5 Of The Best: Boro’ Matches 2022-3

By Pete H

It’s the end of another season; the conclusion to a memorable campaign for Boro’ that’ll be sure to live long in the memory. And what does the end of term mean? Yes – that’s right. An array of listicles! Best players, best songs, best away days… loads of content ideas that, well, we can’t be arsed to follow through on. But the best Boro’ matches of the 2022-3? Yeah, we’ll bang that one out. And here’s our five best performances from the season just gone.

1. Stevenage 2-1 Stockport County, 6 August 2022

It was all very new at the top end of term. We’d just won up at Tranmere Rovers, which was a pretty eyebrow-raising result. Everyone’s favourites for relegation were not going to go down without a fight, it seemed. Our first home league game of the season? A Stockport side that had many fancying them to go up. And why not? After all, they’d spent big in the summer.

Up until the 87th minute, it looked like we were going to pocket a defeat. And yet we weren’t done until someone said so. Boro’ won a late penalty that also saw Ash Palmer see red. Luke Norris converted the spot kick. Still we weren’t done. Boro’ found a second wind in stoppage time; Jamie Reid in the right place at the right time to complete the turnaround.

Boro’ meant business.

2. Stevenage 5-0 Barrow, 2 December 2022

At the time of this game, Barrow were doing alright for themselves; mixing it with the teams chasing promotion. As were we. It had all the hallmarks of a tight, turgid battle between two sides given short thrift at the start of the season – but who were determined to prove some of the doubters wrong. The problem is that only one side did that. Us.

Put simply, we ended up blowing the Cumbrian side away. Having lost Cambridge United to League One, we’d lost our whipping boys (still grateful for that 4-0 win, thanks). It had been quite a while since we really gave someone a bloody good hiding. Or at least it felt like that. Sadly for Barrow, they were in the crosshairs that evening. Not that we’re sorry about that…

3. Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage, 08 January 2023

Well, duh. Not only did Boro’ get themselves up this season. We also had the time to record one of the biggest FA Cup upsets of recent times. We know that plenty of other smaller sides will claim their wins were worthy of that honour. But it’s not often you’ll get a side from the fourth tier rocking up at a Premier League ground and winning.

Boro’ were never really seemingly outclassed. A moment of quality had the hosts go ahead. But we stayed in it. And we’d be rewarded for our stamina with a moment of stupidity and arrogance; Leo Dendoncker too casual in his efforts. Penalty to Boro’, red card Villa, and big goal Reidy with the leveller. We’d have taken the replay, but Dean Campbell – y’know…

4. Stevenage 3-0 Leyton Orient, 21 January 2023

January was an odd month. Villa was an obvious high. But next came a deeply frustrating draw away to Harrogate Town. One other fixture on the list for the first month of 2023 was the visit of league leaders Leyton Orient. We’d fought hard for a point at their gaff over the Christmas period live on Sky. Would it be more of the same against the Os?

Well, no.

Boro’ were out of the traps like a rocket; racing into a two-goal lead early doors. Nozza then capped things off late on as we moved to within two points of them with a game in hand. It started fanciful talk of a title charge. Unfortunately, things fell apart a bit as we moved into February; the Os reasserting their deserved title tilt and us keeping things on tenterhooks.

5. Stevenage 2-0 Grimsby Town, 29 April 2023

It wasn’t necessarily the manner of the win. Nor was it the completeness of the performance. But it’s the significance and the implications of this victory that warrants inclusion as one of the best Boro’ matches of 2022-3. For Boro’ to have things in their own hand was a blessed relief after some patchy form. To see matters through is a whole other level.

And we did it in front of a beautiful full Lamex house.

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