Stevenage will find the M4 closed on their way back from Wiltshire - but they managed to negotiate the Swindon Town roadblock to move within three points of automatic promotion.

Saturday's loss at Mansfield Town had made the maths clear - six points from the remaining three League Two games, the first of them at the County Ground.

Jamie Reid, as he has so often this year, proved the match winner just when Stevenage needed him, popping up in the first half to earn a 1-0 win.

It was not a game for the faint-hearted, Boro spurned chance after chance and had to survive a late onslaught.

But this was a big performance and a huge three points.

Saturday away to Mansfield was poor, that was the boss's assessment of the Boro performance.

However, he made just one change, Luther James-Wildin replaced by Kane Smith and 16-year-old Makise Evans retaining his place on the bench.

Everyone would have expected better from Boro and they got it in the first half.

Boro got on the front foot from the word go and had a couple of chances in the opening 15 minutes.

Jordan Roberts sent a cleverly-worked free-kick over the top on six minutes and then got an awkward header in as Kane Smith's cross dropped over Reid.

Swindon did break out of their shell a little bit and had three shouts for a penalty, the first of them when Luke Jephcott went down under the attention of Michael Bostwick was the only one where they perhaps had the smallest reason to be annoyed.

They also had a couple of shots that tested Thimothee Lo-Tutala, having to grab efforts from Marcel Lavinier and George McEachran at the second attempt on each occasion, but it was Stevenage who remained on top.

The reason for that was the work to win the ball back and force Swindon into errors, Alex Gilbey to the fore in that.

And the Charlton man created the goal with a clever feint and turn to get onto a Max Clark pass into the box.

From there, he got to the byline and cut it back initially for Roberts, who couldn't get onto it, and then Reid, and he squirmed an effort inside the near post past Sol Brynn.

Roberts should have made it two shortly after when Danny Rose nicked it off a Swindon defender six yards outside of the home box.

Like most of his first-half attempts though, he went for power and it flew high and wide.

Roberts and Reid then combined after the former broke the offside trap but a fine tackle put a stop to that move.

The only grumble from a Stevenage point of view was the number of promising positions wasted by overhit crosses or set-pieces.

The opening set-pieces weren't much better but Reid got in behind early on, snatching at the effort and sending it across the goal and well wide.

That was a good chance but then Boro had an even more glorious one that they failed totally to capitalise on, six minutes after the restart.

Roberts did Remeao Hutton superbly on the Boro left and then lifted the ball to the far post finally with a bit of accuracy.

Rose met it and there appeared to be only one possible outcome.

Somehow Rose found another and it went out for a throw.

Boro kept pushing but you felt they were pushing their luck by not taking any of them.

That was doubly so when Hutton got a cross wrong and it looped up to Lo-Tutala.

He dropped it though and it gave Rushain Hepburn-Murphy a clear sight of goal three yards out.

He ended up on the floor in a right royal rumble but the referee said no to the penalty shouts.

The frustrations at not getting decisions lifted the atmosphere up and the home fans were getting more and more riled.

They were getting forward more and a triple sub saw both Charlie Austin and Jacob Wakeling come on.

And they did have chances but without truly testing Lo-Tutala.

Seven added minutes did not ease the nerves and Swindon kept launching the ball into the box but Boro kept defending for their lives, Jake Reeves dumping the ball into the corner like an ice-hockey player on a penalty kill.

And when a final free-kick was played into the area and cleared, the referee's whistle saw Boro players leap high off the ground in jubilation.

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Stevenage: Lo-Tutala, Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Roberts (Forster-Caksey 82), Gilbey, Bostwick (Taylor 82), Reid (Horgan 87), Rose (James-Wildin 90+7).

Subs (not used): Pryzbek, Tomkinson, Evans.

Goal: Reid 25

Booked: Clark 90+7


Swindon Town: Brynn, Hutton, Clayton, McEachran, Brewitt (Minturn 30), Jephcott (Darcy 71), Cain (Wakeling 71), Hepburn-Murphy, Lavinier, Khan, Shade (Austin 71).

Subs (not used): Brann, Kadji, Brown.




HT: Swindon Town 0 Stevenage 1

Referee: Benjamin Speedie (Bootle)

Attendance: 8,289 (including 311 from Stevenage)