Stevenage maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they came from two down to draw with 10-man Crewe.

The hosts seemed to be slipping to a first league defeat of the new term when Crewe striker A J Leitch-Smith netted twice in the first 10 minutes.

Stevenage hit back before the break via Luke Freeman's 25-yarder before Crewe loan man Chuks Aneke was red-carded for a two-footed lunge at Anthony Grant.

Robin Shroot completed the comeback, firing home on the turn late on.

Leitch-Smith broke the deadlock on six minutes, stealing a march on his marker at the far post to fire high into the roof of the net.

Little more than a minute later, he made it two, racing clear of Boro's back four to finish emphatically across keeper Chris Day.

After Freeman's vicious 25-yard drive halved the deficit to 2-1 at the break, on-loan Arsenal teenager Aneke, making his first start for Crewe against the club where he was on loan last season, was then dismissed on 73 minutes.

And Stevenage's man advantage proved crucial eight minutes from time when former Birmingham City striker Shroot collected the ball on the turn before firing past the stricken Alan Martin.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Stevenage manager Gary Smith told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"It's the start of the season, we're a group that are coming together and we've seen a lot of positives.

"Make no mistake, none of us are happy about the start but when you think how many players have been added to this group and the direction we're moving in, I think we're starting to show some much better signs in our play.

"We played some really assertive football, the two up front worked reasonably well together and there's a lot to persevere with."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Stevenage

  • 16 Day
  • 02 Gray
  • 04 Charles
  • 05 Ashton
  • 14 Roberts
  • 07 Grant (Lopez - 79' )
  • 08 Dunne
  • 09 Haber
  • 11 Akins (Tansey - 76' Booked )
  • 15 Freeman
  • 24 Agyemang (Shroot - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Arnold
  • 22 Comminges
  • 29 Ngala
  • 06 Tansey
  • 25 Risser
  • 32 Shroot
  • 23 Lopez

Crewe

  • 13 Martin
  • 03 Davis
  • 05 Ellis
  • 15 Robertson
  • 08 Murphy
  • 14 Mellor
  • 19 Osman Booked
  • 26 Aneke Dismissed
  • 07 Clayton
  • 10 Leitch-Smith (Tootle - 77' )
  • 11 Moore

Substitutes

  • 21 Garratt
  • 02 Tootle
  • 06 Dugdale
  • 12 Turton
  • 16 Guthrie
  • 18 Daniels
  • 27 Colclough
Ref: Ward
Att: 2,826

Match Stats

Shots

14 7

On target

7 5

Corners

6 5

Fouls

9 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:34 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +5:03

Unfair challenge on Jon Ashton by Max Clayton results in a free kick. Chris Day restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +4:22

The ball is delivered by David Gray, Darius Charles produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.

90:00 +3:28 Booking

Booking Greg Tansey is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +2:54

Corner taken by Luke Freeman from the left by-line played to the near post, Greg Tansey produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

90:00 +2:24

Greg Tansey takes a shot. Save made by Alan Martin.

90:00 +1:51

Darius Charles gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Byron Moore. Alan Martin takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:15

Marcus Haber concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Ellis. Free kick taken by Mark Ellis.

90:00 +0:35

The assistant referee flags for offside against Greg Tansey. Alan Martin restarts play with the free kick.

88:57

Luke Freeman takes a shot. Blocked by Luke Murphy.

87:55

David Gray produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

87:45

The ball is delivered by Luke Freeman.

87:25

The ball is crossed by David Gray.

85:49

Robin Shroot takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

82:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Lopez on Luke Murphy. Alan Martin restarts play with the free kick.

80:11

Luke Freeman provided the assist for the goal.

80:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin Shroot - Stevenage 2 - 2 Crewe Robin Shroot scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Stevenage 2-2 Crewe.

78:42

Luke Freeman takes a inswinging corner.

78:18 Substitution

Substitution Anthony Grant leaves the field to be replaced by Daniel Lopez.

77:58

Centre by Luke Freeman.

76:06 Substitution

Substitution Matt Tootle joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ajay Leitch-Smith.

75:56 Substitution

Substitution (Stevenage) makes a substitution, with Greg Tansey coming on for Lucas Akins.

72:45

Luke Freeman restarts play with the free kick.

72:45 Dismissal

Dismissal Chuks Aneke receives a red card for professional foul.

72:29

Chuks Aneke gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Grant.

71:10

The ball is swung over by Byron Moore.

70:34

Darius Charles takes a shot. Alan Martin makes a save.

69:57

Luke Freeman takes the direct free kick.

