Stevenage youngsters moved into the quarter-final of the Herts Senior Challenge Cup with victory away to Potters Bar Town.

Goals from Harry Anderson and Theo Alexandrou gave them a 2-1 win and a trip to St Albans City in the last eight, Ore Bello's stoppage time goal merely a consolation.

Boro showed both sides of their game, attacking well in the first half and defending solidly after the break.

The Scholars meanwhile were much improved after the break but lacked their usual clinical nature.

Potters Bar boss Max Mitchell made three changes from their last Isthmian League game, a 3-0 loss away to Lewes 11 days earlier.

In came Dwight Pascal, Isaac Currie and Leteef Adaja with Samrai Gebrai, Prosper Keto and Leigh Rose missing out.

Stevenage meanwhile fielded a squad made up almost entirely of academy players, bar two exceptions - both Reece Hannam and Anderson starting.

Rylee Mitchell, who has been on the bench this season in League One, also started.

Boro also included Owen Cochrane, David Hicks, Makise Evans, Alexandrou and Noah Mosanya in their 15-strong squad, all of whom have spent time on loan with the Scholars.

It was Anderson though who was the star of the show in the early going and it was he who put Stevenage in front.

The goal was fortuitous but he had deserved that bit of a luck with the initial effort.

That was thumped low and beat Laurence Shala to his right but came off the inside of the post and bounced out to Pascal.

The defender's clearance, however, rebounded off Anderson and flew again to the right of Shala, but this time inside the near post.

The former Bristol Rovers and Lincoln City man then went on a strong run and a clever reverse pass to Alexandrou was only pulled back by the offside flag.

Hannam then went on a charge of his own but Valckx Fernandes came across to make a fine covering block.

For all the Scholars were not playing well, they did fashion a few good chances, and all fell to Ore Bello.

He hit the first attempt straight at Mitchell, then found space running out quick as he battled to get goal-side of Michael Buckmaster, his shot lacking power to get round the keeper.

Boro made a change at half-time with Anderson taking his leave.

In what could have been a coincidence, Colchester manager Danny Cowley, a surprise spectator during the first period, also didn't appear after the break.

With five changes allowed in five goes, the Bar had been active with their replacements too, making three by the time the second half started.

It had an impact as they were much more lively in the second half.

Part of that was the introduction of Keto, part of that was the simple desire to go and attack the Boro youngsters.

There was plenty of pressure that was cleared sometimes a little by luck than judgement but Stevenage did repel the efforts.

And in the end, it was the home side being over-excited that cost them.

A poor pass put Keto in difficulty and Alexandrou pinched the ball off the Scholar's toes.

That was 10 yards inside his own half but from there he outmuscled the Bar man, got in front of him and slid the ball to the left of Shala for a very impressive finish.

The Scholars did keep pressing and they came close when a Fernandes header came back off the junction of post and bar.

Bello did raise hopes in the first minute of stoppage time with a thumping header from a right-wing cross but there wasn't to be any other chance.


Match details

Potters Bar Town: Shala, Fernandes, Hervel, Hayes, Bello, Adams, Goather-Braithwaite (Gebrai 46), Dickson (Jessop 34), Pascal (Keto 44), Currie, Adaja.

Sub (not used): Jenkins, Lamb.

Goals: Bello 90+1

Booked: Fernandes 4, Gebrai 90+3


Stevenage: Mitchell, Teksala, Hannam (Ocadrian 80), Henry, Cochrane, Buckmaster (Mosanya 72), Bailey (Bates 65), Hicks, Evans, Anderson (Nnamudi 46), Alexandrou.

Subs (not used): Cambas

Goals: Anderson 8, Alexandrou 71



HT: Potters Bar Town 0 Stevenage 1

Added time: 9

Referee: Ben Compton (Ware)