A ridiculously bad-tempered game ended in Stevenage's favour at home to Wigan Athletic. 

Aaron Pressley got the only goal after just nine minutes as Boro won 1-0 but the first meeting between the two sides will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

There were two red cards, Callum Lang for Wigan and Alex MacDonald for Stevenage, with Lang's dismissal coming after two yellows, part of nine they received in total among eight players.

Stevenage will be happy though to have secured the three points. Their last three home games had not produced a win, the first two ending in draws after conceding late goals.

There was just the one change for Stevenage, and an enforced one as that as the suspended Jamie Reid was replaced by Elliott List, coming in for his first start since that fateful day at Tranmere, on day one of last season.

The first half was full of incident, not all pleasant viewing.

It started well enough for Boro with a goal inside the first 10 minutes.

It came from the penalty spot as Jordan Roberts was challenged from behind as he prepared to shoot, Pressley rolling the ball in to the corner with Sam Tickle going the wrong way.

Wigan's discipline was letting them down and they had three in the book for stupidity in the opening quarter.

Steven Sessegnon was booked for kicking the ball away after conceding a throw, Thelo Aasgaard talked himself into the book after an admittedly soft foul and so too did skipper Callum Lang after a corner was awarded against the visitors.

That last came back to haunt them as a foul on Jake Forster-Caskey on the edge of the box brought a second yellow and sent Lang from the field.

Moments later a serious clash of heads between Carl Piergianni and Luther James-Wildin left the latter prostrate on the floor.

He was eventually taken from the field after 19 minutes, the medics naturally taking their time in getting him onto the stretcher.

He was conscious as he went off, although remained very still with an oxygen mask attached.

In the chances column, there had been a few half chances with Wigan's best attempt bringing a good save out of Taye Ashby-Hammond.

Boro should have gone into the break with a two-goal advantage, however, Pressley guilt of not one, but two big misses.

The first came after a cross from Dan Butler found him unmarked in a central position.

His header lacked real power but Tickle could only push it back to it.

The striker though prodded it wide after taking a touch.

The opening to the second period was bright from the home side but that elusive second goal just wouldn't arrive.

Nick Freeman, who had replaced James-Wildin at right-back, fired the first attempt in low and hard but Tickle got it behind with Pressley lurking.

The keeper then denied List twice.

The first was the best chance but was still difficult for the forward as it dropped down from Pressley's header.

He side-footed the volley but the keeper shovelled it wide.

List then got in down the left but as he fired it in low, the keeper kicked it away with Pressley beaten to the rebound by Aasgaard.

That lack of a second was looking worrying as the longer the game went on, the more Wigan grew in belief.

Martial Godo should have done better when he turned inside the box, but he scuffed his shot straight at the keeper.

And then it was 10 v 10 as Alex MacDonald, on as substitution just 15 minutes earlier, dived in two-footed as tempers boiled over.

Boro felt there should have been a red too for Wigan in the incident immediately prior to the home sub's lunge, that only brought another yellow.

It was another boost to Wigan though and they should have been level on the scoreboard too when Josh Magennis turned and shot wide from a good position.

Nine added minutes did see some pressure from the away side but it was Forster-Caskey who went closest with a drive wide of the post.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin (Freeman 45+4), Butler, Piergianni, Sweeney (MacDonald 63), Forster-Caskey, List (Hemmings 63), Roberts, Vancooten (N.Thompson 74), Pressley (B.Thompson 74), L.Thompson.

Sub (not used): Hegyi, McNeill.

Goals: Pressley (pen) 9

Booked: Sweeney 52, L.Thompson 67, Butler 78, Raynor (bench) 80


Wigan Athletic: Tickle, Watts (Magennis 46), Sessegnon (Pearce 61), Hughes, Clare (McManaman 88), Aasgaard (Shaw 58), Humphyrs (Smith 58), Godo, Lang, Rekik, Adeeko.

Subs (not used): Amos, Morrison.

Booked: Sessegnon 4, Aasgaard 13, Lang 22, 34, Rekik 55, Shaw 69, Hughes 78, Clare 78, Magennis 88, Tickle (final whistle).

Sent-off: Lang 34


HT: Stevenage 1 Wigan Athletic 0

Added time: 22 (28 actually played)

Referee: Alan Young (Milton Keynes)

Attendance: 4,402 (including 857 from Wigan)