2013/14

stevenage-team-1314

Final SkyBet League 1 Position 24th Relegated to SkyBet League 2
FA Cup 4th Round Lost 0-4 to Everton
Capital One Cup 2nd Round Lost 2-1 to Everton
Johnstones Paint Trophy Semi Final (South) Lost 3-1 to Swindon on penalties (after 1-1- draw)

 

© The Comet

© The Comet

The 2013/14 pre-season was another year of change as new manager Graham Westley looked to build upon the team inherited from Gary Smith the previous season, 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.

Whilst Graham managed to adjust the squad to his style of play, crucially a number of players remained on contract which did not figure in his plans.

In the League, the season started with a 3-4 home defeat to Oldham Athletic, which was a sign of things to come as Boro lost their following 2 games to Swindon and Leyton Orient, before finally notching up their first win of the season away to Notts County – courtesy of a very late (and much welcomed) strike by James Dunne.

Despite the win, league form still remained flat – picking up just 2 points over the following 6 games, including defeats to Preston North End, Carlisle, MK Dons and Coventry City.

© The Comet

© The Comet

Perhaps one of the highlights of an otherwise unenjoyable season was the short term signing of striker Francois Zoko, formerly at Carlisle United, before spending time at Notts County and eventually being picked up by Stevenage on a free in October.  The front man made a quick impact, scoring 2 goals against the much fancied Brentford, to give the Boro a much needed home victory.

Form remained erratic, losing the following game against Walsall 1-2, and picking up convincing wins away to Crewe (3-0, Morais (2), Freeman) and at Home to Crawley Town (2-0, Hartley, Doughty).  The following fixtures gave no respite as Boro were pitched against promotion chasers Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rotherham United and Peterborough United.  The team lost out to Wolves (2-0) and Rotherham (0-3), but against expectations, managed to take all 3 points from Peterborough, courtesy of an early strike from Lucas Akins – in spite of playing for the last 30 minutes with 10 men, following Jimmy Smiths’ dismissal.

© The Comet

© The Comet

Sadly, the performance against Peterborough wasn’t enough to trigger a resurgence, and the team only managed to win 2 points from a possible 21 over the following 7 games.  Even in early January, talk among the Boro faithful was of relegation – as the team sat at rock bottom in the league, having won just 19 points from 21 games.

Patchy form continued, with unexpected home wins against Swindon (2-0) and Gillingham (3-1) breaking up a losing streak which saw the Boro concede all 3 points to Notts County, Rotherham, Leyton Orient and Peterborough.

With 30 games played, Boro were cemented in 24th place in League 1, having won only 25 points and with a goal difference of -25.

But – as has been the case in previous campaigns, the team started a run – and were unbeaten in the following 6 games – taking all 3 points from Crewe, Bradford and Tranmere – whilst holding Crawley, Preston and Carlisle to a draw.

However – the run of form was shortlived, as the team gained only 5 points out of a possible 30, finishing bottom of the league with 42 points – and were relegated for only the second time in the clubs short history.

Doing the double win over….

Crewe Alexandra Away (22nd Oct) 0-3 Morais (2), Freeman
Home (25th Feb) 1-0 Zoko

On the receiving end

Oldham Athletic Home (3rd Aug) 3-4 Charles, Tansey, Morais
Away (11th Jan) 1-0 No Boro scorer
Leyton Orient Home (17th Aug) 0-1 No Boro scorer
Away (18th Feb) 2-0 No Boro scorer
MK Dons Away (28th Sep) 4-1 OG
Home (22nd Mar) 2-3 Parrett, Akins
Coventry City Home (5th Oct) 0-1 No Boro scorer
Away (26th Mar) 1-0 No Boro scorer
Rotherham United Home (16th Nov) 0-3 No Boro scorer
Away (15th Feb) 2-1 Zoko
Shrewsbury Town Home (30th Nov) 1-3 Zoko
Away (5th Apr) 1-0 No Boro scorer
Colchester United Away (26th Dec) 4-0 No Boro scorer
Home (12th Apr) 2-3 Doughty, Freeman
Bristol City Away (29th Dec) 4-1 Zoko
Home (21st Apr) 1-3 Freeman

If the League form was very disappointing, Boro fared much better in the cup competitions.

