With Alex Revell looking to plot a course away from the foot of League Two, he turned to striker Matty Stevens in January 2021. The forward came to us on loan from rivals (if you can call them that) Forest Green Rovers; signing until the end of the 2020-1 season. And the move proved pretty popular with Boro’s Twitterati at the time. And why not? For a lad aged just 22-years-old, he wasn’t short on experience of leading the line.
For Rovers, he’d scored 12 times in 52 outings by the time he arrived at the Lamex. That might not be the most impressive goal return you’ll ever see. But today’s strikers do more than just get the goals and there’s a good reason why Rovers laid out the money to bring him in from Peterborough United in summer 2019. And it’d be Boro’ who’d see the benefit of that during the second half of the 2020-1 season as we looked to move up the table.
Matty Stevens: Before Boro’
In a former life, Stevens followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and started out as an up-and-coming boxer. He even won national titles in the ring, while still turning out for the likes of Aldershot Town and Farnborough‘s youth sides. But, somehow, it was Barnet – of all sides – that made him give up the gloves and focus on football. After making his debut in September 2014, he became the Bees’ youngest-ever goalscorer three months later.
After a prolific first season in front of goal (including the youth side), Stevens turned heads at some big clubs and helped the Bees back into the Football League. He continued his development in League Two. But he turned down two new contract offers at the Hive and was put up for sale. It wasn’t until the summer, however, when he secured his exit; an upward move to Peterborough United. Mind you, Solihull Moors is a step up from Barnet.
His opportunities at Posh were somewhat restricted; most of his game time between 2016 and 2019 coming out on loan. That included a spell with League of Ireland outfit Sligo City. After seeing out the first half of the 2018-9 campaign at Slough Town, Posh recalled him a month early… and used him just twice more during the season. After going on the transfer list at the end of term, it was Forest Green’s cue to swoop in and snap him up.