Stevenage promoted to League One by beating Torquay

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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Saturday, 28 May 2011 17:09 UK

Stevenage v Torquay

Stevenage 1-0 Torquay

Stevenage secured back-to-back promotions to reach League One with victory over Torquay in the League Two play-off final.

John Mousinho scored the only goal, firing a powerful shot home from the edge of the box.

Stevenage dominated the first half at Old Trafford, with the lively Darius Charles heading over and wide.

Torquay improved after the break and Jake Robinson came close, hitting the bar from 20 yards.

The fact that the two teams were Blue Square Premier rivals two years ago demonstrated the ever-narrowing gap between the top non-league teams and the bottom tier of the Football League.

And Graham Westley's side, in their first season of being a league team following last season's promotion, repeated Exeter's feat of double promotions to the third tier in 2008 and 2009.

Stevenage, who dropped the Borough from their name last summer following their Blue Square Premier title win, could have taken the lead within four minutes.

Graham Westley

Craig Reid saw his shot blocked by a diving combination of Guy Branston and Damon Lathrope after a good cutback from Charles.

Charles, a defender by trade who was converted to a striker this season, was causing the Gulls defence all kinds of problems and another cutback gave Mousinho a chance but he fired into Scott Bevan's hands from 18 yards out.

And it was the former Ebbsfleet player's chance to have a go at goal next but his header from Ronnie Henry's cross went wide.

He had another chance but fired just over from the edge of the box after Bevan parried Lawrie Wilson's cross and Eunan O'Kane was caught in possession.

Stevenage, who had not beaten Torquay in six previous games, had a penalty claim when Chris Robertson appeared to shove Charles over in the box but referee Darren Deadman was not interested.

The remarkable fact is that Stevenage did not lose a single game throughout their 2010-11 League Two campaign after they had taken the lead

Paul Fletcher's blog

Torquay were struggling to create anything and it was telling that Billy Kee's shot from distance, which was high and wide, was probably their best chance in the opening 35 minutes.

And Stevenage captain Mark Roberts had to make a brilliant last-ditch tackle on Gavin Tomlin, who would have been through on goal.

Charles saw his towering header bounce off the ground and just over from Stacy Long's cross before Robinson saw a carbon copy of Kee's effort finish in a similar vein - nowhere near the target.

But the goal was coming for Stevenage and Mousinho picked the ball up 40 yards out from the net and charged towards goal before firing past Bevan from 20 yards out.

However, Torquay had a chance to level moments later as Ronnie Henry put Tomlin's cross out for a corner with Zebroski lurking just behind him and from Kevin Nicholson's corner, Branston headed just over.

Buckle in no rush to decide future

Chris Zebroski had Torquay's final two chances of the first half, curling well wide from inside the box and then squandering a good opportunity to shoot by trying to get the ball onto his right foot and seeing the ball deflected out for a goal kick.

Torquay boss Paul Buckle would have been glad to get his side in for half-time and they looked more purposeful in the second half.

Robinson shot an effort wide, then got the ball stuck in his feet and lost possession when he was in a good position.

Kee had a major chance for the Gulls when he was put through on goal by Nicholson's incisive long ball but Chris Day was able to make a comfortable save from his disappointing shot.

Kee then had another chance when Tomlin's ball was blocked in the box but he was inches away from making connection with the ball just six yards out.

Stevenage manager Graham Westley celebrates with the trophy Stevenage manager Graham Westley celebrates with the trophy

Charles, who was not as influential after the break as he had been in the first half, could have killed the game off but his first touch was terrible after being found in acres of space and Bevan kept out his shot after he did well to keep his chance alive.

Roberts made another brilliant saving tackle when Zebroski was set to pull the trigger, although minutes later the striker hit the side-netting after the same centre-back lost possession.

Robinson forced a save from Day after being picked out by Tomlin but Wilson could have doubled Boro's lead soon afterwards, however he headed wide.

And next came Torquay's closest effort, Robinson's drive skimming the woodwork from just outside the area.

Branston had a good double chance for the Gulls, first seeing his effort blocked by Charles and then blazing the follow-up over the bar.

The Gulls never really had another chance as Stevenage, who were struggling in 17th in mid-January, saw it out for a famous double promotion.

