The stats have been mounting up recently.

Boro hadn't scored in the three games prior to this one, or the last three home games, and had only managed three in total across the last eight fixtures.

Top scorer Jamie Reid, responsible for 21 of Stevenage's 51 this season, was without a club goal since the draw with Port Vale way back on February 10.

Added to that was their last home goal came in a 1-0 win against Cambridge United on February 27, also their last win.

Five draws and three losses later and the League One play-off hopes had, in some quarters, been written off completely.

But that would be to doubt Steve Evans or the fighting spirit he instils in his sides.

And a 2-1 win at home to Barnsley saw Stevenage end a few of those statistics, as well as breathing new life and new hope into their play-off charge.

They are still ninth but now three points behind Oxford United in the sixth and final qualifying position.

The big team news was Taye Ashby-Hammond not even in the squad after his error at Exeter City on Saturday, Craig MacGillivray getting the start and Rylee Mitchell, currently on loan at Royston Town, on the bench.

Following that there was also the recall from the wilderness for Aaron Pressley with Elliott List, Dan Sweeney and Finlay Burns coming back in.

Injured pair, Luther Wildin and Alex MacDonald, along with Jordan Roberts and Vadaine Oliver completed the five players coming out.

Goals may have been an issue prior to kick-off but the good thing was from the first minute, there were chances coming.

Pressley could have scored in two minutes but under pressure, he could only nod it down to the keeper.

The Scot would then have an ever better opportunity.

Reid did superb to scamper down the right win, keeping the ball in and then whipping a ball in low with a bit of spin.

The speed and movement of the delivery, with perhaps the keeper and a defender, could be the only reason for Pressley not connecting properly, the ball bobbling and bouncing and spinning wide of the post from three yards.

List then guided a header straight at Liam Roberts and it seemed to be a matter of time before they scored.

It was but Barnsley had gone in front before then in odd fashion.

A long free-kick from the goalkeeper floated over a completely static Boro defence and found Phillips in behind, seemingly timing his run to perfection.

That wasn't the view of the East Terrace or the Boro bench but he had plenty of time to lob MacGillivray.

And for 10 minutes Boro seemed to feel sorry for themselves.

The keeper had to make a smart block, as did Louis Thompson, but two minutes into the five of stoppage time, Reid cut inside when he really should have crossed, and fired low into the corner to finally allow Stevenage to celebrate a goal.

It was the perfect time to score, if you believe the cliché, but combined with the start to the second half, it most certainly was.

When Reid was fouled on the right edge of the box, Burns was hurriedly called over to the bench by the boss.

A quick word later and he charge over to Butler to relay the information.

What it was seemingly became obvious in mere moments, as Butler leathered it low through the crowd and to the right of the keeper.

Like the Barnsley goal, that had a reaction but for this 10 minutes, only Roberts in the Barnsley goal stopped Boro from going further in front.

He saved superbly from Reid twice and then from Pressley at his near post.

Thompson then screwed a shot wide from a central position 20 yards out.

You wondered if Stevenage would regret those misses but still they pressed and Pressley put another header too close to the keeper.

Barnsley had made a double switch to try and engineer a change in the momentum and there was a warning shot, Phillips flashing a cross in front of goal but in front of all attackers.

There would be six added minutes to come in stoppage time but moments before that Reid almost sealed it.

Sent clear by List he had no choice but to go it alone.

He did but the shot across Roberts bounced off the foot of the post and out.

Barnsley threw the  ball forward at the end but they never threatened a goal or preventing a big and deserved win for Stevenage.

Match details

Stevenage: MacGillivray, Butler, Piergianni, Sweeney (B.Thompson 79), List (Guinness-Walker 90+2), Smith, Vancooten, Burns, Reid (Roberts 90+2), Pressley (Hemmings 90+6), L.Thompson.

Sub (not used): Mitchell, N.Thompson, Freeman.

Goals: Reid 45+2, Butler 51

Booked: List 75, L.Thompson 85


Barnsley: L.Roberts, Williams Russell (Kane 65), De Gevigney, Cadden (Jalo 79), Cosgrove (Cole 65), McCart, Phillips, Earl, McAtee, Connell.

Subs (not used): Killip, Cotter, O'Keefe, James.

Goals: Phillips 31

Booked: Williams 12


HT: Stevenage 1 Barnsley 1

Added time: 11

Referee: Declan Bourne (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 4,727 (including 769 from Barnsley)