The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Wright

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

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