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Stevenage 2-0 Town
Tuesday, 6th Aug 2013 21:41

Town’s Capital One Cup campaign came to an early end as they were defeated 2-0 at Stevenage. The home side went in front via a Filipe Morais penalty in the 50th minute, then Jordan Burrow sealed it with 15 minutes to go.

Boss Mick McCarthy handed Frederic Veseli, Christophe Berra and Dean Gerken their Blues debuts in a side featuring six changes, while up front Paul Taylor made his first start in 11 months, alongside Frank Nouble.

Paul Anderson made his first start for Town having been a sub at Reading. Youngsters Kyle Hammond and Amir Berkane were amongst the senior subs for the first time in a competitive match.

With Aaron Cresswell (thigh) and Tyrone Mings (knee) out injured, former Stevenage loanee Tommy Smith switched to left-back.

Stevenage were forced into a late change when keeper Chris Day twisted his ankle in the warm-up. Steve Arnold took over.

Frank Nouble struck the game’s first serious shot in the seventh minute after exchanging passes with Jay Tabb, but the ball deflected behind.

From the corner, Christophe Berra came closer to opening the scoring, the debutant heading Tabb’s deep ball into the box goalwards only for Sam Wedgbury to nod off the line. From the subsequent flagkick, Cole Skuse almost found Berra with a header back across goal.

Stevenage should have gone in front in the 14th minute when former Arsenal youngster Luke Freeman crossed from the right and an unmarked Oumare Tounkara headed over from six yards when he should have scored.

Darius Charles’s overhead kick bounced harmlessly wide in the 21st minute after Stevenage skipper had headed Freeman’s corner from the right back across goal. The League One side were looking the more dangerous team with Town largely pinned back in their half.

There was an uncomfortable moment for Gerken in the 26th minute when a bouncing ball was left to him by his defenders. Tounkara challenged and the keeper dropped the ball but referee Gavin Ward blew his whistle for a foul.


Taylor, who had spent much of the half dropping deep and picking the ball up in the middle of midfield, scuffed a shot well wide in the 29th minute with the Blues continuing to make little headway.

Town were forced into a change in the 35th minute after Tabb succumbed to a shoulder injury he had suffered earlier on in the half. Skipper Edwards took over in his usual right midfield role with Anderson switching to the left.

On 40, Taylor wasn’t too far away with a shot from the edge of the box which ruffled the sidenetting. Soon after, Gerken was forced into a sharp save from Morais Filipe after the midfielder had cut in from the left after beating Veseli, who moments earlier looked to have been suffering with a knock.

Town again threatened again in the 41st minute, Hyam exchanging passes with Nouble before hitting a low shot across goal which Edwards just couldn’t reach at the far post.

The Blues were finishing the half strongly and in the 44th minute Edwards crossed low from the right but Wedgbury stabbed the ball behind ahead of Nouble.

Town continued to look dangerous as the half moved towards three minutes of injury time, Taylor unleashing a powerful strike from the edge of the box which keeper Arnold did well to push round the post.

The Blues had gradually got on top towards the end of a half in which both sides had had chances to go in front. Boro’s had probably had the better of it with Tounkara likely to feel he should have done a lot better with his header.

Freeman curled a freekick wide in the opening minute of the second period, then Anderson swept a superb ball wide to Edwards on the right, but the Trinidadian’s cross flew beyond Nouble. Moments later, the ex-Wolves man headed another Edwards cross over.

In the 50th minute Stevenage were awarded a penalty after Luke Hyam tripped Tounkara just inside the box. There seemed to be little serious argument prior to Morais slamming the kick to Gerken’s right and into the net.

The Blues switched strikers Taylor and Nouble for David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy on 55 and three minutes later the former Forest man forced Arnold into a save to his left after he was found in space on the edge of the area by Hyam. Soon after, Anderson was booked for a foul.

The substitutions seemed to have woken Town up and in the 68th minute Skuse scuffed a shot towards goal. The ball was half-cleared and McGoldrick sent in a cross from the right which Wedgbury put out of play ahead of Murphy.

From the corner, the ball eventually reached Anderson on the edge of the box and his shot flew just wide. At the other end, Gerken was off his line to claim ahead of Tounkara on the edge of his area.

Stevenage made it 2-0 in the 75th minute. Sub Robert Shroot crossed from the right and Jordan Burrow stabbed home from a few feet.

McGoldrick hit a freekick from 25 yards straight into the wall, then as the game moved into its final five minutes struck a shot on the turn which Arnold saved down to his left.

With a minute of scheduled time to go and with Berra having joined the attack, Arnold did superbly to save at the far post with Smith looking certain to score. As the game moved into added-on time, Anderson’s deflected shot was easy for the keeper, who made a number of impressive stops.

As time ran out for the Blues, Edwards sent a dangerous ball across the box but no Town player was on hand to add the final touch, then from a Skuse cross Berra headed to Arnold.

A Stevenage victory was a fair result on the balance of the game, the home side having been largely on top aside from a spell towards the end of the first half and after the first Boro goal.

Town gave the ball away too easily and too often, while a determined Stevenage side never allowed them time on the ball.

Despite having made six changes to the team which lost at Reading at the weekend, Mick McCarthy is likely to be less than impressed that his fringe players failed to get the better of a League One side and exited the Capital One Cup at such an early stage, while Jay Tabb's injury is an addition concern for the Blues boss.

Stevenage: Arnold, Wedgbury, Hills, Ashton, Morais (Shroot 73), Charles, Burrow (Jones 90), Heslop, Freeman, Tansey, Tounkara (Haber 73). Unused: Day, Akins, N'Guessen, Deacon.

