Two thunderous free-kicks and a first for Kane Hemmings handed Stevenage a famous win over Derby County.

Jordan Roberts and Alex MacDonald got the goals from the set-pieces in the first half, thumping both past a helpless Joe Wildsmith.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing had scored in between them but Hemmings came off the bench to grab a 3-1 win on 84 minutes.

Their last opponents, Bristol Rovers, sacked manager Joey Barton two days after the midweek clash at the Memorial Stadium.

The reaction of the Derby fans to the third suggests Paul Warne is perhaps not long for the role at Pride Park.

Steve Evans made three changes from the side that drew at in that game on Tuesday night.

The injury picked up by Jake Forster-Caskey was enough to rule him out but Terence Vancooten did pass a fitness test.

Louis Thompson and Hemmings found themselves on the bench with the now unsuspended MacDonald, Finley Burns and Elliott List the trio to come in.

The Boro boss had rightly said it was a honour to be playing Derby on a equal footing in a league game.

However, other than the opening stages, Boro were well above their most illustrious visitors in the first half.

Derby created little in the way of chances and while Boro weren't too further ahead of them in the shots statistic, they were deservedly in front.

And there were similarities in both of them.

The first on the right side of the box saw MacDonald roll it behind him and Roberts thump it, almost arrow straight into the net.

Joe Wildsmith got his hand to it but was beaten for sheer power.

The same words applied to the second effort, from a mirrored position on the left of the area.

Again it wasn't in the corner but MacDonald hit it himself this time and with enough venom to leave the keeper lucky to get anything on it.

Derby had equalised in between in a goal that had Evans fuming at the officials for missing an obvious push on Jamie Reid.

The referee was not in a position to see it and although the linesman was, no flag came.

Defensively though there were question marks as the ball was able to come right across the Stevenage area to an unmarked Mendez-Laing.

He took a touch, moving it to his right and firing it low inside Taye Ashby-Hammond's near post.

The lead was deserved though for Boro and it forced Paul Warne into a double change at the break.

It seemed to have an instant impact as Derby started to pour forward with fluidity and in numbers.

They should have scored too when the ball found its way to Conor Washington without a defender near him and 12 yards out.

MacDonald produced a tackle that was arguably better than his goal, to nick the ball off his toes.

It was to prove one of his last bits of action as Stevenage changed formation, going from a back four to a back five with Nathan Thompson on.

His first touch of the ball was a crucial one as well, making a fine block as Bird took aim but Derby should have also scored as Washington got in down the left but failed to cross to Mendez-Laing.

Brother Louis also came on as the changes put a temporary halt on Derby's aspirations, Roberts firing in another attempt for the home side that was deflected just wide.

Hemmings was the final Boro sub and he was involved in either the biggest miss seen at the Lamex or the greatest save.

Reid had the first shot but Wildsmith pushed it back out to him.

This time from a narrow angle he crossed it to Hemmings who was two yards out if that.

Somehow the Derby keeper saved the shot.

However, moments later Hemmings had his redemption, this time getting onto a Luther James-Wildin cross to push it wide of Wildsmith.

That was the moment that Derby fans truly turned on their boss and there seemed little fight on the pitch too.

A succession of corners came and went but the confidence that had grown throughout the Boro ranks made sure they took all three points.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Butler, Piergianni, MacDonald (N.Thompson 56), List (L.Thompson 68), Freeman, Roberts (Hemmings 81), Vancooten, Burns, Reid.

Sub (not used): Hegyi, Kane Smith, B.Thompson, McNeill.

Goals: Roberts 32, MacDonald 45+2, Hemmings 84

Booked: Reid 59, Piergianni 71


Derby County: Wildsmith, Wilson (Collins 61), Forsyth (Bradley 46), Hourihane, Cashin, Bird, Mendez-Laing, Washington (Barkhuizen 68), Sibley (Korey Smith 46), Nyambe (Ward 81), Nelson.

Subs (not used): Vickers, Fornah.

Goal: Mendez-Laing 38

Booked: Cashin 11, Forsyth 30


HT: Stevenage 2 Derby County 1

Added time: 6

Referee: Thomas Kirk (Wilmslow, Cheshire)

Attendance: 5,866  (including 1,386 from Derby)