|When was Stevenage's best season?|
The FL125 Greatest Season voting shortlists were compiled from data submitted by Football League clubs, which was collected from fans through social media. Supporters were asked to submit their suggestions by interacting with their respective clubs through Twitter, using #FL125 and #OurBestSeason.
The nominations were:
2010/11 - Stevenage's first ever Football League season ended in glory with a late push for the Play-Offs culminating in a 1-0 win over Torquay at Old Trafford to seal promotion to League 1. And who could forget the FA Cup run, where Boro famously beat Newcastle 3-1 at home in the third round before narrowly losing to Reading in round four.
2011/12 - Stevenage narrowly missed out on a third straight promotion after a great first season in League 1. Highlights of the season included famous home wins against Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton and another FA Cup run which saw Boro hold Tottenham to a goalless draw at home in round five and then take the lead in the replay before losing 3-1. The good league form saw Boro clinch a place in the Play-Offs, where they fell to a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sheffield United.
2012/13 - Stevenage's second season in League 1 proved more of a challenge, with the team finishing in 18th, but Gary Smith's men flew out of the blocks and sat second in the table after the first 10 games. Whilst there was no FA Cup run this season, highlights of the campaign included wins over Coventry and Portsmouth and a 4-0 thrashing of Sheffield United at home.
|Who is Stevenage's best ever manager?|
The FL125 Greatest Manager voting shortlists were compiled from data submitted by Football League clubs, which was collected from fans through social media. Supporters were asked to submit their suggestions by interacting with their respective clubs through Twitter, using #FL125 and #GreatManagers.
The nominees were:
Paul Fairclough - Paul arrived at Broadhall Way in 1990 and spent a magical eight-year spell at Boro, during which he lifted the club from the relative obscurity of the Ryman Division Two North. He guided Boro to three promotions in four years in the early 1990s and within two years of playing in the Conference they were champions – only to be cruelly denied promotion to The Football League because of the stadium.
Cloughie also famously led the club to the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1997/98, taking Premier League Newcastle to a replay after a 1-1 draw at home. They then only narrowly lost the replay 2-1 at St James’ Park through a controversial Alan Shearer strike.
Graham Westley - Graham first arrived at the club in 2003, taking over a Stevenage Borough side threatened with relegation to Conference South, but under his guidance the club improved to finish in 12th place.
The positive progress continued and within two seasons they made the Play-Off Final only to suffer a narrow 1-0 heart-breaking defeat to Carlisle United.
His second spell saw the club make the Play-Offs once more only to lose in the semi-finals, however they did regain the FA Trophy for the second time in three seasons with a 2-0 win over York City at Wembley. The following season saw Boro finally achieve their dream and win promotion to The Football League after romping away with the Blue Square Premier title. They also made it to the FA Trophy Final.
The fairytale continued in their debut Football League season, with Westley guiding Boro to victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup and a late surge to the League Two Play-Offs saw Stevenage beat Torquay United to win promotion at Old Trafford. The successful momentum continued in the club’s first League 1 campaign, with memorable wins over both Sheffield clubs and Charlton with Boro again set for a push for the Play-Offs by the time Westley left for Preston North End.
He returned to the club for a third time in March 2013 and hopes are high ahead of the new season.
Mark Stimson - Mark arrived at the club in 2006 as one of the most highly regarded Conference managers after nearly leading Grays Athletic to two successive promotions, firstly to the Conference and then nearly to The Football League. Stimmo’s fondness for attacking football drew plaudits from around football and at the heart of his team were the lethal strike partnership of Steve Morison and George Boyd.
Despite Boyd departing to Peterborough for a Conference record transfer fee in January 2007 and disappointment in the league, finishing eighth, Mark led Boro to their first major honour in a decade and had the honour of managing the first team to win a cup final at the new Wembley Stadium by clinching the 2007 FA Trophy.
A seven-game run to Wembley saw Stevenage score 20 and concede just three. The final itself was a classic with Boro finding themselves 2-0 down at half time. However, an inspirational second half performance saw Stevenage fight back to 2-2 before Steve Morison scored a late great winner to send half of the 53,000 crowd into ecstasy and the trophy to Hertfordshire.
That, combined with a decent start to 2007/08, saw Stimmo became hot property and he moved on to League 2 side Gillingham in early 2008, ending a short yet highly entertaining time as manager.