Stevenage climbed into the play-off places after executing a textbook away game plan to defeat York City 2-0.

After the hosts watched Michael Coulson’s free-kick curl narrowly over the bar, Stevenage established control and carved out clear-cut openings through Charlie Lee and Tom Pett, whose close range toe-poke was pawed away by Bobby Olejnik. Five minutes before the interval, Lee’s volley crashed off the underside of the crossbar and fell for striker Adam Marriott, who nodded into an empty net with Olejnik stranded on the turf.

Shortly after the hour mark, Pett’s stunning long range drive nestled into the top corner and sealed the points for a Stevenage side who have now won five of their last six games and are brimming with confidence. York, on the other hand, were desperately poor and have still only won once at Bootham Crescent all season long.

 

York City

Bobby Olejnik- After an uncertain start on his home debut, the Austrian’s kicking grew in conviction and he recovered to make a number of important saves in both halves. Rendered helpless for both goals. 7.5
Bradley Halliday- Befuddled by the intelligence of Whelpdale, the Middlesbrough loanee has a lot to learn defensively. Should be an interesting battle with McCoy for the right-back slot. 6.0
Keith Lowe- The experienced defender had a solid game, but could have broken lines quicker to close down for the second goal. Doesn’t dive into tackles and this rewarded him on a few occasions. 6.5
John McCombe- Got himself booked early on and struggled to cope with this millstone around his neck. Dragged this way and that by Marriott’s clever, curved runs. Will have easier days. 5.5
Femi Ilesanmi- York’s standout individual this season delivered his staple of endeavour, but struggled to make an impact on the overlap. Was replaced by Straker to make up for this deficiency. 6.5
Michael Coulson- It is increasingly difficult to discern exactly what Coulson brings to this team. He lacks the pace to beat defenders on the outside and doesn’t deliver with any consistent threat. Poor. 5.0
Russell Penn– Came out definitively second best in his ding-dong battle with Walton in the middle of the park. Squandered possession often and failed to sweep up loose balls which could have turned the tide. Booked. 5.5
Luke Summerfield- Brought in to dictate the tempo, but went missing in the midfield fray. It was a physical battle in the middle third and Summerfield failed to adapt accordingly. 5.0
Josh Carson- Delivered one menacing inswinging cross from the left in the first half. Otherwise, generally well cajoled onto his weaker foot by Henry. Booked. 6.0
Jake Hyde- Linked the play noticeably well and, when provided with service to feet, can hold the ball up and spread the play effectively. However, he’s not one of those strikers who seems to anticipate chances before they emerge. 6.5
Wes Fletcher- Now in his fourteenth game without a goal, and my goodness doesn’t it show. Nailed his flag to the mast midweek by declaring his desire to sign a new contract. He needs to earn it, quickly. 5.5

Substitutions

Anthony Straker- Replaced Ilesanmi on 56 minutes. Didn’t look like the man to bring pace or incision to York’s attacks. 5.5
Lindon Miekle- Replaced Carson on 68 minutes. Had no significant impact in a stale period of the game in which City’s prospects of getting a result were negligible. 6.0
Carlton Morris- Replaced Fletcher on 68 minutes. Yet to make his first start, at first glance Norwich City loanee is a forward of burly frame but remains very raw. 0.0

Stevenage

Chris Day- Had a comfortable afternoon and was rarely troubled by an anaemic home front line. Notably, showed good command of his area and anticipation to claim through balls that eluded his defence. 6.5
Ronnie Henry- Extending injury breaks and time taken to restart play were significant facets of Boro’s approach, designed to disrupt the flow of York’s play. Their skipper Henry was a fundamental part of this. 7.0
Dean Wells- Didn’t over-complicate, seeking to clear the ball upfield with head or boot as effectively as possible. Did so determinedly and retained his concentration. 6.5
Darius Charles- The experienced campaigner exhibited his versatility by shifting into the centre of defence with aplomb. His left foot was useful for balls down the line and he was a real nuisance at set pieces as well. 7.0
Jerome Okimo- An ungainly defender, nonetheless the 26 year-old dealt with most things that came his way. Given York were often forced into playing long balls, his height gave him a real advantage in aerial duels with Coulson. 7.0
Tom Pett- Drifted in and out of the game a touch, but indelibly impacted it with his sensational strike which sealed the win and made it a nerveless last 20 minutes for the visitors. Pett continues to improve rapidly. 8.0
Simon Walton- The experienced head in Stevenage’s midfield, Walton was perpetually encouraging his team-mates and directing traffic ahead of him, as he preferred to sit deep. Erratic in possession. 6.5
Dean Parrett- A very tidy midfielder, the former Tottenham trainee showed significant vision to switch the point of attacks and was usually accurate in his attempts to do so. Could look to get forward more. 7.0
Chris Whelpdale- The standout individual on the day. Unlike his counterpart Carson, he played his role as an inverted winger superbly, occupying dangerous spaces and executing tricky flicks. Looked a cut above at times. 8.5
Charlie Lee- Looked to position himself in the unmarshalled space in between York’s two rigid banks of four. Although his execution was variable, he indirectly set up the first goal and never stopped asking for the ball. 7.5
Adam Marriott- Stevenage’s summer signing makes up for what he lacks in stature with his diminutive dribbling and, most importantly, an ability to use his pace to drag centre backs into awkward positions. Took his goal well. 8.0

Man of the Match

Chris Whelpdale- Didn’t have a hand in either goal, but he really caught my eye with his subtlety of step and ability to manipulate markers. He ensured Stevenage enjoyed nigh-on total dominance.  8.5

Highlights


About Author

A Derby County fan from London studying English & Politics at University of York. In short then, all over the place. On reflection, this may explain why I'm an aspiring sports writer.