Stevenage 2-0 Accrington

Stevenage took a step towards the League Two play-off final with a comfortable victory over Accrington.

Stacy Long fired Stevenage in front from 15 yards with the aid of a deflection off Sean Hessey.

Darius Charles hit the post with a 30-yard volley before heading into the path of Joel Byrom, who poked in the second on the stroke of half-time.

Jimmy Ryan had a glorious chance to pull one back but could only hit team-mate Sean McConville with his shot.

Stevenage, who were only promoted from the Blue Square Premier last season, dominated the game and were full value for the two-goal lead they will take to the Crown Ground on Friday.

It was Long who had the first chance of the game, cutting onto his right foot only to curl his shot over the angle of post and bar.

But he made no mistake when the ball broke to him inside the penalty area shortly afterwards, wrongfooting visiting keeper Alex Cisak with the help of a deflection off Hessey.

Stevenage keeper Chris Day grabbed Ryan's volley at the second attempt as Accrington, who had come into the game on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run, posed a rare threat.

But it was the home side who continued to carry the greater menace as Craig Reid's shot on the turn flew just over and Charles smacked the post with a delicious long-range volley before they finally doubled their lead.

Charles flicked a high, hanging right-wing cross from Ronnie Henry into the path of Byrom, who nipped in front of Cisak to poke home his first goal of the season against his former club.

Cisak continued to be the busier of the two keepers after the break, but it was Accrington who blew the best chance when McConville was sent clean through by Scott Laird's errant backpass.

He opted to take the ball around Day but lost his footing, and Ryan, following-up, could only hit the loose ball against his team-mate and then watch as it flew wide with the goal gaping.

Terry Gornell then volleyed wide from a tight angle for Stanley after a Ryan free-kick clipped the wall, while at the other end Michael Bostwick went close to a third as his volley from 25 yards flew the wrong side of the post.


Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"The first half we played some very good football, we carved out numerous opportunities and, let's face facts, second half we still carved out opportunities.

"What you saw was a dominant and decisive display in the first half and a less energetic one second half.

"Lads like Joel Byrom, Stacy Long and Lawrie Wilson, who haven't had many minutes, had to dig deep to keep some form of forward momentum."

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