Saturday 9th May, 2009. Wembley Stadium
The trip to Wembley was bittersweet, just 5 days after the Boro side had lost in the conference play-off semi-finals to Cambridge United – the team uncharacteristically surrendering a 3-1 advantage to lose 3-4 on aggregate.
The Boro side had been performing well in the FA trophy competition, having amassed 18 goals over the previous 6 games – with in form striker Steve Morison netting 6 times.
York’s season had been less spectacular, finishing 29 points below Stevenage in the Conference, in 17th place. The fixtures between the two teams weren’t telling – a 3-3 draw at Broadhall Way, followed by a 0-2 win at Bootham Crescent.
The neutrals expected a Boro victory, but nobody was sure how the team would perform following the heartbreak of the play-off semis just 5 days previous.
Stevenage Borough 2 – 0 York City
|Boylan (90)||Attendance: 27,102|
|Manager: Graham Westley||Manager: Martin Foyle|
|Team Sheet||Team Sheet|
|16 Day||24 Ingham|
|25 Henry||02 Purkiss|
|24 Bostwick||06 Parslow|
|14 Roberts||05 McGurk|
|02 Wilson||25 Pejic|
|23 Drury||15 Rusk (Russell – ’81)|
|08 Mills||17 Mackin|
|07 Murphy||08 Greaves (McWilliams – ’75)|
|30 Vincenti (Anaclet – ’87)||18 Boyes|
|10 Boylan||09 McBreen (Sodje – ’60)|
|20 Morison||16 Brodie|
|01 Bayes||03 Robinson|
|06 Albrighton||13 Mimms|
|09 Maamria||11 Russell|
|19 Willock||20 McWilliams|
|04 Anaclet||07 Sodje|
Before the match itself, there was lots of discussion about the newly reopened Wembley Stadium, and specifically around the state of the pitch, although from playing in the Conference, the state of ‘England’s most expensive lawn’ was never something that troubled the two teams.
The Boro side had a few enforced changes – Peter Vincenti being handed a start in place of the suspended Mitchell Cole, Michael Bostwick filling in at centre back for the cup-tied Jon Ashton and Lawrie Wilson covering left back in place of suspended Scott Laird.
The game started cautiously, with neither team showing any initial desire to commit bodies forwards, although it became apparent quite early that Steve Morison was going to cause problems for the Minstermen, as he broke away from defender Pejic on a couple of occasions, only for his shots to be thwarted first by a covering defender and secondly by the York keeper.
Any concerns that the Boro side may be out of sorts following the play-off match earlier in the week were quickly put to rest. The Stevenage team looked much the better side as they were first to loose balls and displayed an attacking menace through Boylan, Morison and Drury.
The flares set off in the York crowd were the brightest part of their play but ironically, it was the York side that came closest to opening the scoring. Striker Daniel McBreen latching on to a long pass and managing to shake off the attention of Lawrie Wilson before firing a low drive straight at the safe hands of Chris Day. It was a warning for Boro – as the whistle blew for half-time.
The Stevenage side reacted quickly in the second half, with Drury heading on a chance to Lee Boylan – who shot first time – agonisingly wide of the upright.
Peter Vincenti made the York keeper work with a stinging right footed volley, the keeper pushing the ball wide for a Boro corner.
Andy Drury’s corner was floated into the danger area and knocked down by Mark Roberts to Steve Morison. The ball seemed to get stuck between the players, but Morison was quickest to react – firing the ball into the back of the net to claim his 7th goal of the trophy campaign and to give Boro a 68th minute lead.
Boro continued to make chances, Vincenti almost doubling the lead, heading narrowly wide after an excellent cross from Drury. The misery continued for York as more Boro pressure was applied – defender Parslow almost putting the ball into his own net when attempting to clear another Drury cross.
The game was duly wrapped up in the 90t minute, with a quick throw in from Morison to Boylan, who turned goalwards and hit a looping shot first time – the ball flying over the helpless Ingham and into the back of the net.
The whistle went shortly afterwards – confirming that Boro were the 2009 FA Trophy winners, and adding some positivity to the season, following the unexpected play-off result.