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League One

Smith stays grounded as Boro soar

24 October 2012

Stevenage manager Gary Smith refused to get carried away after their 2-1 win over Portsmouth put them within a point of Tranmere at the top of League One.

Midfielder Felipe Morais scored both goals as Boro continued their surprise promotion push to inflict a first defeat in six games on in-form Pompey.

And the news got better for Smith's men when Tranmere were defeated at home by Doncaster, meaning that what was a commanding seven-point lead on Saturday morning has been whittled down.

Smith said: "It's very tight at the top now after tonight's results but we just have to keep adding points whenever we can. We were disappointed to lose our unbeaten run at Colchester and we've got to start on a new run - we've done ever so well in winning our last two games.

"It's been an eventful couple of games and tonight was a particularly challenging one because Portsmouth had been on a very good run. You could see from how the game's unfolded that there's plenty of quality in their group and when they got back in the game in the second half they mounted some pressure and we had to dig deep.

"I thought in the first half we played some really good football and it's always difficult after the break to get back into your stride. Portsmouth came out the brighter but eventually we've found a way to win the game."

Stevenage went ahead after 14 minutes when Morais was left all alone in the middle to comfortably nod in Lukas Akins' cross.

Pompey deservedly drew level when Jon Harley placed a fine shot across goal and into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. But the hosts had a fortuitous winner when Morais' cross from the left somehow evaded everyone and nestled in the far corner.

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton said: "It was a frustrating game for us- I'm sure after 24 hours I'll reflect on this and be less disappointed because I thought we played well second half. But, in saying that, I'd rather play poorly and win a game of football than play well and lose.

"I don't mind losing a game of football but I do mind losing the way we lost this in terms of their winning goal. There just wasn't enough people taking control of the situation, whether that's defenders or whether that's the goalkeeper himself."

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