It’s odd, innit. It’s been quite an adventure for Boro’ over the last 10 years – even if we’re going into the 2020s just a few league positions on from where we were at the 2010s. In shaping that adventure, we’ve had some pretty good times; magic moments under lights, epic away days and building Fortress Lamex all along the way. We’re not going to please you all, but here are 10 of our best Boro’ games of the decade. Some obvious, some not so much – and some you might’ve forgotten…
10 Of The Best: Boro’ Games of the Decade
1. Stevenage Borough 4-1 Cambridge United, 01 January 2010
Let’s start at the top of the decade, eh?
After the Us had torpedoed our promotion hopes the previous season, we went to theirs on Boxing Day 2009 and took our revenge. We weren’t done with them, however. With a number of games lost to the snowy weather on New Year’s Day, ours was a rare survivor. Not that it did much good for the Us, with Boro’ scoring seven against them in two festive fixtures. This win sent us top of the table – the perfect way to start a memorable year.
Honourable mention: AFC Wimbledon 0-3 Stevenage Borough, 05 April 2010
2. Accrington Stanley 0-1 Stevenage, 20 May 2011
Bu-bu-bu what about this and that? Yeah, we’ve gone all unconventional with this choice. So? Just hear us out for a sec, will ya? For us, the second leg of our League Two playoff at Accrington was a corkin’ example of how to see out an important match. While we had two goals to play with, our last expedition into the playoffs was the same and it went balls up. Here, however, Boro’ boxed clever; Accrington lost their heads; and Beardo capped it.
Honourable mention: Stevenage 1-0 Torquay United, 28 May 2011
3. Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle United, 08 January 2011
Step back from that Accy match a few months and we were nothing more than a bit part at the edge of the League Two promotion picture. But, in the FA Cup, the football gods saw it fit to give us another crack at Newcastle United. Down came the TV cameras – and down came Alan Pardew’s pants. After an even first half, Boro’ exploded out of the blocks in the second to take the Premier League side to the cleaners. Revenge? Yeah, probably…
Honourable mention: Reading 0-1 Stevenage, 07 January 2012
4. Stevenage 5-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 13 September 2011
This *could* be our favourite Boro’ game of the decade. But we didn’t want to put massive pressure on a game that’s long since been able to defend itself. Up in League One for the first time, we weren’t paying much attention to reputations. This Owls side had fallen from grace, sure. But they still had plenty of resources at their disposal. And we bloody routed them; five goals to the good before the break and things just as perfect as they could be. Until they got a consolation…
Honourable mention: Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Stevenage, 14 February 2012
5. Colchester United 1-6 Stevenage, 26 December 2011
Let’s face it – if you’ve never seen Jon Ashton pulling off the silkiest Cruyff turn, you’ve not really lived. It was just one of the sideshows in a ridiculous Boxing Day away day in Essex – although the hosts pulling one back shortly after the break with the score 2-0 meant this wasn’t always the foregone conclusion it might seem. But we didn’t just find an extra gear. We found four, moved through them and went home laughing.
Honourable mention: Rochdale 1-5 Stevenage, 14 January 2012
6. Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Stevenage, 07 March 2012
It’s the only defeat in our list, but you’ll let us have that one – right? After running Spurs close (and sometimes riding our luck) in the original tie at the Lamex, our reward was a replay down at the Lane. For the first quarter of an hour, we dared to dream too; taking the lead through an early Joel Byrom penalty. Spurs threw Defoe, Bale, Van der Vaart and the rest at us. Ultimately it paid off, but not until we’d made ’em work for it.
Honourable mention: Yeovil Town 0-6 Stevenage, 14 April 2012
7. Stevenage 4-0 Sheffield United, 16 March 2013
First came the rise, next came the fall. After hitting the summit of League One for about 20 minutes in September 2012, the rest of the 2012-3 campaign started to unravel. Here was the final high point for boss Gary Smith; an inspired Dani Lopez banging in a hat-trick after coming back from loan at Barnet as Sheffield United side featuring a young Harry Maguire at the back were given a right shallacking. Boro’ went to Bury three days later, lost 2-0 and booted Smith to the kerb.
Honourable mention: Bradford City 2-3 Stevenage, 01 March 2014
8. Stevenage 6-1 Hartlepool United, 03 September 2016
After a – let’s say – patchy start to the 2016-7 campaign under Darren Sarll, we exploded into life by hammering a Hartlepool United side who eventually dropped out of the league. It didn’t quite set us up for a handy run of form as we kept struggling for consistency. Two goals for on-loan striker Tyler Walker on debut helped Boro’ to a dominant three points at the expense of Jeff Stelling’s boys. It was worth it for the Soccer Saturday updates, that’s for sure. Did we mention that we’d actually gone a goal down? Maybe we should’ve done.
Honourable mention: Stevenage 4-2 MK Dons, 21 February 2015
9. Luton Town 0-2 Stevenage, 11 March 2017
After Christmas that term, Boro’ got their act together and made a claim for a playoff spot. Part of the reason we found ourselves in that position was a commanding run that saw us win eight out of nine – starting on 28 January. The eighth win in that stretch came away to neighbours Luton Town; themselves soon to cock up their own promotion hopes. An early Luke Wilkinson header put us ahead, before Ben Kennedy wrapped things up late on.
In the end, however, our promotion hopes faded and we finished three points outside the top seven. But winning at Luton? That’ll do as a consolation.
Honourable mention: Stevenage 3-0 Portsmouth, 18 March 2017
10. Mansfield Town 1-2 Stevenage, 27 April 2019
This one sticks in our minds, whether you like it or not. Not for the first time, Boro’ had left it late in the season to start the promotion charge. After a 1-1 home draw with Exeter City on Easter Monday, our hopes were hanging by a thread. Nothing less than a win away to automatic promotion favourites Mansfield Town would do. And a win is what we got; Kurtis Guthrie and Ilias Chair with two excellent second half goals to bag the points.
In the end, it wasn’t enough. We just missed out on the playoffs. The Stags, however, had it worse. Not only did they get pipped to automatic promotion, they lost in the playoffs too.
Honourable mention: Stevenage 3-2 MK Dons, 24 November 2018
So, what did we leave out? Got a favourite that you think ranks higher than any of these? Don’t be afraid to let us know. We won’t bite. Stick it in the comments below…