Stevenage were relegated from League One after a tame performance against mid-table Bristol City.

Only a victory would have kept alive the home side's slim hopes of avoiding the drop, but City's superior quality in the final third told.

Wade Elliott slotted a deserved opener from close range just before the break.

Baldock coolly scored the second and substitute Stephen Pearson converted another one-on-one chance to make it 3-0, before Luke Freeman's free-kick.

Freeman's stunning late effort at least gave something for the home fans to cheer on a miserable afternoon in which their side were second best for long periods.

The hosts started slowly and they could have been five or six down at the break had it not been for some inspired goalkeeping from Chris Day.

He denied Baldock four times and the City striker also headed another good opportunity wide.

The visitors finally took the lead three minutes before the interval when the impressive on-loan midfielder Elliott scored after good work by Brendon Moloney.

Stevenage improved after the interval but a long ball forward caught their defence napping and Baldock calmly netted the second goal.

Visiting keeper Simon Moore made a couple of fine saves after that - notably to keep out a Lucas Akins effort.

But Pearson ran through to grab a third and, although Freeman's fine set-piece strike raised a healthy cheer among the Stevenage supporters, Steve Cotterill's side cruised to victory.

Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"I think they brought with them a very strong outfit. They've got some exceptional, probably Championship players in their squad.

"We've given youngsters their debut today. When you put youngsters, fresh out of the academy, up against lads who are costing a million quid, it's tough for them.

"The margin in the end could have probably been closer than it ended up in score terms, and there's plenty to be encouraged about in what we saw.

"I think the side gave a decent account of itself on the whole, bearing in mind the big players that were missing, the debutants, and the quality of the opposition."

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if we had scored the goals our performance warranted.

"We could have been 8-0 up at half-time - and I mean that.

"We weren't quite ruthless enough with our chances, coupled with some good saves from their keeper. But I thought their attitude was spot on."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Stevenage

  • 16 Day
  • 02 Wedgbury (N'Guessan - 84' )
  • 29 Hartley
  • 14 Heslop (Akins - 39' )
  • 06 Jones
  • 24 Doughty
  • 17 Gordon (Okenabirhie - 63' )
  • 08 Mousinho
  • 15 Freeman
  • 10 Burrow
  • 20 Smith

Substitutes

  • 01 Arnold
  • 11 Akins
  • 25 Flanagan
  • 26 Banvo
  • 28 N'Guessan
  • 31 Okenabirhie
  • 33 Henderson

Bristol City

  • 30 Moore
  • 03 Williams
  • 17 Cunningham
  • 08 Elliott (Pearson - 73' )
  • 02 Moloney (Wagstaff - 89' )
  • 36 Nosworthy
  • 34 Gillett
  • 21 Pack
  • 23 Barnett (Emmanuel-Thomas - 76' )
  • 09 Baldock
  • 35 Osborne

Substitutes

  • 07 Kelly
  • 10 Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 11 Wagstaff
  • 14 Reid
  • 19 Pearson
  • 27 Burns
  • 32 Richards
Ref: Lee Collins
Att: 2,901

Match Stats

Shots

14 13

On target

5 10

Corners

4 7

Fouls

6 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Stevenage 1, Bristol City 3.

90:00 +2:57 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Stevenage 1, Bristol City 3.

90:00 +2:00

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Stevenage).

90:00 +2:00

Marlon Pack (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:40

Attempt blocked. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

89:08

Attempt missed. Jimmy Smith (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

88:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol City. Scott Wagstaff replaces Brendan Moloney.

86:07

Attempt blocked. Brendan Moloney (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

84:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stevenage 1, Bristol City 3. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

83:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. Joseph N'Guessan replaces Sam Wedgbury.

83:35

Lucas Akins (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:35

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Bristol City).

80:40

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Chris Day.

80:30

Attempt saved. Simon Gillett (Bristol City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

77:59

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Simon Gillett.

76:22

Luke Freeman (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:22

Foul by Brendan Moloney (Bristol City).

75:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol City. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replaces Tyrone Barnett.

74:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stevenage 0, Bristol City 3. Stephen Pearson (Bristol City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tyrone Barnett.

73:42

Attempt blocked. Lucas Akins (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

72:56

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Simon Moore.

72:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol City. Stephen Pearson replaces Wade Elliott.

70:53

Attempt saved. Sam Wedgbury (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

70:37

Attempt blocked. Fejiri Okenabirhie (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

68:46

Attempt missed. Michael Doughty (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

66:09

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Stevenage).

66:09

Tyrone Barnett (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stevenage 0, Bristol City 2. Sam Baldock (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

64:40

Attempt missed. Fejiri Okenabirhie (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

62:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. Fejiri Okenabirhie replaces Rohdell Gordon because of an injury.

60:27

Attempt missed. Simon Gillett (Bristol City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the left.

59:49

Foul by Tyrone Barnett (Bristol City).

59:49

John Mousinho (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

59:22

Attempt saved. Wade Elliott (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

57:58

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Luke Jones.

52:19

Attempt saved. Jimmy Smith (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

48:08

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Derrick Williams.

46:38

Attempt missed. Lucas Akins (Stevenage) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

45:00

Second Half begins Stevenage 0, Bristol City 1.

45:00 +2:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Stevenage 0, Bristol City 1.

45:00 +2:03

Hand ball by Rohdell Gordon (Stevenage).

45:00 +1:17

Attempt blocked. Peter Hartley (Stevenage) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

45:00 +1:10

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Simon Moore.

45:00 +1:02

Attempt saved. John Mousinho (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

43:26

Attempt missed. Greg Cunningham (Bristol City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

41:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stevenage 0, Bristol City 1. Wade Elliott (Bristol City) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Brendan Moloney.

38:29

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

38:28

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

38:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. Lucas Akins replaces Simon Heslop because of an injury.

35:53

Delay in match Simon Heslop (Stevenage) because of an injury.

29:22

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Chris Day.

29:10

Attempt saved. Tyrone Barnett (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

26:18

Attempt saved. Sam Baldock (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

25:07

Attempt missed. Michael Doughty (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

18:36

Attempt missed. Rohdell Gordon (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

16:19

Foul by Simon Heslop (Stevenage).

16:19

Marlon Pack (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:30

John Mousinho (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:30

Foul by Sam Baldock (Bristol City).

15:23

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Chris Day.

15:02

Attempt saved. Sam Baldock (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

11:44

Hand ball by Jordan Burrow (Stevenage).

11:31

Michael Doughty (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:31

Foul by Simon Gillett (Bristol City).

10:24

Foul by Jordan Burrow (Stevenage).

10:24

Greg Cunningham (Bristol City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:28

Attempt saved. Derrick Williams (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

7:46

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Jimmy Smith.

6:26

Luke Jones (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:26

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Bristol City).

5:58

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Chris Day.

3:19

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Chris Day.

3:06

Attempt saved. Sam Baldock (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

1:29

Foul by Simon Gillett (Bristol City).

1:29

Jordan Burrow (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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