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Natalie Kaye - 6th March 2007

7.45pm on Tuesday 6th March
Nationwide Conference

It?s that time again! Stevenage are in town tonight for the ?derby?. Boro are currently 8th in the league, having won 14, drawn 7, and lost 11.

Stevenage just missed out on the play offs last season, ending up in 6th; 5 points behind Morecambe. It also heralded the end of the Graham Westley era. He was replaced by former Grays manager Mark Stimson, who had lead the Essex side to 3rd in the league and the FA Trophy. They had a very good record at Broadhall Way last season, losing just 3 at home, but had a poor away record, winning only 4. Striker Darryn Stamp ended up as top scorer, with 12 in the league, with George Boyd following closely with 10.

On paper the Stevenage squad looks very good. Up front Mark Stimson can boast 18 goal man Steve Morison, along with our former loanee Jon Nurse, who has scored 8 times so far this season (two of which were for ourselves). Former Leicester City player Steve Guppy usually plays on the wing and is aided by midfielders Mark Hughes and transfer window signing Daryl McMahon. Former defender Jason Goodliffe departed for Rushden in the window, as did Darryn Stamp, who left for Halifax. Tony Thorpe rejoined Grimsby and George Boyd departed for Peterborough for a Conference record transfer fee of ?260,000. There was more movement in the window when St Albans pair Damien Batt and Paul Hakim made the short move across Hertfordshire. Former Card Luke Oliver has been on the bench the last couple of matches.

Despite being some bookmaker?s favourites to win the Conference during pre-season, Boro made a less than impressive start to the 2006/07 campaign. They lost their first 3 games of the season, conceding 7 in the process. Their first point came in a 3-3 draw away at Morecambe, new striker Steve Morison netting a hatrick. Another 3-3 draw followed, this time at home to struggling Forest Green. Only a late Morison goal rescued a point for Boro. Their first win was an emphatic one, with Stafford being on the end of a 6-0 mauling. They got back on track towards the end of 2006, going 8 unbeaten into the New Year, which included 5 wins on the bounce. Until Saturday, when they lost 2-0 away at Oxford, their only defeat since November 18th was a 2-1 home defeat by St Albans. They recently beat Salisbury City 3-0 in the Trophy. Daryl McMahon eased Boro in front after 25 minutes, and two in the second half from Steve Morison and Jamie Slabber completed the victory to move Boro one step closer to what would be Mark Stimson?s third Trophy final in a row.


Stevenage Borough 3 Woking 2

As usual this was another Woking v Boro match to remember. Woking got off to the worse possible start. A free-kick was given away out on the left hand side and veteran Steve Guppy trotted over to take it. The ball was crossed, nobody picked up Dwayne Lee and he headed home past the stranded Jalal. 10 minutes later Woking were back in it. A free-kick was awarded 30 yards out from goal, Alan Julian in the Boro goal was lining up his wall when the whistle was blown, and Karl Murray seized the opportunity and sent the ball into the far corner of the goal. Substitute Steve Ferguson caused problems for Stevenage in the second half and it was his cross that was met by Gez in the area. Sole?s shot looked goal bound but the ball was blocked. The rebound was drilled home by Ollie Berquez. Nobody could have predicted the events in the last 5 minutes. In the 86th minute,

Stevenage hit back. A long ball was sent into the area, Karl Murray was adjudged to have led with his arm and a penalty was given. John Nutter put the ball straight down the middle to make it 2-2. With 4 minutes shown as added on time, Fergie broke and his shot was sent marginally over the bar. From the goal-kick the ball was sent out wide to Jon Nurse and when he beat his man and sent in a dangerous cross, Craig Dobson had the easy job of finishing it off, which he did to make it 3-2 to Stevenage.

Come on, you Cards!
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