A goal 10 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game saved Stevenage from an unwanted replay against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup.

Nobody of a Boro persuasion wanted to go to Wirral on a Tuesday night but that seemed to be on the cards when substitute Kieron Morris levelled in the first minute after the 90 to make it 3-3.

But Jamie Reid pounced late on for his second of the afternoon to leave it at 4-3.

It hadn't been a classic seven-goal contest but Stevenage had to scrap for the win after Jordan Roberts and Kane Hemmings had got them in front with nine minutes to go.

They can now look forward to the draw for round two with a small amount of relief.

Manager Steve Evans resisted any temptation to make wholesale changes from the side that beat Derby County one week earlier.

He did bring in two to the starting XI, Kane Smith and Louis Thompson getting the nod.

Luther James-Wildin and Finley Burns were the two to drop out, the former altogether and the latter to the bench where Boro named their full complement of nine.

The fear of a cup upset would have been firmly in Boro's minds at the start which made the start just about perfect.

Roberts got the goal, nodding in from close range as the goalkeeper didn't recover from Elliott List's initial charge.

Thompson needed plenty praise though for a great tackle in the middle of the park to get the move started.

And for the next 10 minutes Boro had a lot of the ball but without ever threatening to bag a second.

And therein lay some of the problem for the home side. They took up some great positions but were often guilty of bad decisions or trying to overcomplicate things.

And it handed the ball back to Rovers, allowing them to relieve the danger and get up the field.

They weren't really threatening either and there didn't seem to be any problem when the ball was played into the middle.

But Smith got into a tangle at the back post with his former team-mate and Norris converted the spot-kick, albeit it only just as Taye Ashby-Hammond guessed the right way and pushed it onto the post before it crept in.

Elliott List should have equalised immediately after that but completely fluffed his effort after finding himself in with just the keeper to beat, barely getting any contact on it.

But other than that, and one delicious Dan Butler cross that was begging to be put in, there wasn't a great deal to get excited about.

The first five minutes after the break were infinitely better from a Stevenage point of view as they started with much more purpose and a much higher tempo.

That was brought to a temporary halt as Luke McGee was almost forced to come off after landing awkwardly following an aerial collision with List.

He carried on, a little bit gingerly at first, but there was a spring in his step shortly after as Rovers went in front with a lovely goal.

It came from a long ball forward but after an exquisite touch, Apter sent it looping over the top of Ashby-Hammond and under the crossbar.

At that point a replay, not wanted before kick-off, suddenly became very enticing.

Fortunately Boro got level just three minutes later with Norris again involved.

A long throw from Smith was heading towards Carl Piergianni until a push in the back from the Bedwell boy sent the skipper to the floor.

Reid, relatively anonymous from an attacking sense up to that point, sent McGee the wrong way to make it 2-2.

And slowly but surely Stevenage started to ramp the intensity up as they returned to their original goal of not wanting a replay.

That seemed to have been achieved when Kane Hemmings scored on 81 minutes, turning in a corner that had been headed back to him by Piergianni.

However, within seconds of coming onto the pitch, and seconds after the 90 had elapsed Morris headed home a far too simple goal to seemingly send the game up to Wirral.

Reid had other ideas.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, Butler, Piergianni, MacDonald (B.Thompson 63), List (Hemmings 63), Freeman, Roberts, Smith (White 77), Vancooten, Reid, L.Thompson (Burns 63).

Sub (not used): Hegyi, N.Thompson, Neal, Hannam, McNeill.

Goals: Roberts 3, Reid (pen) 58, 90+10, Hemmings 81

Booked: Butler 37, Hemmings 89


Tranmere Rovers: McGee, O'Connor, Walker, Davies, Turnbull, Hendry (Jolley 90), L.Norris (Dennis 77), Jennings (Morris 90), Lewis (Merrie 12), Pike, Apter (J.Norris 90).

Subs (not used): Murphy, Taylor, Yarney, Wood.

Goals: L.Norris (pen) 28, Apter 55, Morris 90+1

Booked: Merrie 39, Davies 68


HT: Stevenage 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

Added time: 14

Referee: Neil Hair (Peterborough)

Attendance: 2,404  (including 177 from Tranmere)