Match Report

 

Sat 13 Oct 12

The U's picked up another decent scalp on Saturday afternoon to make it two home wins in two games under Joe Dunne.

A lively, all action display from the home side saw them end Stevenage's lengthy unbeaten streak that went back into last season and they could have had more than their one goal in a dynamic performance. 

Arsenal man Sanchez Watt drilled a superb effort into the bottom corner to pick up the third win in four league games under Joe Dunne to ease the U's further up the League One table. 

The U’s returned to the side that had played Joe Dunne’s first three league games in charge of the club, with the seven changes for the midweek match at Northampton reverted for this fixture.

The U’s had the first glimpse of goal, with Stevenage losing the ball from a throw and Bean stepping inside but slipping just before he hit his shot and firing well over.

A second chance quickly followed, as Watt sent Massey through the visitors’ offside trap, with Arnold standing strong to see away the winger’s shot with his feet.

Loanee Watt was lively in the early stages, and was on the end of a hefty tackle from Stevenage’s Dunne, who saw a yellow card as a result.

There followed two further bookings for the visitors, as Grant and Morais also went into the official’s book for crunching challenges on U’s players.

The U’s were trying to pick their way through those challenges with some neat interplay, whilst Stevenage were happy to hit on the counter. From one quick change of direction, the ball fell to Akins, but he dragged his shot well wide of the far post.

Their next effort was much closer. Morais stepped in off the wing and fired in a dipping shot that Cousins tipped over the crossbar.

From the resulting set play, the visitors had two shots that were blocked on the line and, as Cousins went to fall on the ball, a melee followed but no players were cautioned.

Stevenage were growing into the game and Tansey fired a free kick wide of the post from the edge of the box.

The U’s then had a chance that saw Eastmond’s shot deflected wide of goal from the edge of the box.

And the U’s were finishing the half strongly as some great combination play between Rose and Massey saw the former send over a fantastic ball, but Ibehre glanced his header wide.

Rose then took it upon himself to dart forward, with Massey moving a defender out of the way. He stepped forward and struck towards goal, but it was always just over the bar.

It was goalless at the break, but an open start to the second period as both sides flooded forward in good numbers.

The visitors were reduced to ten men within ten minutes of the second half, though, as former Southend man Grant picked up his second yellow.

And within minutes of the red card, the U’s were one up. Watt was sent away down the left and, looking up to see what else was on offer, he drilled  superb strike into the far corner.

Massey was then put in by Wordsworth but his shot was turned behind by Arnold and, from the resultant corner, Rose’s cross was headed out and Eastmond’s drilled effort fizzed just wide.

The U’s were defending manfully when put under pressure, and kept creating chances going the other way.

Next it was Massey again, turning sharply on the edge of the box and drilling in a shot that Arnold held at the second attempt.

The U’s were pressing for that crucial second, and Wordsworth came within inches of finding it as he lifted a free kick onto the top of the bar from distance with Arnold beaten.

Ibehre went into the book with eighteen to go, with Morais and Akins coming off to be replaced by the dangerous duo of Freeman and Shroot.

The U’s responded immediately in kind, bringing on Henderson and Sears for their wide counterparts.

Arnold stood strong as Henderson and Wordsworth got Ibehre into the box but the keeper did well. 

Then Henderson claimed to have been felled as he tried to get around the visiting shot stopper, but the referee booked him for his protests after not getting the decision.

The visitors were seeing more of the ball as the game drew to a close, with four additional minutes signalled by the officials.

The U’s saw out that time in the corners against Boro, but Wordsworth stepped out to set up Sears, whose shot was quickly blocked.

Then Henderson hit the visitors on the counter, setting up Sears who set himself for a shot that was blocked by N’Gala. 

But it didn't matter as the U's saw the game out professionally to further boost their confidence going into the middle third of the season. 

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