Stevenage ended their League Two stay with victory away to Barrow - leaving them second in the table.

A goal from Jake Reeves midway through the first half proved the difference and enough to ensure Boro would not be caught by Northampton.

It capped a fantastic season for Steve Evans' men and the 425 who had travelled to Cumbria ended it in full voice.

There was always going to be changes from the side that beat Grimsby Town to secure automatic promotion to League One and in the end there were seven. 

One was expected, Thimothee Lo-Tutala's emergency loan from Hull City has been ended and into the starting line-up came Adam Przybek, his first start in Boro's colours.

His place on the bench went to one of three academy players included, Rylee Mitchell alongside Makise Evans and Theo Alexandrou, both of whom have enjoyed a brief spell with Potters Bar Town at the end of the Isthmian League season.

The other changes to the starting line-up were Luther James-Wildin, Jake Taylor, Dean Campbell, Daryl Horgan, Jon Tomkinson and Jake Forster-Caskey coming in for Dan Sweeney, Jordan Roberts, Kane Smith, Alex Gilbey, Michael Bostwick and Jamie Reid.

With everything sorted last week, and Barrow unable to change their ninth position, the expectations of this being a lung-busting 90 minutes were not very high.

And so it proved through the first half.

Boro did start fairly brightly but their final ball was lacking, although the same could be true of the home side.

Stevenage did sneak the only goal of the half, Jake Reeves with a lovely touch to take him away from the defender and while it wasn't the cleanest of strikes, it skewed off the boot, skidded across the wet turf and bounced in off the foot of Paul Farman's right-hand post.

Barrow's best chance was sliced wide by Robbie Gotts while a cross from Tyrell Warren fizzed across the face of the goal and was missed by two swinging boots.

The lethargic feel of the afternoon, not helped as well by the ridiculous kick-off time, was summed up as the game moved into the one added minute.

Farman and Forster-Caskey were involved in a bit of push and shove, both booked for their troubles, but barely anyone else could be bothered to get involved.

The second half saw a very early end to Dean Campbell's Boro career, injuring himself three minutes in after a superb tackle on Warren.

He departed though safely in the annals of club history, following that goal at Aston Villa.

Taylor was another replaced by the hour mark while the final triple change 12 minutes from time saw Evans among those coming on.

On the pitch, the action remained shy of top gear.

Barrow did have the better start but Przybek remained unbowed, holding a difficult low attempt while looking confident with any ball swung into the middle.

Danny Rose had one good chance but was crowded out by Sam McClelland as the ball was about to leave his foot.

Reid had the most glorious opportunity after twisting away from his defender but then miscuing the effort wide of the target when he only had Farman to beat. 

The real star of the second half though for Boro was Przybek.

He made three fabulous stops, two in a row, the second of which flinging himself to his left and stopping an overhead kick from seven yards.

The last of them was with his chest as Josh Kay went down the left.

If this was his audition for the number two jersey next season, it is fair to say he passed with flying colours.

The final word though was with the Boro fans who had stood under almost incessant rain on an open terrace.

"We are going up" they chorused as the clock headed to 90 minutes and that is all the matters.

League One awaits.


Stevenage: Przybek, James-Wildin (Smith 79), Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Jake Taylor (Reid 58), Campbell (Gilbey 48), Horgan (Roberts 79), Tomkinson, Forster-Caskey, Rose (Evans 79).

Subs (not used): Mitchell, Alexandrou.

Goals: Reeves 24

Booked: Farman 45+1


Barrow: Farman, McClelland (Young 82), Canavan, Newby (Smales-Braithwaite 82), Kay (Jason Taylor 82), White, Gotts, Garner (Zuk 82), Warren, Ray, Whitfield.

Sub (not used): Moloney.


Booked: Forster-Caskey 45+1


HT: Barrow 0 Stevenage 1

Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Consett, County Durham)

Attendance: 4,034 (including 425 from Stevenage)