DARREN CAN DREAM AS BORO KEEP ON ROLLING
Sarll is eyeing automatic spots
S TEVENAGE boss Darren Sarll admits he is dreaming of a top-three spot after his side showcased their automatic promotion credentials with a superb win at fellow hopefuls Luton.
The visitors were good value for their victory, leapfrogging their opponents in the process, as they climbed up to fourth in the table.
They trail third-placed Portsmouth by just four points and extended their excellent recent run to eight wins from nine games.
And Sarll claims the environment his high-flying squad have created is conducive to success.
“We’ve got a terrific, terrific changing room and a terrific atmosphere,” said Sarll.
“They’re doing their job, that’s the great thing about it.
“There is no magic formula, they’re all doing their jobs and the players have found form – Tom Pett has found form, Steven Schumacher has found form, they all have.
“They’re working so well for each other and as long as they keep their standards high, we’ll be fine.
“I’m sure there will be a few bumps along the way, but if we keep our standards high then there’s no reason to think we can’t go and win promotion.”
The 9,000 fans in attendance saw the hosts fall behind inside three minutes.
Ex-Luton defender Luke Wilkin-
son showed great determination to power a header home from a corner, despite taking a whack to the head for his efforts.
Boro almost had a second, Jobi McAnuff’s effort well blocked by Alan Sheehan, while Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s header was cleared off the line by Jack King.
Home keeper Matt Macey had a fortunate escape midway through the half, when his freekick was hit straight at Ben Kennedy, who chipped over from 30 yards.
Isaac Vassell was denied by an onrushing Chris Day some 40 yards from goal and the Stevenage stopper had to turn over Dan Potts’ deflected effort from range.
Boro wasted a decent counter, with Charlie Lee shooting over the top and Macey having to shovel McAnuff ’s volley behind for a corner.
In the second period, Danny Hylton was denied by a goal-line clearance from Steven Schumacher, as his header looked to creep in while Jonathan Smith’s volley was well wide of the target, as was half-time substitute Luke Gambin’s hopeful attempt.
Vassell’s shot was straight at Day, with the keeper then making a superb stop from Ollie Palmer’s close-range header, flying across his goal to palm away.
That was to prove critical as Stevenage killed the game off with six minutes to go when Kennedy burst forward on the counter attack and let fly from 20 yards, hammering his wonderful shot past Macey and into the top corner.
Late on, Day was to provide a barrier between Luton and a consolation, parrying Vassell’s downward header, while also making a fine reaction stop to prevent Hylton and then Palmer pulling one back as Luton dropped five points away from automatic promotion.
Frustrated Hatters boss Nathan Jones said: “I’m disappointed with the performance and the result in losing such a big game.
“We were nowhere near it overall, but saying that, we had enough chances to have still have probably won the game.
“We’ve had two kicked off the line, hit the post, their keeper’s had an inspired afternoon and that’s with us being absolutely nowhere near where we need to be.
“So a very, very frustrating afternoon for us, but credit to Stevenage, they came with a gameplan and got a victory.”
BORO MAGIC: Luton goalkeeper Matt Macey can’t stop Ben Kennedy’s effort flying past him
UPWARDLY MOBILE: Stevenage celebrate Ben Kennedy’s goal as, inset, Ollie Palmer, left, and Isaac Vassell go close for Luton
STAR MAN LUKE WILKINSON Stevenage