The low-down on Stevenage F.C, ahead of our trip to the Lamex Stadium.
County are away next Saturday to Stevenage in what will be our third last away game of the season. Obviously looking at the table it would be important not to lose to Stevenage, as although both clubs should realistically avoid relegation, finishing just one place above the drop zone may not give the right impression to potential new recruits and sponsors. Finishing as high up the table as possible is undoubtedly beneficial in a variety of ways.
STAR MAN- MICHAEL TONGE
Probably the most familiar face in our opponents’ line up next week will be Michael Tonge. The tall Mancunian has racked up well over 400 appearances during an impressive career. These include just over 300 games for Sheffield United, including their season in the Premier League in 2006/7. He stayed in the top flight during a five-year tenure at Stoke City but his game time was limited in the Potteries, and he was loaned out on three occasions before settling at Leeds for three seasons. After he spell at Millwall last season he was released by Leeds in the summer but it took the midfielder several months before he finally penned a contract with Stevenage last October. Still only 32, I would say Tonge still has plenty to offer.
Stevenage currently employ Darren Sarll as their caretaker manager, following the dismissal of Teddy Sheringham on February 1st. Sarll played as a midfielder for a variety of clubs; Hitchin, Berkhamstead, Bedford, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Dunstable, Chesham and Biggleswade, but gave up playing whilst still in his mid-twenties to concentrate on coaching, and this has been predominantly at youth level. This started at Stevenage in 2006 and after spells at Rotherham and Brentford he returned to Broadhall Way in 2012.
Last month the vastly experienced Glenn Roeder joined Stevenage in the role of managerial advisor which can only be a good thing. Roeder has managed in over 400 matches, including a relatively successful time in the Premier League at Newcastle.
Just the one game…we lost 2-1 almost exactly a year ago, County getting a consolation goal from Adam Chapman after 88 minutes. Chris Zebroski was sent off in injury time, in a difficult period for him and indeed for County.
Officially now the Lamex Stadium, this little gem is somewhat obscured to passers-by as it’s hidden behind some tall trees on three sides. Inside however is a brilliant splash of red and white and you certainly know which team is the home club.
Away supporters are allocated in the impressive South Stand which is a small (about 12 rows deep) but steep stand behind one goal. There are no roof supporting pillars to obscure the view and the structure is just a few yards beyond the by-line. To the left of the away end is the Main Stand, which houses around 1800 seats and has the clubs’ former name of BORO twice spelled out in the seats. Opposite this stand is a covered terrace, which has a traditional camera box built onto the roof at the halfway point. Finally, behind the goals at the North End of the ground is a small and partially covered terrace.
An excellent stadium with a capacity of nearly 7000, of which half are seated. Perhaps the north side of the ground needs redevelopment, but for now the current set up is more than sufficient for their needs.
Catch David's feature 'On the Road' in the Official Match Day programme, available at all home games.
Click HERE to purchase tickets for the game.
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