Ten things about Stevenage at home!

  1. On Saturday I watched in utter disbelief as many decent diehard Silkmen fans were unceremoniously moved from their usual vantage point behind the dugout in London Road for no apparent reason at the time. Fans were queuing until practically the half-time whistle to gain entry into that side of the stadium, and those from Star Lane End who normally go into the excellent Butch’s Bar for a half-time tipple were refused entry from a plethora of stewards, and I genuinely felt my heart breaking at the utter debacle that went on in London Road on Saturday. The pitiful rationale for the fiasco was placed on the official website (Bobby Trafford you are exempt from any criticism buddy) merely added insult to injury and I just wanted to go out and apologise to each and everyone of my Silkmen brethren in London Road who were so shabbily treated. What happened was SO WRONG from so many angles and I felt guilty / dirty for being a part of a regime (albeit as a volunteer) that does not seem to care about its wonderful fans. SOMETHING MUST CHANGE AND QUICKLY BECAUSE THIS IS OUR CLUB AND ALWAYS WILL BE!
  2. Before I go on to talk about the game, I would like to give tremendous credit to all those who joined in a minute’s applause in memory of former Stevenage player and Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis who left this world far too early at only 26 years young. It was a truly humbling sight to behold and so in contrast with the utterly ludicrous situation that had unfolded in front of us in London Road.
  3. Now to the game, and to be fair the game was a bit of a bland affair for the first third of the game and the relative lack of atmosphere appeared to epitomise what was going on within London Road. However, the last fifteen minutes of the half saw the Silkmen appear to come alive. With the goal at his mercy Ben Stephens failed to capitalise on good work from Harry Smith, and then Brentford loanee Reece Cole should have done better following excellent work from Ben Stephens.
  4. Eventually the Silkmen deservedly took the lead when an exquisite ball from Michael Rose saw the impressive Elliott Durrell slot the ball past Stevenage stopper Farman to give the Silkmen a vitally important lead. Completely against the run of play Stevenage equalised just before the half-time cuppa when Stevenage’s Ben Nugent equalised following a free kick with a free header in the 44th minute that left yours truly and many others questioning as to how vulnerable we are in such situations when we have a former Premier League and England centre half at our helm!
  5. As we supped our half-time brews many of us reflected that we could and should have been out of sight against a Stevenage side who looked average at best. The second half beckoned and we sincerely hoped for an onslaught that could put us potentially level with the Glovers of  Yeovil Town who were currently losing to play-off hopefuls MK Dons! However the half-time substitution of Dan Newton appeared to pay dividends for Boro’ who took the lead only seven minutes into the second half when Newton applied a clinical finish following good work from Joel Byrom.
  6. It could have easily been 3-1 shortly after Newton’s goal, when Moses Makasi missed a gilt edged chance to put the Boro into an almost unassailable lead but the excellent O’Hara; a clear contender for Player of the Season IMHO thwarted him and Silkmen fans breathed a huge sigh of relief! The game then lost any semblance of shape or sparkle with top scorer Scott Wilson failing to add any real impetus when replacing Reece Cole two thirds into the contest,
  7. The Silkmen huffed and puffed but the Boro’ looked very comfortable and easily cancelled out any semblance of threat from the Silkmen as the game drifted into an altogether scrappy and less than appetising affair. Those around me and yours truly started to contemplate the increasing likelihood of another home defeat, and with the unenviable prospect of champions elect Lincoln City at Sincil Bank (where we rarely get even a sniff of a point) for the following game, the jaws of relegation appeared to be opening alarmingly wider as we approached the final few minutes of the game.
  8. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and the moment that Silkmen fans had been praying for over the last few agonising weeks finally came to fruition in the 81st minute when Danny Whitaker; arguably one of the most popular players ever to wear the colours of our beloved Silkmen came onto the field of play to the universal acclaim of the Silkmen faithful. Every pass from Danny was greeted with huge applause and then in the 93rd minute when all seemed lost; the legendary midfield maestro latched onto a Harry Smith knock down to drill the ball past helpless Boro’ keeper Farman to herald scenes of tumultuous celebration from Silkmen players and fans, and utter devastation from everyone associated with Stevenage Boro’.
  9. The game ended soon afterwards and the Silkmen had claimed a crucial point in the dying embers of the game. This became increasingly important as news that our relegation rivals had all lost filtered through to us, and we had effectively gained a precious point on all of them and still with that vital game in hand. It certainly was not anywhere near as good a performance as we had produced against Yeovil a week earlier but the true grit and determination to salvage a priceless point was most definitely so much more important than the performance.
  10. Danny Whitaker represents everything that is good about this wonderful little club of ours, and his last gasp goal could well prove to be the catalyst that was so desperately needed to propel the Silkmen to safety. Having witnessed what our charismatic talisman Danny means to Silkmen fans (and players), Sol must now surely put his faith in Danny and put him back into the starting line-up where he truly belongs. By doing this, Sol could help to give my Silkmen brethren the belief that we really can achieve safety against all odds. I am Silkmen till I die! 

Featured Image courtesy of Chelsie Wilson.

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