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Match Previews

Match Preview - An indepth look at Steve Evans and his Stevenage side ahead of this weekend's clash

12 January 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview - An indepth look at Steve Evans and his Stevenage side ahead of this weekend's clash

12 January 2023

Town will be seeking a return to winning ways when welcoming Stevenage to The Envirovent Stadium on Saturday.

A win for Simon Weaver's side could put more daylight between them and the sides at the bottom end of the table, though a difficult afternoon will be in store against a side buoyed by FA Cup victory at Premier League side Aston Villa last Sunday.

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Our opponents

The late come from behind win at Villa Park earned Stevenage a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup but focus will be back on league action as they continue their bid for promotion.

Heading into the game they sit in second place, with their 51 points giving them a cushion of 12 points in the automatic positions.

Whilst their record is largely built on their stellar home form that has seen them drop just five points all season they have been defeated just twice on the road in 11 games.

They are also on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run in League Two action but have drawn four of the last five away from home.

Previous meetings

Dan Sweeney's last minute header earned Stevenage one of their eleven home victories over the course of 2022/23 in a 1-0 victory.

The previous two encounters between the sides at The Envirovent Stadium have seen the fixture end goalless.

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 an eventful couple of 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.

Ones to watch

Whilst Stevenage don't possess a prolific goalscorer in their ranks they do have valuable contributions from across the squad.

Jordan Roberts leads the way with six goals, followed by Luke Norris and Danny Rose who have found the net five times apiece. Jake Reeves has also added three goals and four assists from this midfield position.

Defensively, they have conceded just 17 times so far this season, with 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.

They have also added Jake Forster-Caskey from Charlton and Daryl Horgan on loan from Wycombe so far in the January window.

Recent 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, Stephen Dooley, Matty Daly and Kyle Ferguson and loanees Jaheim Headley and Josh Coley have returned to their parent clubs. Town will though have new boys Toby Sims and Anthony O'Connor available for selection.

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