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Match Previews

Match Preview - We take a closer look at The Boro ahead of Saturday's clash

22 September 2022

Match Previews

Match Preview - We take a closer look at The Boro ahead of Saturday's clash

22 September 2022

Town came away from Edgeley Park last weekend with a hard fought and well deserved point against Stockport County and can expect a similarly tricky outing this weekend when they are again on their travels, this time to face high-flying Stevenage.

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Our opponents

Stevenage finished 21st in League Two last season and were in the midst of a relegation scrap late on when Steve Evans took over as manager, but he guided them to a return of 10 points from six games over the final few weeks to secure safety.

They have been one of the form teams so far in the early stages of the 2022/23 season, taking 19 points through the opening 9 games with last week's 3-0 reversal at Bradford only their second defeat of the season.

Particularly impressive is their home form, having taken maximum points from their four fixtures so far. They are also an effective shots team with both a high shot volume as well as a low number conceded, translating to solid expected goals numbers so far.

Previous meetings

In 2020/21 a goalless draw at The Envirovent Stadium was followed up by a 1-0 defeat thanks to Elliot List's early second-half strike.

Last season there was again a 0-0 draw on home soil but early goals from Jake Reeves, Luke Norris and second-half finish from Jake Taylor capped a 3-0 win for Stevenage on our travels.

The man in charge

The much travelled Steve Evans is the man opposite Simon Weaver on Saturday. The 60 year old played for a number of Scottish teams before being forced to retire with a knee injury.

His management career has seen him in the dugout for spells at Boston United, Crawley, Rotherham United, Leeds United, Peterborough and Gillingham before taking the Stevenage job this past March, winning 14 of his 22 matches in charge at Stevenage to date.

Match information can be found here

Ones to watch

Evans's side have scored 11 goals in their nine games, and their top scorer is Jamie Reid with three goals with a number of other players adding a single strike.

Luke Norris will likely partner Reid in attack with Jordan Roberts in an advanced midfield position.
Defensively, summer addition Carl Piergianni slotting in seamlessly alongside Dan Sweeney – who arrived from Forest Green - and Terence Vancooten in a back three. Taye Ashby-Hammond, who is on loan from Fulham, will be in between the sticks.

The club also added David Amoo from Port Vale at the end of the window as well as capturing Alex Gilbey from Charlton on a long term loan deal.

History

Our next opponents were founded in 1976 as Stevenage Borough, following the demise as Stevenage Athletic.

They quickly rose through the non-league ranks and won the Conference title in 1995/96 but were denied promotion the Football League due to issues with their ground facilities.

They remained at the top level of non-league football for the next 14 seasons, holding Premier League side Newcastle United 1-1 in a memorable FA Cup 3rd round tie along the way, before finally earning promotion after the 2009/10 season.

A further promotion to League One was achieved in 2011/12 where they spent two seasons before dropping back to League Two.

Team news

Simon Weaver remains without Will Smith, George Thomson and Max Wright as they continue their recovery from injury.

Despite suffering an injury set back Josh Falkingham trained ahead of the clash. However, it remains unclear if he will feature.

George Horbury serves the final match of his three-game suspension.
 

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