Town: Gerken, Veseli, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Anderson, Skuse, Hyam, Tabb (Edwards 35), Taylor (McGoldrick 55), Nouble (Murphy 55). Unused: Loach, Hewitt, Hammond, Berkane. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Att:


Photo: Action Images



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Robbie12345 added 21:45 - Aug 6
If we loose against Milwall.. Its time to worry.. Injury's , not enough goals and under performing..
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Liastro added 21:46 - Aug 6
Very disappointing. However, we lift our heads and move on to Millwall. 3 points - first home game. Win on Saturday and all will be forgotten! Keep positive!
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ITFC_Lincoln added 21:46 - Aug 6
Onwards and upwards...lets hope it's Smith/Chambers partnership on Saturday.
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Norwichbeater added 21:47 - Aug 6
The manager brings organisation and effort. That is what his skills are. If the players don't comply to that we will have nothing to offer. Paltry 20 grand on 10 players not looking so great tonight. Pathetic tonight. Lets hope for a wounded town side on Saturday.
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nitroblue1970 added 21:47 - Aug 6
our season starts against Millwall......
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sirmichealmills added 21:47 - Aug 6
Well I really can't understand this, after all the backing Mr Evans gave mick in the close season
As well...
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Scribble added 21:48 - Aug 6
Why can't ipswich ever beat small teams in cup games, I can't see why he put a weakened team out its not like they need a rest, I know there were a few injuries which forced a few changes but think we should of put our strongest team out, everyone was optimistic coming into the start of the season and the spirit is going to be dampened...lets hope Saturday can be an improvement...
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Bezzer added 21:48 - Aug 6
No surprise really. Anyone who thinks town will be fighting for promotion this year is under a massive misapprehension!

Pay peanuts get monkeys, springs to mind! Unfortunately The purse strings have been cut and this is the result. We needed and still need 2 playmakers in CM, a 20+ goal machine and 2 decent wingers. It's not MM fault nor the players he has brought in, truth is though, we are very average.
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footers added 21:49 - Aug 6
Very poor result. I don't think there can be too many excuses for not winning a game like this, especially with an almost full-strength squad... and the fact I had money on it.
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RetroBlue added 21:50 - Aug 6
Time to splash some cash. Stearman and Sharp please
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Norwichbeater added 21:50 - Aug 6
Tongue in cheek sirmichealmills obviously.
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TractorBoy666 added 21:50 - Aug 6
I know I'll get a lot of moaners at me for this, but I still think we are need of someone who can score (a striker), especially with Tabb also looking in danger of being out for a bit and him and Wordsworth are our attacking midfielders. This isn't Micks fault because Evans isn't allowing him to buy that player. I just hope we can find some form starting Saturday. Lets go again!
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onetracmind added 21:50 - Aug 6
Didn't Stevenage concede 4 on Saturday?? Worrying, but cup games aren't important, hopefully saved themselves for Saturday against Millwall
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itfcjc added 21:50 - Aug 6
This season is just becoming the same as previous Magilton, Keane and Jewell seasons.
Poor performances, lack of goals and false optimism.
Same old crap.
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Danfootie added 21:51 - Aug 6
Come on people the cup is not our priority, we played against a top team on Saturday and away in the cup tonight against a side that was looking to cause an upset. Win on Saturday is worth a loss tonight, even if we lose Saturday stay behind Mick! A season is not summed up in 2 games!
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foster added 21:51 - Aug 6
same old crap!!
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BossMan added 21:52 - Aug 6
Not good enough and sorry Mick but your halo will slip unless you say something similar
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Britton1996 added 21:52 - Aug 6
Poor performance maybe it's time for mm to go before its too late
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Danfootie added 21:52 - Aug 6
However I would love to sign Billy sharp!
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midastouch added 21:54 - Aug 6
embarrassed! if norwich had of lost to stevenage we'd be having a field day! really need to step up saturday against millwall if not we'll be looking at our usual bottom of the league early-season form. i'm getting tired of this! they say support your team through thick and thin, well for the last 10 years or more it's been grim and grim! :-(
let's hope things are looking a lot more rosy by 5pm sat.
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Michael11 added 21:54 - Aug 6
Our season starts on Saturday now. Just hope this won't put off the fans from turning up and getting behind the boys. Really hope Tabb's injury isn't serious. Should have played more fringe/youth players in my opinion to avoid needless injuries to our first team players in a cup we were never going to win.

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jas0999 added 21:55 - Aug 6
Very disappointed with this and there can be no excuse. Stevenage conceded FOUR at home on Saturday - yet all four of our strikers drew a blank. It may only be the second game of the season, but naturally optimism will fade. Worse, after the hype, these two defeats will do little for ticket sales on Saturday or beyond.

It's clear that despite MM doing the best with a very limited budget (I see other clubs of our stature and below spending), we still need new players. A creative central midfielder and goalscorer are an absolute must.

Not good enough tonight and must improve. FAST.
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sirmichealmills added 21:56 - Aug 6
I think the most worrying aspect though is that MM is still has a bit of a profile in the game, and unlike jewell he could go into a job pretty easily and if he thinks its going tits up he'll just walk. I just hope all the early close season "rumours" about his frustration on the cash to spend front was just B.S, early days but.......
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Norwichbeater added 21:56 - Aug 6
How long do we need to suffer as town fans???? Please let this be a little hiccup!!!! Whatever changes we make seems to result in the same predictable seasons.
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StochesStotasBlewe added 21:56 - Aug 6
Not good enough. Danfootie. ALL competitive matches are a priority!!!!!!!!!
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