Tag: Stevenage

FA Cup Third Round Weekend 2: Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle United

It was in 1969, before man had walked upon the moon and before the introduction of colour television on BBC1 or ITV, that Newcastle United last won a major trophy. They beat Újpesti Dózsa of Hungary over two legs in the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a tournament that metamorphosised into the UEFA Cup two years later. In the second leg, Newcastle supporters may have taken the opinion that the black and white striped goalposts were a sign; a portent of the victory to come. Few would have believed at the time that, over four decades on, Newcastle would still have been waiting for a repeat of such triumph, but after this evening’s performance another year can be added to one of English football’s more enduring ticking clocks. It was in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in 1998 that Stevenage Borough almost caused one of the great shocks in the history of the tournament, forcing a replay against Newcastle before losing narrowly at St James Park in a match which included an Alan Shearer goal that didn’t seem to have crossed the line. Their supporters could have been forgiven for believing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that passed them by but this evening, almost thirteen years later, offered them a second bite at this particular cherry. Things have changed somewhat in the...

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Stevenage Do Us All A Favour

While last night’s FA Cup match between Woking and Brighton & Hove Albion had its fair share of drama, the real excitement of the evening came in Buckinghamshire at something called Stadium:MK, where Stevenage FC snatched a dramatic late equaliser and then won a penalty shoout-out to book a place in the Second Round of the competition and spared the rest of us the possibility of the “spectacle” of a match between AFC Wimbledon and the club that assumed a league place in 2004. The home side had taken the lead early in the second half before an equaliser deep into injury time brought the sides level. Extra-time could seperate them and it looked for a while as if a penalty shoot-out wouldn’t either, before Stevenage eventually grabbed it by a 7-6 scoreline. Over the last week and a half or so, Wimbledon supporters have been coming to terms with a tie that they may have found emotionally difficult, even if the rest of the media was willing it to happen. There came a marked recognition that they would have to play if both sides won their replays and this led to protracted discussion of how they, if they had to, should mark the occasion. Stevenage’s penalties last night, however, made all of this an irrelevance and they will now travel to Ebbsfleet United for their replay tomorrow night without...

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Match Of The Week: Stevenage 1-2 Portsmouth

How times change. This time last year, Portsmouth were preparing for the start of the Premier League season. The hints were already out there, that something was desperately, horribly wrong at Fratton Park, but few would have managed to guess just how bad things would get. Being the first Premier League club to enter into administration brought them a nine point deduction which all but guaranteed their relegation from the Premier League in March (although, as things turned out, they would have been relegated even without this deduction), and the consolation of an extraordinary run to the FA Cup final was only a transitory diversion from the greater prize of the club’s ongoing existence. The battle to keep the club alive was finally won last week, but the balloons from this particular party were starting to fall somewhat limp by late on Saturday afternoon, by which time some degree of the scale of the task facing new manager had been made clear by a fairly comprehensive 2-0 defeat in their opening match of the season in the Championship at the hands of Coventry City, during which the shortcomings in the squad brought out by the necessity of their administration were lain bare. Good support and good intentions can only get a football club so far, and the smell of dry rot still hung over Portsmouth on Saturday. Stevenage Borough,...

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Match Of The Week: Stevenage Borough 1-0 Oxford United

It seems unlikely that any team in Britain has as important a week as Stevenage Borough have this week. Five points clear at the top of the Blue Square Premier, they face second placed Oxford United and third placed Luton Town on Saturday, before finishing off a run of three matches in six days with an away match against Wimbledon. If they win all three, they will be almost home and dry in the race for a place in the Football League. Should they falter, there is plenty of experience sitting just behind them in the table waiting for them to slip up. Even if things were to go wrong for them in the league, though, they’ve already got the not inconsiderable consolation of one trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy final, which they reached a couple of weeks ago, lined up. Tonight’s match against Oxford United might just prove to be the last chance saloon for their guests’ chances of winning automatic promotion from the Blue Square Premier this season. Going into the match, Stevenage are five points clear of Oxford, with a considerably greater goal difference. Oxford themselves were the early pace-setters, but their form has dipped in recent weeks. Their win against relegation fodder Gateshead on Saturday was their first in six matches, and that required a decisive goal in stoppage time to hand them...

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Match Of The Week: Stevenage Borough 4-1 Cambridge United

Stevenage Borough are flying high while Cambridge United are unexpectedly floundering, and with Stevenage’s rivals at the top of the table, Oxford United, frozen off for the second match in a row, it was a golden opportunity for the Hertfordshire club to hit the top of the Blue Square Premier table.

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