Good Friday Games

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Boro' played Ebbsfleet United on Good Friday 2008
Photo: Matt Ranson

In the course of a season, Easter is one of those double-header football festivals – and Good Friday is usually where the long weekend kicks off. Literally. It can be a weekend where a team’s hard-fought campaign can turn on a sixpence. It can go from nothing to something with two wins outta two. Or everything to nothing with two defeats in two.

Good Friday seems like it’s been one of those standard footballing traditions for Boro’ – much like Boxing Day. Actually, however, it isn’t. More often than not, we’ve had to make do with Easter Saturday action. Still, we’ve found enough for there to have been some “good” days – and some bad days. And that means we’re also able to pick out five of the best:

 

5 of the Goodest Good Friday Games

2019 – Port Vale 1-4 Stevenage

April 2019 ended up being a good month. After an inexplicable three-goal defeat indoors against Notts County, we hit right back with two wins on the spin. It relit the flames under our promotion hopes – but our Easter weekend would be key with four games left to play.

First up – a Good Friday trip to Port Vale. Not an easy place to go, but they needed to be sure of their League Two status. We’d been charitable to County and we didn’t make that same mistake. Emmanuel Sonupe bagged twice as we romped to a third straight victory.

2008 – Stevenage Borough 3-1 Ebbsfleet United

Boro' played Ebbsfleet United on Good Friday 2008
Photo: Matt Ranson

As Easter rolled round in 2008, Peter the Tailor‘s inspired leadership had seen us go from promotion near-certs to jittery playoff hopefuls. From our five February matches, we came back with just two points. March had turned out better, however, with three wins in four.

Up next was an Easter double-header, starting indoors against Ebbsfleet. It was rare (at that time) to have a Good Friday fixture. But we embraced the novelty; goals from Tyrone Berry, Ashley Westwood and Steve Morison sending us up to second in the table.

If that wasn’t enough, it also marked that season’s St Woking Day.

2005 – Stevenage Borough 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge

Darryn Stamp in action for Boro' vs Dagenham & Redbridge on Good Friday 2005
Photo: Kevin Coleman

Under GW, we were pushing hard to be part of the playoff picture at the end of the 2004-5 season. Despite sitting in mid-table, the Daggers still had their own hopes and were never shy of upsetting our applecart. Not in this Good Friday encounter, however.

Let’s be honest – it wasn’t a vintage Boro’ showing. But the all-important moment came on the cusp of half-time; Anthony Elding getting the goal that decided the fate of the points on offer. It ended up proving pivotal come the end of a closely-fought promotion race.

2015 – Stevenage 2-2 Tranmere Rovers

In our first season back in League Two, GW had us looking up once more; trying to secure a place in the playoffs. An encouraging start to March saw us win two in two. But our form went south and we didn’t win any of the next four. Could we stop the rot on Good Friday?

It looked like it. Bira Dembele nodding us in front after four minutes. The Rovers returned, however; turning it around to lead at the break; ex-Boro’ lad Jennison Myrie-Williams with one of the goals. GW called on sub Charlie Lee and his late leveller secured a big point.

We went onto win four of the next five and throw our hat into the playoff ring.

2011 – Southend United 1-0 Stevenage

A defeat?! Are we scraping the barrel here? No – but you’ll have to bear with us on this. It stands up as one of our favourite Good Friday games. But it’s for reasons that are nothing to do with the match itself. Well, Peter Winn did decapitate an opponent in mid-air – but…

In some ways, this first defeat in nine League Two matches was the only downer on what was a truly magnificent day. A healthy travelling contingent made the trip to the coast early doors for fun in the sun. It was exactly the sort of day you want to draw a seaside team.

Not freezing January evenings for Morecambe away.

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Pete H is the head of the BoroGuide team; helping to keep the show on the road for the best part of two decades – all because of his love of Boro'. He was relatively late to the scene; first rocking up at Broadhall Way during the 1995-6 season. But that's mainly because he was too young to pledge allegiance before then. There have been more than enough highs (Easter Monday '96) and lows (Kettering '02) since then, however, to keep him occupied. Yes, and the 2010 title win...

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