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Match Previews

OPPOSITION PREVIEW | Stevenage

A detailed look at tomorrow night's opponents at the Lamex Stadium

11 September 2017

The Reds will be looking to get back to winning ways tomorrow evening as they take on Stevenage at Broadhall Way (7.45pm).

We take a closer look into Boro, including their form this season, their last campaign, our previous meetings, their ones to watch and their manager.

This Season

Stevenage have made a good start to the season, winning three, drawing two and losing just one; which leaves them sat fifth in the league table.

They began their campaign at home and with a dramatic 3-3 draw to Newport County.

The side would have had all three points if it wasn’t for a County comeback, which was completed in the 94th minute by Shawn McCoulsky’s 25-yard strike.

The Boro then had to wait longer for their first win of the season, as they drew once again, this time away to Colchester United, with the game finishing 1-1.

The first three points would come the following weekend however, as Stevenage coasted to 3-1 win at home to Grimsby Town.

They backed that up with another win seven days later, and their first of the season away from home, nicking a 1-0 win at Barnet.

Saarll's men replicated that scoreline in their next away game, triumphing away to Cheltenham Town, before suffering their first league defeat of the season last weekend, losing 2-1 at home to Football League new boys Lincoln City.

Last Season

Stevenage occupied the play-off positions last season, and could’ve found themselves in a top seven spots had it not been for their late dip in form at the end of the campaign.

The Boro failed to win in their final six league games, and ended up finishing just three points off the top seven.

They hit some great form at the end of January which started with a 2-0 win at home to Grimsby, as they’d then go on unbeaten nine game run, winning eight of those.

They also also crashed out of the first round of the FA Cup, suffering a 1-0 defeat away to then-League One side Port Vale.

Previous Meetings

Neither side has ever scored more than three goals in any of the eight meetings, with the highest scoring game being just 2-1, suggesting we could be in for a tight affair tomorrow night.

Two of Crawley’s three wins have been at Stevenage, with the most recent one coming in February last year - ending 1-0.

Matt Harrold scored just before half-time that day to give Mark Yates' men the victory.

That win capped a double over Borough that season, after the Reds had beaten them in December 2015, 2-1 at home.

It was a dramatic game, with Gwion Edwards giving the hosts the lead with just over 20 minutes to go, before it looked as though Stevenage snatched a draw three minutes from time with a penalty.

However, up stepped Roarie Deacon in stoppage time to grab all three points for Crawley.

The first meeting took place in December 2012 at Broadhall Way - the visitors came from a goal down to score a quickfire double in the second half courtesy of Hope Akpan and Dannie Bulman to secure the win.

One to Watch - Matthew Godden

Godden was signed for the club last summer from non-league Ebbsfleet Town, and made an instant impact in his debut season.

The forward led the side's scoring charts as he netted 20 league goals in his side’s push for the play-offs.

The 26-year old is yet to find the target this season in five league games, however it’s surely only a matter of time before Godden gets his shooting boots on.

Reds fans were glad to see the back of Godden the last time the two teams met, as the striker's 75th and 90th minute strikes at the Checkatrade Stadium overturned Crawley's 1-0 lead in February this year.

The Manager

Darren Sarll's background is in non-league football, having represented eight different sides below the Football League pyramid.

Sarll’s playing career only spanned from 2001 until 2006, as he decided to stop playing and focus on coaching.

The 34-year first joined Stevenage as a youth coach in the 2006/07 season, when the side were in the Conference.

In 2008 he moved to then-League Two Brentford to take up a similar role, where he would spend another two years.

In August 2012 Sarll took up the role of Head of Player Development at Rotherham United, a position he would stay in for just one season, before returning to Stevenage. 

He held the role of Head of Youth until June 2015, before being promoted to team coach after the appointment of Teddy Sherringham.

Sherringham was sacked in February 2016 and Saarll was named caretaker manager, coincidentally with his first game in charge being a 1-0 defeat to the Reds.

After keeping the Boro in the Football League, Sarll was given the job on a permanent basis.


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