FA Cup first round: Milton Keynes 2-2 Stevenage

By Layth Yousif

6th Nov 2021 | Football


FA Cup First Round: Milton Keynes 2-2 Stevenage.

Stevenage drew 2-2 with MK in a match which exploded into life with 20 minutes remaining.

Two second half goals in the space of 180 seconds looked to be sending the visitors into the second round and seal a remarkable turnaround for Alex Revell's side.

Strikes from Brad Barry and Elliot List in the 70th and 73rd minutes respectively, saw Boro come from behind to lead 2-1, in front of 2,860 fans at Stadium MK on Saturday afternoon.

That was until Max Watters thumping near post effort past Boro keeper Joseph Anang levelled, to make the score 2-2 after three goals in six frenetic minutes.

Alex Revell's side showed character after turning around a 1-0 deficit, when a first half strike from the home side's impressive Harry Darling appeared to be enough to beat Boro.

However, the game exploded after a double substitution by Revell, when he replaced Elliot Osbourne and Ben Coker with Jamie Reid and Max Melbourne on 66 minutes.

The thrilling finale means that hopes of another stirring cup run have been kept alive, from the club that has made headlines through its memorable giant-killing exploits in the past.

Eleven years to the day since Stevenage's first ever clash with Milton Keynes took place, a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup first round, Boro travelled to Buckinghamshire in the same tournament once again.

In what many hope will be an omen after Saturday's 2-2 draw, Graham Westley's Stevenage beat MK in a Broadhall Way replay back in November 2010, to eventually reach the fourth round of the world's oldest domestic knock-our tournament - via a never-to-be-forgotten 3-1 victory over the might of Premier League Newcastle United in the third round.

Yet, a draw was the last thing Boro many observers expected, when the opening goal came on 35 minutes, after former Chelsea starlet and ex-England U21 regular Josh McEachran played the ball into a crowded box.

The promising 22-year-old Darling was first to react, as he angled the ball past Boro keeper Joseph Anang and into the net, to put the home side 1-0 up.

Alex Revell's beleaguered Boro could - and should - have taken the lead in the 21st minute, following good work by Elliot Osborne down the right flank, before the attacker crossed for Brad Barry who was unmarked in the box.

However, the 26-year-old summer signing from Barrow angled the ball agonisingly wide of Andrew Fisher's net in the MK goal.

In a match of few chances - at least until the game sparked into life late in the second half - MK could have doubled their lead when Aden Baldwin clipped Anang's bar with a cross-cum-shot on 57 minutes.

Seven minutes later Anang gathered Matt O'Riley's shot after a driving run as the home side continued to dominate.

Boro's Alex Reid saw his cross deflected into Fisher's near post side-netting on 67 minutes, but in truth Stevenage lacked sufficient quality in the final third as the rain started to sheet down.

That was until Revell's double substitution, which saw a thrilling climax, which means Liam Manning will take his side to North Herts for a replay at the Lamex next week.

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