BEES STUNG BY PETT’S WINNER
STEVENAGE have found the winning habit according to manager Darren Sarll as they kept their automatic promotion chances alive with victory over Barnet.
Boro have now won eight home games in a row, but they were made to battle as a solitary Tom Pett strike earned them all three points despite both sides missing a hatful of chances.
But with the race for play-off spots hotting up, Sarll was thrilled to see his side extend their Lamex Stadium streak.
“I told them, ‘you have a lovely habit – you know how to win’. They certainly do know how to win,” said Sarll.
“Credit to them because noone is going to make it easy. No-one is going to let us just waltz and play our way through.
“There are going to have to be so many opportunities and occasions where we will have to roll up our sleeves and find an answer – find a way.
“I was very pleased, I think it is a lovely position to be in. We are not playing at full flow but it’s a win. This group of players who know how to win and they have shown that.
“There were so many times last year where we were playing well and got beat 1-0.”
David Tutonda’s snapshot gave Barnet an early chance, but Stevenage gained the lead soon after when Pett, stretchered off last time out against Cambridge, hit a firsttime shot that bounced in after a cruel deflection deceived Jamie Stephens.
Curtis Weston tested Chris Day with a rasping 30-yard strike, and the Bees could count themselves unlucky not to draw level when John Akinde missed a rare one-on-one after a superb flighted ball from Ruben Bover.
Seconds before the half-time whistle, Charlie Lee climbed highest to meet a cross field ball into the area, but sent his header wide of the post.
In the second half, Matt Godden lashed a halfvolley just wide, then curled inches over moments later. Akinde wasted another great chance when played in after Tutonda won possession high up the pitch.
Top scorer Godden found the net late on but was denied by the linesman’s flag.
And Barnet boss Kevin Nugent could not hide his disappointment after his players took the promotion hopefuls all the way and rued poor luck in the goal they conceded.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the result,” he said.
“Effort-wise I couldn’t ask for anything more from the players. It’s a 1-0 defeat and it’s a deflected shot. We dominated the game for large patches.
“We need to be ruthless in both boxes and the goal against us was unfortunate. Jamie (Stephens) can’t do anything about it at all.
“Their keeper has made a great save in the first minute and he made another great save against
SLICE OF LUCK: Tom Pett’s deflected strike earned the three points
WINNER: Tom Pett celebrates