M4 Lost: West Herts - 4 Stevenage - 3 (Khalid Mehmood, Harp Mann and Laurie Brown) Defeated by a goal in the dying seconds of the game
M5 Won: Stevenage - 3 Luton Town - 1 (Richard McGavigan, Sam Hobbs and Stuart Jones) Another encouraging win for the 5s, this time against Luton Town who were second in the table. After a very strong start for Stevenage, the first half finished 2-0, with goals from wandering midfielder Richard McGavigan and Michael Tyler. After half-time, Luton came out much stronger, putting the home side under significant pressure for some time, and eventually scoring from a short corner. However, Stevenage regained their shape, and despite missing numerous opportunities in front of the Luton goal, were finally rewarded with a final goal from Sam Hobbs. Another strong performance, with training exercises showing their value when it matters, taking the 5s to second place in league 9SW.
M6 Lost: Hertford - 6 Stevenage - 0
L2 Lost: Bishops Stortford - 2 Stevenage - 1 (Bex Vier)
L3 NO GAME
L4 Lost: Stevenage - 1 (Gill Hamid) Blueharts - 2
L5 Lost: Letchworth - 2 Stevenage - 0 (Non League Game)