Date:Sunday April 1 2012
27th March 2012, 7:45pm
Following a turgid display at Oldham and poor recent form which led to the weekend departure of manager, Lee Bradbury and Assistant, Russ Wilcox a new interim caretaker team of Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks were in situ for the Cherries first ever visit to the Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way Stevenage.
Given the underlying circumstances of current form etc it was a good turnout on a Tuesday night of 380 intrepid Cherries fans hoping for a miracle, packed into the away end of this homely little ground which has a playing surface that slopes down across the pitch away from the main stand.
With the strains of House of Horrors music drifting across the dual carriageway from the fairground opposite away fans were wondering if we were in for a roller-coaster of an evening.
New caretaker boss Groves had opted to go for a 4-4-2 line up with recalled Arter wide right midfield and Thomas upfront with Hines.
The match started at a rip roaring pace from the Cherries with a feature being darting runs from Thomas and Hines supported by the team playing high tempo passing football which put Stevenage on the back foot. Borough were chasing shadows and resorting to robust challenges. Thomas was flattened in the area but the ref waved away our penalty appeals and Austin seemed to be the ring leader dishing out some meaty challenges which deserved a booking but no yellow was produced.
It was heady stuff to see entertaining football after what we had recently suffered under the previous duo.
After 18 minutes our non-stop pressure told and from a long pacy diagonal ball from Malone, Arter chested the ball into Thomas's path and Wes wasted no time in outpacing his marker and thumping a left foot rocket of a shot across the keeper and into the top corner. The away fans went wild. 0-1.
We continued to dominate play and it was no more than we deserved on 36 mins to go 2 up when Malone drove forward on a rampaging run from his own half to smash a bender past bemused keeper Day. 0-2 and cue more wild celebrations.
Stevenage then changed their shape going one up front and five across the middle and that was the catalyst for the tide to turn and the pendulum swing back in favour of the home side.
Following slack marking by Arter and Francis to allow two Stevenage players acres of space on the high side of the pitch, out of the blue, Freeman cut inside and hit a pearler of a shot from 25 yards into the top corner of our goal. 1-2
The home side confounded what had gone on for the first 35 minutes and continued to dominate play. Once again, out of the blue, following a headed clearance from a Cherries defender, the ball fell to Bostwick, unmarked 25 yards out, who chose to hit the best volley of his life against us and the ball flew like a missile into the bottom corner of our goal past an unsighted Flahavan.
There was still time for Hines to be booked for a feisty challenge on goalscorer Bostwick.
Half time 2-2.
Half time was needed for AFCB fans to get their breath back and pinch themselves after witnessing such an outbreak of entertaining football from a Cherries team after the dross of recent weeks.
We had seen four goals of outstanding quality in the first half but unfortunately the second half couldn't live up to the high standard of the first 45 minutes.
Stevenage should have been reduced to 10 men shortly into the second half as Roberts extracted team retribution on Hines. Poor Xavon was kicked up into the air at pace from behind. It was an x-rated challenged that Chopper Harris would have been proud of and was worthy of a red card but the ref only produced a yellow.
As the half progressed chances for both sides were at a premium as both midfield's dominated proceedings. Flahavan produced a stunning finger tip save to push a fierce cross shot from Wilson around the post and down the slope for a corner.
At the other end a shot from Cook was beaten away by Day and then a cross from Malone was headed into the keeper's arms by Thomas when it looked easier to score. Must have been the ball coming down the slope!
Borough then rang the changes by introducing three attacking substitutions which all seemed to give them something extra as they upped the ante. Our bench lacked attacking options. Oh for Fletch coming on to rattle their defenders!
We began to look tired with Hines looking out on his feet as we started to make unforced errors giving the ball away. Arter then found some hidden energy from somewhere to produce a determined last ditch challenge on Byrom right in front of the home crowd close to the advertising hoardings which left the Stevenage player in a heap rolling about as if he'd been shot. Thankfully the ref never took the home crowd's advice and only showed Arter a yellow card.
This was a sign for Groves to sensibly sub both our yellow carded players and bring on Gregory and Taylor in a double substitution.
Although Stevenage were still in the ascendancy they couldn't produce a clear cut opportunity. In the end we would have settled for a point at the outset. It had sure been a roller-coaster of an evening.
Full time 2-2
Subs Taylor and Gregory only on for last 10 minutes.
Date:Sunday April 1 2012
Pitman: No-one expected us to go up that day (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Mitchell: Season ticket sales are fantastic (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Mitchell: We can't break the rules (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Howe: We are going to need an edge (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Tubbs: Howe & Tindall turned the club on its head (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Arter linked with Premier League move (Monday May 20 2013)
Meades departs Dean Court (Monday May 20 2013)
Howe: We delivered when the pressure was on (Friday May 17 2013)
Ritchie: It`s my best achievement (Friday May 17 2013)
Addison: Biggest challenge of my career (Friday May 17 2013)
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|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||+7||71|
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