Stevenage Preview


Broadhall Way - where the Iron will take on Stevenage.

Intro:

Any Old Iron preview the Iron's incredibly important League One clash against fellow League One side Stevenage.

It is the first ever league clash between the two teams - whom both sit in midtable, the Iron in 16th & Stevenage in 13th respectively.

However, Graham Westley's Hertfordshire club are 4 points ahead of Alan Knill's men - and thus cannot be overtaken by the Claret & Blue side, no matter what the result at the Lamex Stadium.

With the smallest ground in the entire League - many had been expecting Stevenage to be the League's whipping boys, but so far they've shown that their unique brand of football can yet be successful in League One as well.

And whilst ignorant fans might be expecting a comfortable Iron win - it is refreshing news to hear Alan Knill has been drilling into his players how difficult the game will be, that he is expecting a battle - whilst praising the simply excellent job that Westley has done for Stevenage.

Stevenage: 

Following their back to back promotions, Stevenage will be chuffed to be sat in 13th so far - having won twice as many games, and scored nearly double the goals - when compared to the Iron's home record.

This includes the famous 5-1 annihilation of Sheff Wednesday, (although 9 of their 11 goals came in just 2 games).

Despite this - Graham Westley's men will be hoping to overturn their run of successive league defeats - especially since they scored in neither game.

Stevenage's unique style of play has become a bit of lower league folklore in the last couple of years: so expect numerous players to be threatening from all phases of their direct style of play.

This will be thus be corners, free-kicks, corners, and cross aplenty. They get the ball to their strikers as quickly as possible. And who can blame them with their recent success?

But anyone who thinks that Stevenage can't mix it up accordingly is being naive.

And one player who is at the heartbeat of all things offensively for Stevenage is the absolutely giant Darius Charles.

The Boro' signed Darius from Ebbsfleet - who were relegated from the Conference the year that Stevenage were promoted from the same division.

Despite him having spent his entire career as a defender- the Hertfordshire club moulded him into an imposing centre-forward, and one whose sheer physical domination has long been a lower league defender's nightmare.

He ran rings round Wednesday's ineffective backline - and will almost certainly be the most physically able and intimidating forward the Iron will play against for a very long time.

So the Iron must expect, and be ready for a big battle on Saturday. And it is one we simply have to win!

The Iron: 
Despite the Iron's seemingly ever-increasing injury list, we were finally able to secure our first league win of the season on Saturday, with 2 Damien Mozika goals getting Scunny over the line during a 2-1 home success over Yeovil.

But the Iron are still without their first clean sheet of the season - and haven't won successive games back to back in nearly 14 months.

However, Andy Barcham is back from suspension finally - but Scunny will still have all of Josh Lillis, Cliff Byrne, Niall Canavan, Jimmy Ryan, Mark Duffy, Jordan Robertson and Matt Godden missing through injury.

Paul Reid is expected to recover for the game in time though - despite him having broken his nose during an off-the-ball clash with a Yeovil frontman on Saturday.

This is expected to leave Michael Nelson on the bench for the Iron.

Having scored twice in 3 away games so far this season - but having taken only 2 points, the Iron will be hoping for more creative and offensive luck this time round.

And Andy Barcham's return from suspension is a welcome boost for that.

The pacy winger and frontman, signed from Gillingham on a free in the summer: is exactly the player who has all the qualities that will unsettle the Gills backline the most.

His invention, pace, skill and ability to get behind defences will surely be invaluable for the Iron - especially if he can combine with Dagnall and Grant.

And if he can, then the Stevenage backline could be in for a very testing afternoon.

Verdict: 
It'll be a very tough game for the Iron, and circumstances permitting - if Knill's men can come away with a point, then we're likely to not be too disappointed with that.

But the wins need to start adding up soon, especially from away from home.

And let's just hope that can begin again on Saturday. Up the Iron!

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