69:57 Booking

Booking Abdul Osman booked for unsporting behaviour.

69:25

Unfair challenge on James Dunne by Abdul Osman results in a free kick.

67:37

Byron Moore produces a cross, Jon Ashton makes a clearance.

67:10

Corner taken right-footed by Luke Murphy.

66:49

Chuks Aneke takes a shot. Mark Roberts gets a block in.

63:20 Substitution

Substitution (Stevenage) makes a substitution, with Robin Shroot coming on for Patrick Agyemang.

62:20

Anthony Grant fouled by Abdul Osman, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jon Ashton.

61:53

A cross is delivered by James Dunne, save by Alan Martin.

60:05

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Luke Murphy from the right by-line to the near post, Header from close range by Mark Ellis misses to the right of the goal.

57:56

The ball is delivered by Luke Murphy, save by Chris Day.

57:11

Luke Murphy takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post.

55:49

Inswinging corner taken by Luke Murphy from the right by-line, Kelvin Mellor takes a shot. Save made by Chris Day.

55:15

Foul by Byron Moore on Luke Freeman, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Anthony Grant.

53:25

A cross is delivered by David Gray.

52:24

Effort on goal by Luke Freeman from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

49:10

Unfair challenge on Byron Moore by Darius Charles results in a free kick. Gregor Robertson restarts play with the free kick.

47:51

Luke Freeman takes a inswinging corner.

47:33

James Dunne takes a shot. Byron Moore gets a block in.

46:25

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Luke Freeman from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Mark Ellis.

45:15

Lucas Akins delivers the ball.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +2:07 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +1:35

Darius Charles sends in a cross.

44:30

Lucas Akins takes a shot. Alan Martin makes a save.

42:04

Foul by Marcus Haber on Mark Ellis, free kick awarded. Alan Martin takes the direct free kick.

40:31

Gregor Robertson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lucas Akins. Free kick taken by Luke Freeman.

38:18

Ajay Leitch-Smith takes a shot. Clearance made by David Gray.

37:24

Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Anthony Grant goes wide of the right-hand upright.

34:48

Max Clayton challenges Luke Freeman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Luke Freeman takes the free kick.

32:11

Patrick Agyemang produces a cross.

29:16

Unfair challenge on Anthony Grant by Chuks Aneke results in a free kick. Luke Freeman takes the direct free kick.

28:44

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luke Murphy.

28:22

Max Clayton takes a shot. Save by Chris Day.

27:57

Luke Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marcus Haber. Anthony Grant restarts play with the free kick.

26:25

Assist on the goal came from Lucas Akins.

26:25 Goal scored

Goal! - Luke Freeman - Stevenage 1 - 2 Crewe Luke Freeman gets on the score sheet with a brilliant goal from outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Stevenage 1-2 Crewe.

23:27

The assistant referee signals for offside against Ajay Leitch-Smith. Mark Roberts restarts play with the free kick.

21:59

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luke Freeman, Gregor Robertson manages to make a clearance.

20:19

The ball is sent over by Darius Charles, clearance made by Harry Davis.

18:46

Kelvin Mellor fouled by Luke Freeman, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Martin takes the free kick.

17:43

The ball is swung over by Lucas Akins.

16:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Roberts on Chuks Aneke. Luke Murphy takes the free kick.

14:22

Unfair challenge on James Dunne by Luke Murphy results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Dunne.

13:37

The offside flag is raised against Patrick Agyemang. Free kick taken by Alan Martin.

10:17

The assistant referee flags for offside against Marcus Haber. Alan Martin takes the direct free kick.

9:42

The ball is crossed by Lucas Akins, Marcus Haber takes a shot. Alan Martin makes a save.

8:55

The ball is crossed by Lucas Akins.

7:51

The assist for the goal came from Chuks Aneke.

7:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Ajay Leitch-Smith - Stevenage 0 - 2 Crewe Ajay Leitch-Smith fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stevenage 0-2 Crewe.

5:58

Assist by Max Clayton.

5:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Ajay Leitch-Smith - Stevenage 0 - 1 Crewe Goal scored by Ajay Leitch-Smith from inside the six-yard box to the top right corner of the goal. Stevenage 0-1 Crewe.

5:58

The ball is sent over by Max Clayton,

4:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Roberts on Ajay Leitch-Smith. Gregor Robertson has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.

2:57

Gregor Robertson fouled by Lucas Akins, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alan Martin.

2:15

Byron Moore produces a cross.

1:10

Corner from right by-line crossed in by Luke Freeman, clearance made by Gregor Robertson.

0:50

The ball is swung over by Lucas Akins.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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