And Torquay will be left nervously waiting on the future of manager Buckle, who has refused to rule out taking over managerless Bristol Rovers, and will make a decision on Monday.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Npower League Two

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Stevenage 1-0 Torquay FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Mousinho 41

    Stevenage

    • 16 Day
    • 03 Laird
    • 14 Roberts
    • 24 Bostwick
    • 25 Henry
    • 02 Wilson
    • 08 Long
    • 13 Byrom (Murphy 57)
    • 21 Mousinho yellow card
    • 04 Charles (Beardsley 85)
    • 10 Reid (Harrison 62 yellow card)

    Substitutes

    • 29 Welch,
    • 05 Ashton,
    • 07 Murphy,
    • 12 May,
    • 17 Winn,
    • 20 Beardsley,
    • 26 Harrison

    Torquay

    • 01 Bevan
    • 03 Nicholson (Rowe-Turner 83)
    • 05 Robertson
    • 07 Mansell
    • 23 Branston
    • 08 Kee
    • 09 Robinson (Stevens 83)
    • 10 O'Kane
    • 22 Lathrope (Oastler 79 yellow card)
    • 15 Tomlin
    • 26 Zebroski yellow card

    Substitutes

    • 16 Potter,
    • 02 Rowe-Turner,
    • 18 Oastler,
    • 04 Ellis,
    • 17 Halpin,
    • 19 Stevens,
    • 14 Macklin
    Ref: DeadmanAtt: 11,484
    STEVENAGE
    TORQUAY

