SPIRIT OF 2011 RISING AT BORO
STEVENAGE manager Graham Westley saw set-pieces win the day for his side against Newport as they leap-frogged their opponents and moved to within goal difference of the play-off places.
This was the Boro’s fourth win in five games and their second this week against a team around them in the table as they look to repeat the late charge that earned promotion to League One in 2011.
For long periods they looked comfortable after two set-piece goals gave them breathing space, but they were left hanging on after the visitors had pulled one back.
Westley said: “We got ourselves into an excellent position with a well-executed corner and a well-executed free-kick.
“It was disappointing to concede their goal, especially from a set play because jobs weren’t done, but it was good to show a bit of resilience.
“I don’t think we were at our best but if you’re going to be suc- cessful, you’re going to have to sometimes win games when you just have to grind things out.
“For our goals, they know that when they go into the box at a set play it’s him or you, and you’ve got to put a lot of work in to make sure it’s you.”
Stevenage created the game’s first chance after 20 minutes when Dean Parrett’s shot was met with a strong hand by Newport goalkeeper Joe Day.
And it was the Boro who broke through just after half-hour mark when Simon Walton’s corner was powerfully met by the head of Charlie Lee.
Miles Storey was then presented with a great chance to equalise shortly after half-time following Bira Dembele’s mistake, but his rather tame attempt was pushed out by Chris Day.
Stevenage doubled their lead with a quarter of the game left and it was from another set-piece as Dembele nodded in Ben Kennedy’s free-kick.
Newport gave themselves late hope when Adam Chapman sent a crisp volley into the bottom corner following Robbie Willmott’s corner in the 88th minute.
Mark Byrne then almost snatched an unlikely point in stoppage time when his low shot was kept out by Chris Day’s legs before the Exiles’ lost Chris Zebroski to a red card.
Newport boss Jimmy Dack saw his side fall out of the top seven and he said:“It’s about the cutting edge in the final third.
“We’re just got to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal. The character is there and they had a real go towards the end.
“It’s not the fact that they’re not trying, but we just look a little bit nervous in front of goal at the moment. “I suppose that goal is just looking that little bit smaller at the moment.
“I said before the game that there were 12 games to go and I always said six wins should get you in the play-offs. “Our supporters who have come all the way to Stevenage would have seen that we’ve had some great chances in the second half.”
JUMP: Bira Dembele gets above the County defence to head home the winner HOOF: Darren Jones clears the ball for Newport STAR MAN BEN KENNE