The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Oli Gamp

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

John Akinde.”


SLICE OF LUCK: Tom Pett’s de­flected strike earned the three points

WIN­NER: Tom Pett cel­e­brates

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