Steve­nage close to throw­ing it away

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Mar­shall-Bell

TEDDY Sher­ing­ham was elated with the per­for­mance of his Steve­nage side for 80 min­utes, but warned his play­ers they can’t let their per­for­mance lev­els drop dur­ing games.

Steve­nage were 4-1 up against More­cambe with ten min­utes re­main­ing, but the visi­tors re­sponded and scored twice in the fi­nal min­utes.

Kevin El­li­son can­celled out Dean Wells’ opener for the hosts, be­fore the out­stand­ing Chris Whelp­dale scored a hat-trick. Paul Mullin and El­li­son scored two late goals for The Shrimps.

The vic­tory was Boro’s sec­ond on the bounce, hav­ing beaten Bris­tol Rovers 2-1 on Tues­day, and moves them up to 18th, ten points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“I’m de­lighted with us get­ting the three points,” Sher­ing­ham said.

“I was de­lighted with the way we played in the first-half, it was prob­a­bly our best 45 min­utes of the sea­son.”

Wells’ thump­ing ef­fort from a cor­ner got Boro off to the per­fect start, but El­li­son’s fine curler six min­utes af­ter lev­elled pro­ceed­ings.

Steve­nage were in­tent on cap­i­tal­is­ing on a pedes­trian More­cambe de­fence, but Ben Kennedy and Whelp­dale both had penal­ties saved from Barry Roche ei­ther side of the lat­ter’s goal in the 20th minute.

Much like his first goal, Whelp­dale cut in from the right be­fore fin­ish­ing su­perbly to give Steve­nage a 3-1 lead af­ter the in­ter­val and he scored his third with a tap-in at the far post af­ter a calami­tous mix up be­tween Roche and Lau­rence Wil­son.

More­cambe re­duced the deficit to two on 82 min­utes through Paul Mullin’s penalty, and El­li­son volleyed home his sec­ond of the game with the last kick.

“We let in a very good team af­ter 80 min­utes and nearly came un­stuck. I knew More­cambe would keep go­ing un­til the end,” Sher­ing­ham added.

“We’ve talked about play­ing the game for 50, 60, 70 min­utes and to­day we got to about 80 but that’s still not enough.We got a wee bit for­tu­nate that there wasn’t an­other five min­utes to go af­ter their third goal.” More­cambe boss Jim Bent­ley was left seething with his side’s de­fen­sive play as they con­ceded for the 37th time in the league this sea­son to drop them to 17th po­si­tion.

He moaned: “We scored three and could have scored more but at the other end, if any­one puts pres­sure on us, we’ve got a couple of lads who are really strug­gling for con­fi­dence and we’re too easy to score against.

“That’s been our prob­lem all sea­son.

“That’s why we’ve got the sec­ond worst de­fen­sive record in the league and that’s very frus­trat­ing.”

STAR MAN CHRIS WHELP­DALE

Steve­nage

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