BORO’S BENCH IS ON FIRE AGAIN!
GRAHAM Westley’s bench warmers have lit a fire under Stevenage in recent weeks and Charlie Lee delivered the goods this time around to rescue a point against struggling Tranmere.
Rovers looked to be heading for a vital victory thanks to goals from Kayode Odejayi and Jennison Myrie-Williams.
But Lee salvaged the draw late on allied to Bira Dembele’s fourth-minute opener.
And Westley insists Lee’s input was no coincidence after his changes from the bench all went to plan.
Westley said: “Our bench has been filled with game-changers recently. Bruno Andrade has come off the bench and made a difference. Ben Kennedy has also done so, Roarie Deacon did well when he came on and Charlie Lee made an impact as well.
“Charlie did something a little bit different, which was the job he was asked to do and it was good to see him do it.
“For around 20 minutes we got off to a solid start with the early goal, but then we lost our way and went under the cosh a little.We invited too much pressure.”
Stevenage were ahead in just the fourth minute as Tranmere’s goalkeeper Peter Brezovan was beaten too easily to Kennedy’s corner by Dembele, who nodded into the unguarded net.
The visitors then switched off again and it almost cost them once more as Jack Jebb’s quickly-taken free-kick put Tom Pett through on goal, but Brezovan came out to make the block. But Tranmere were to be gifted an equaliser when Dembele and Chris Day left George Green’s long ball to each other and Myrie-Williams accepted the gift his old club had presented him. And then Rovers snatched the lead right on half-time when Odejayi thumped a terrific header into the top corner from Max Power’s cross.
The Boro spluttered back to life in the final quarter with Brezovan forced into action to keep out efforts by Pett and Lee within the space of a couple of minutes.
The hosts were to force themselves level with 12 minutes left when Lee rolled the ball into an empty net after Deacon’s shot had been blocked, though Tranmere boss Micky Adams could not fault his side’s efforts for what could ultimately be a crucial point.
“The lads gave us everything,” said Adams. “In the final third they caused problems, although we didn’t defend two set-pieces very well.
“Unfortunately that has cost us but we showed a lot of spirit and determination, and we’re going to need it in our last six games.
“We gave an early goal away but we didn’t dwell on it.We rolled our sleeves up, didn’t feel sorry for ourselves, got on with it and came in at half-time 2-1 to the good.
“We forced them backwards and I think they were scrambling around trying to change their system, which is a compliment to us. We move on to the next game, Luton at home, which is a big one.”
BIRA CHEERS: Bira Dembele scores Boro’s first goal