Gravesend 2 Stevenage 1

Last updated : 25 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

A 85th minute blunder by Boro captain Jason Goodliffe delivered what proved to be the winning goal for Gravesend & Northfleet against Stevenage.

Under pressure from Liam Hatch, Goodliffe tried a backpass to Mark Westhead, but the keeper was wrong-footed and could only watch as the ball trickled over the goal-line.

Mark Bentley put the Fleet ahead in the 19th minute when he drove home Justin Skinner's free-kick from 25 yards.

Key to this victory were Adrian Pennock and Mark Bentley. Pennock joined Fleet last week from Gillingham along with Priestfield youngster Ben White.

Pennock's presence brought out the best in those around him, not least Craig Wilkins and Chris Giles and the three-man defensive formation proved difficult for Boro to break down.

Michael Blackwood and Justin Richards both had good efforts to pull Stevenage back into the game in the first half, but it was not until the match resumed after the interval that Boro set about Gravesend with real purpose.

In a blistering 15-minute onslaught Charlie MacDonald and Robin Trott went closest to bringing Stevenage level, but the pressure produced no end product.

Hatch slipped a delightful ball over Goodliffe's head to Che Stadhart in the 85th minute, but the striker's shot went wide, but moments later Goodliffe's backpass own goal gave the Fleet a two-goal cushion.

Simon Wormull scored with a diagonal volley with two minutes left, but it was not enough to bring the Fleet their first win of 2003.

"We don't normally get luck like when the second goal went in," said Fleet boss Andy Ford.

"I would rather be lucky for the rest of the season and keep winning 1-0. I don't know what to say about Pennock, he is so important to us.

"He's a massive influence, he has a calming effect of everybody around him. Everybody has got to respect him, me included."