    Possession

    • Stevenage 54%
    • Torquay 46%

    Attempts on target

    • Stevenage 4
    • Torquay 3

    Attempts off target

    • Stevenage 4
    • Torquay 13

    Corners

    • Stevenage 3
    • Torquay 7

    Fouls

    • Stevenage 14
    • Torquay 10
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:28 The referee brings the game to a close.
    • 90:00+4:07 Eunan O'Kane fouled by Byron Harrison, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Eunan O'Kane.
    • 90:00+3:58 Booking The referee shows Byron Harrison a yellow card.
    • 90:00+0:15 Unfair challenge on Ronnie Henry by Gavin Tomlin results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ronnie Henry.
    • 89:43 The ball is delivered by Byron Harrison.
    • 88:00 Unfair challenge on Guy Branston by Byron Harrison results in a free kick. Guy Branston restarts play with the free kick.
    • 86:27 Chris Beardsley delivers the ball.
    • 85:34 Byron Harrison gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Guy Branston. Lathanial Rowe-Turner takes the direct free kick.
    • 84:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Guy Branston on Chris Beardsley. Direct free kick taken by Ronnie Henry.
    • 84:04 Substitution Chris Beardsley is brought on as a substitute for Darius Charles.
    • 82:13 Substitution Lathanial Rowe-Turner comes on in place of Kevin Nicholson.
    • 82:13 Substitution (Torquay) makes a substitution, with Danny Stevens coming on for Jake Robinson.
    • 82:13 Guy Branston takes a shot. Darius Charles gets a block in. Shot from deep inside the area by Guy Branston clears the bar.
    • 81:53 Outswinging corner taken by Kevin Nicholson from the left by-line, Darren Murphy makes a clearance.
    • 80:46 Foul by Lee Mansell on Byron Harrison, free kick awarded. Stacy Long crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Scott Bevan.
    • 80:14 Byron Harrison is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Robertson.
    • 79:39 Scott Laird takes the direct free kick.
    • 79:39 Booking Joe Oastler is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 79:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Oastler on Byron Harrison.
    • 78:59 Centre by Kevin Nicholson, blocked by Ronnie Henry.
    • 78:03 Substitution Joe Oastler joins the action as a substitute, replacing Damon Lathrope.
    • 76:47 Billy Kee has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
    • 76:32 Foul by Darren Murphy on Damon Lathrope, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Kevin Nicholson.
    • 75:55 Jake Robinson takes a shot.
    • 74:47 Stacy Long takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.
    • 74:40 The ball is delivered by Stacy Long, Lee Mansell gets a block in.
    • 72:22 Chris Zebroski has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 69:54 Scott Laird delivers the ball, clearance by Guy Branston.
    • 68:30 Jake Robinson takes a shot. Save by Chris Day. Corner taken by Kevin Nicholson, save by Chris Day.
    • 66:52 Chris Zebroski produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 66:46 Gavin Tomlin produces a cross.
    • 66:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy Kee by Michael Bostwick. Eunan O'Kane restarts play with the free kick.
    • 66:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darius Charles on Damon Lathrope. Chris Robertson takes the free kick.
    • 63:54 The referee blows for offside. Chris Day takes the free kick.
    • 63:41 Jake Robinson produces a cross.
    • 62:48 Darius Charles takes a shot. Save made by Scott Bevan. Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Roberts on Chris Zebroski. Kevin Nicholson delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Chris Day makes a save.
    • 61:08 Substitution Byron Harrison joins the action as a substitute, replacing Craig Reid.
    • 58:59 Chris Robertson takes the direct free kick.
    • 58:59 Booking John Mousinho is given a yellow card.
    • 58:56 Foul by John Mousinho on Chris Zebroski, free kick awarded.
    • 58:02 Corner taken by Kevin Nicholson.
    • 57:54 Gavin Tomlin crosses the ball, Ronnie Henry makes a clearance.
    • 57:04 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kevin Nicholson from the right by-line, Scott Laird manages to make a clearance.
    • 56:09 Free kick taken by Chris Robertson.
    • 56:09 Substitution Darren Murphy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Joel Byrom.
    • 56:09 Eunan O'Kane fouled by Joel Byrom, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 55:46 Centre by Gavin Tomlin, save by Chris Day.
    • 54:16 Chris Day takes the free kick.
    • 54:16 Booking Chris Zebroski is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 54:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Roberts by Chris Zebroski.
    • 53:47 Craig Reid concedes a free kick for a foul on Jake Robinson. Damon Lathrope takes the direct free kick.
    • 51:42 Centre by Lawrie Wilson, clearance made by Kevin Nicholson.
    • 50:30 Corner taken right-footed by Kevin Nicholson, Header from deep inside the area by Guy Branston goes over the bar.
    • 50:16 Billy Kee takes a shot. Save by Chris Day.
    • 48:48 Shot from just outside the area by Kevin Nicholson goes over the bar.
    • 48:31 The ball is crossed by Lee Mansell, Ronnie Henry makes a clearance.
    • 46:03 Effort from deep inside the area by Jake Robinson misses to the left of the goal.
    • 45:50 The ball is sent over by Jake Robinson.
    • 45:19 Lawrie Wilson delivers the ball, clearance by Kevin Nicholson.
    • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:06 The ref blows to signal half-time.
    • 45:00+0:25 The ball is crossed by Billy Kee.
    • 44:48 The ball is sent over by Lawrie Wilson.
    • 44:11 Effort from the edge of the area by Chris Zebroski goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 43:09 Michael Bostwick concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Zebroski. Chris Zebroski takes the free kick.
    • 41:53 Corner taken left-footed by Kevin Nicholson from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Guy Branston misses to the right of the target.
    • 41:47 The ball is crossed by Gavin Tomlin, Ronnie Henry makes a clearance.
    • 40:33 Assist by Darius Charles.
    • 40:33 GOAL - John MousinhoStevenage 1 - 0 Torquay John Mousinho fires in a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stevenage 1-0 Torquay.
    • 39:53 Darius Charles fouled by Billy Kee, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Roberts restarts play with the free kick.
    • 37:35 Centre by Eunan O'Kane, Jake Robinson has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
    • 36:13 Header from deep inside the area by Darius Charles goes over the bar.
    • 36:09 Stacy Long sends in a cross.
    • 35:31 Corner taken by Stacy Long, Kevin Nicholson makes a clearance.
    • 35:24 Lawrie Wilson sends in a cross, blocked by Damon Lathrope.
    • 34:03 Billy Kee takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 33:56 Kevin Nicholson produces a cross, Lawrie Wilson gets a block in.
    • 33:34 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kevin Nicholson, clearance made by Mark Roberts.
    • 33:24 A cross is delivered by Gavin Tomlin, Michael Bostwick manages to make a clearance.
    • 32:39 Centre by Scott Laird.
    • 31:10 Unfair challenge on Darius Charles by Lee Mansell results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Stacy Long, save by Scott Bevan.
    • 29:42 John Mousinho delivers the ball.
    • 29:03 Craig Reid takes a shot from 20 yards. Save by Scott Bevan.
    • 28:33 The ball is sent over by Michael Bostwick.
    • 26:48 Darius Charles produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 26:42 Lawrie Wilson crosses the ball, save made by Scott Bevan.
    • 25:08 Michael Bostwick gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Zebroski. Direct free kick taken by Kevin Nicholson.
    • 23:23 The ball is sent over by Ronnie Henry, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Darius Charles misses to the left of the goal.
    • 22:36 Jake Robinson crosses the ball, clearance made by Michael Bostwick.
    • 22:07 The ball is crossed by Jake Robinson, Scott Laird manages to make a clearance.
    • 21:00 Kevin Nicholson fouled by Lawrie Wilson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Bevan.
    • 18:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Zebroski on Ronnie Henry. Chris Day restarts play with the free kick.
    • 17:50 Stacy Long produces a cross, clearance made by Guy Branston.
    • 17:23 Jake Robinson sends in a cross, save made by Chris Day.
    • 11:29 Corner from left by-line taken by Joel Byrom.
    • 11:21 Darius Charles delivers the ball, Chris Robertson gets a block in.
    • 10:20 Foul by Damon Lathrope on Darius Charles, free kick awarded. Ronnie Henry restarts play with the free kick.
    • 8:45 Darius Charles sends in a cross, John Mousinho takes a shot. Scott Bevan makes a save.
    • 8:02 Eunan O'Kane gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joel Byrom. Scott Laird takes the free kick.
    • 7:41 Billy Kee takes a shot. Clearance by Mark Roberts.
    • 7:36 Lee Mansell sends in a cross, blocked by Stacy Long.
    • 5:46 Chris Robertson fouled by Darius Charles, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Bevan.
    • 5:14 Chris Zebroski is caught offside. Chris Day restarts play with the free kick.
    • 3:43 The ball is sent over by Darius Charles, Craig Reid takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Robertson.
    • 1:20 Stacy Long sends in a cross, Damon Lathrope makes a clearance.
    • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

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