© The Comet

© The Comet

In the FA Cup, Boro were knocked out of the competition in the fourth round by Everton in a four nil reverse at the Lamex in front of a capacity crowd and the BT Sport cameras.  Wins over Portsmouth and Stourbridge, 2-1 and 4-0 respectively at home, followed by a fine win away at Championship outfit Doncaster Rovers 2-3 at the Keepmoat Stadium set up the tie with the Premiership club.

Francois Zoko who had only joined the club in October was prolific in front of goal scoring 4 goals (2 versus Portsmouth, and 1 against both Stourbridge and Doncaster Rovers) and certainly gave Boro a cutting edge in the competition.

© The Comet

© The Comet

Boro had started the season with an attractive but also difficult looking home tie in the Capital One Cup against Championship side Ipswich Town. Boro ran out comfortable winners on the night 2-0 with both Filipe Morais and debutant Jordan Burrow finding the net that evening.  The reward was a tie against Everton at Goodison Park in round 2, where Boro put in a fantastic performance in front of a 22,730 crowd, taking the lead courtesy of a fine Luke Freeman strike before eventually losing the tie 2-1 – after taking the Premiership club to extra time.

Boro had a quiet start to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy drawing a bye in Round one. When the football started, Boro were drawn at home against fellow League 1 opponents MK Dons running out 2-1 winners. Leyton Orient were to follow, again at the Lamex, with Boro edging through the tie 3-2. Boro were then drawn away in the Southern Area semi final against Swindon Town.

A close encounter saw Boro come from behind, courtesy of that man Zoko to level the game 1-1 and although Boro had chances to win the game in regulation time, the tie was eventually decided on penalties (no extra time played) with Swindon winning 3-1 in a very poor shoot out.

 

2013/2014 in numbers……

               11 Wins in League 1                         26 Losses in League 1

Points won in the season          42           Goals scored in league 46

                    2 Relegations in our history                       24th place finish in League 1

9 Drawn games                                  Goal Difference -26

                      17 Goals for Top Scorer Francois Zoko                  4th Round exit in FA Cup

Capital One Cup exit in Round 2

2013/14 Squad

1 Steve Arnold 2 Sam Wedgebury 3 Lee Hills 4 Ben Chorley / Bira Dembele 5 Jon Ashton ©
6 Luke Jones 7 Filipe Morais 8 James Dunne / John Mousinho 9 Darius Charles 10 Jordan Burrow
11 Lucas Akins 12 Francois Zoko 13 Dean Parrett / Don Cowan 14 Simon Heslop 15 Luke Freeman
16 Chris Day 17 Greg Tansey / Rohdell Gordon 18 Matt Ball 19 Marcus Haber 20 Jimmy Smith
21 Oumare Tounkara 22 David Gray / Curtis Obeng 23 Dani Lopez / Craig Reid 24 Michael Doughty 25 Tom Flanaghan / Adam Smith
26 Anderson Banvo / Bruno Andrade 27 Ryan Johnson 28 Joseph N’Guessan 29 Peter Hartley 30 Anthony Furlonge
31 Fejiri Okenabihrie 32 Robin Shroot 33 Conor Henderson 34 Roarie Deacon 35 Ryan Towner
40 Jason Goodliffe / Ben Smith Tom Flanaghan - George Allen - Jhai Dillon - Darren Murphy
Michael Thalassitis

The Kit

stevenage-borough-2013-2014stevenage-borough-2013-2014-away

The Programme

Programme Editor : Mark Venables0653_001
Cost £3.oo
66 Pages

Acknowledgments

Kit image : Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.