|Final nPower League 1 Position||18th|
|FA Cup||1st Round||Lost 3-2 to Rotherham|
|Capital One Cup||2nd Round||Lost 1-4 to Southampton|
|Johnstones Paint Trophy||1st Round||Lost 3-2 to Dagenham & Redbridge|
The 2012/13 pre-season saw an enormous amount of change at the club, with a number of players being released or not taking up renewal offers. At the same time, a number of new players arrived at the club – as Gary Smith started to build out his new ‘group’ of players.
Nobody really knew what to expect. There was undoubtedly some exciting talent added over the summer, but would the new players gel?
In the League, the season started with a home tie against Carlisle United – our main play-off place contenders for most of the previous season. The game ended 1-1, with Robin Shroot netting for Boro – continuing his fine goal scoring form from the pre-season. From there, Boro went on a long unbeaten run, picking up points away at Leyton Orient, Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers and Notts County – whilst gathering a mixture of wins and draws at Broadhall Way against the likes of Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra, Walsall, Bury and Scunthorpe.
During this fantastic run, Boro reached their highest ever league position – at one point sitting in 2nd place in League One, just behind Tranmere Rovers. Even though we weren’t dominating the opposition, we continued to grab results and keep pace with Tranmere Rovers.
The first loss of the league season came in an away game to Colchester United in October, with the Boro playing a large proportion of the game with 10 men, following Anthony Grant’s sending off – a decision deemed to be ‘harsh’ at the time. The team lost that game 1-0.
Normal service was resumed for the following two matches, with Boro gaining maximum points away to MK Dons (Akins) and at home to Portsmouth (Morais 2)…and then, something changed.
The next home match was against Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon Town. The match was painful to watch as a Boro supporter, as Swindon carved chance after chance, winning the game 0-4, which in truth could have been 0-7. The heavy defeat was dulled a little by an away win at Yeovil, before the next home match against former manager Graham Westley’s Preston North End.
The PNE game picked up where the Swindon game left off, with a hardworking clinical performance from the visitors handing the home side another heavy defeat. It was the last thing the team needed before travelling to Sheffield to face the Blades in front of nearly 18,000 fans. A game which Boro lost 4-1.
The early season form never really recovered from that point, and Boro went on a long string of losses and draws, interspersed with the occasional victory (Hartlepool, Crewe Alexandra, Notts County), although confidence was clearly low and performances at Broadhall Way seemed to be tense.
From early February, Boro went on a long losing streak (Carlisle United, Brentford, Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town, Scunthorpe United and Colchester United). At this point in the season, Boro were still sitting a reasonable number of points above the relegation zone, but questions were being asked of Gary Smith, whose own position was made harder by his decision to drop the club captain Mark Roberts for key games which the team went on to lose.
The following matches were erratic, as Boro picked up a much needed home win against Brentford (Haber) before losing away to Preston North End and at home to Bournemouth, and then hammering Sheffield United 4-0 at Broadhall Way, courtesy of a stunning hat trick from Spanish striker Dani Lopez – a player that had barely seen action at Broadhall Way, having spent the vast majority of the season on load to League Two sides Aldershot and Barnet.
Bizarrely, despite hammering promotion hopefuls Sheffield United, the team then collapsed against relegation favourites Bury, losing the game 2-0 at Gigg Lane, in what proved to be Gary Smith’s final game in charge of the club. The chairman Phil Wallace relieved Gary of his duties on March 20th, appointing club skipper Mark Roberts as interim player/manager – as was the case the previous season.
Roberts led the side for the following two games, picking up his first managerial loss away to Tranmere, followed by a hard earned draw away to Crawley Town – a game in which Boro played most of the match with 10 men, following an early red card for Miguel Commingues.
Speculation was rife about who would pick up the managerial reins at Boro, with the favourite being former boss Graham Westley, who had recently parted ways with Preston North End. Other names were in the frame, but as the supporters expected, Graham returned to club for his third stint – starting well with a home victory against Hartlepool.
Graham’s return gave the club a lift, however, once League One safety was assured, the season petered out in April, and the team failed to win any points in the final few games.
Doing the double win over….
|Notts County||Away (2nd Oct)||1-2||Akins, Shroot|
|Home (5th Feb)||2-0||Hoskins, Haber|
|Hartlepool||Away (8th Dec)||0-2||Haber, Akins|
|Home (1st Apr)||1-0||Ehmer|
On the receiving end
|Colchester United||Away (13th Oct)||1-0||No Boro scorer|
|Home (2nd Mar)||0-2||No Boro scorer|
|Preston North End||Home (10th Nov)||1-4||Tansey|
|Away (9th Mar)||2-0||No Boro scorer|
|Swindon Town||Home (27th Oct)||0-4||No Boro scorer|
|Away (20th Apr)||3-0||No Boro scorer|
In the FA Cup, Stevenage were knocked out in the first round away to League Two side Rotherham United. Rotherham, managed by Steve Evans shocked the visiting Boro side by going 3-0 up early in the match. Boro fought back with goals from James Dunne and Filipe Morais, but were unable to overturn the deficit.
Boro bowed out of the other two competitions early on, losing 3-2 away to League Two side Dagenham and Redbridge in the Johnstones Paint Trophy and only reaching the second round of the Capital One Cup, losing 1-4 at home to Premiership side Southampton, having beaten League Two newcomers AFC Wimbledon 3-1 at Broadhall Way in the first round.
2012/2013 in numbers……
15 wins in League 1 3,169 average Lamex attendance
Points won in the season 54 Goals scored in league 47
31 squad players utilised in the season
18th place finish in League 1
9 drawn games Goal Difference -17
10 Goals for Top Scorer Lucas Akins 1 FA Cup Game
Capital One Cup exit in Round 2
|1 Steve Arnold||2 David Gray||3 Lee Hills||4 Darius Charles||5 Jon Ashton|
|6 Greg Tansey||7 Anthony Grant||8 James Dunne||9 Marcus Haber||10 Filipe Morais|
|11 Lucas Akins||12 Anthony Furlonge||14 Mark Roberts ©||15 Luke Freeman||16 Chris Day|
|17 Matt Ball||18 Don Cowan / Gavin Mahon||19 Michael Thalassitis||20 Robbie Rogers / Anthony Jeffrey||21 Andrew Iro|
|22 Miguel Comminges||23 Dani Lopez||24 Patrick Agyemang||25 Oliver Risser / George Allen||26 Harold Joseph|
|27 Charlie Horlock||28 Sam Hoskins||28 Sam Hoskins||29 Bondz N’Gala||30 Steve Leo Beleck|
|32 Robin Shroot||33 Ben Chorley||34 Roarie Deacon||35 Max Ehmer||36 Alex Smith|
Programme Editor : Mark Venables
Kit image : Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.