Feb 4, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Lamex Stadium
Zoko (22' pen.), Charles (30', 59')
Jones (49'), Charles (87')
FT(HT: 2-0)
McDonald (56')
Gregory (70'), Smith (79')
Hewitt (21')

Result: Stevenage keep survival hopes alive

Preston North End manager Graham Westley shouts instructions to his team during the npower League One match between Preston North End and MK Dons at Deepdale on October 14, 2012
© Getty Images
Stevenage claw closer to safety after picking up three vital points at home to Gillingham.

Bottom-of-the-table Stevenage have kept their hopes of survival alive by beating Gillingham 3-1 at Broadhall Way.

Boro had the better of the early exchanges, with the game's first half-chance falling to Luke Freeman who escaped his marker before putting the ball across the face of goal, though Dean Parrett couldn't quite reach the ball to tap it home.

Stevenage did get a reward for their early pressure, however, as Darius Charles played the ball to Francois Zoko, only for the striker's effort to be blocked by the hand of Elliot Hewitt.

The Welsh defender was shown a straight red card, and Zoko dispatched the resulting penalty to give Graham Westley's men the lead after 21 minutes.

Gillingham almost pulled level immediately after through Cody McDonald, though the striker blazed his effort over the bar.

The miss proved costly just minutes later as Charles doubled the home side's lead after good work from Freeman to take the ball down the line and play it across to his teammate.

The Gills found a route back into the contest just short of the hour mark when McDonald pulled one back after being slipped through to make it 2-1.

Any Stevenage nerves were soon put to rest as Charles added his second of the night three minutes later to retain the League One's bottom club's two-goal advantage.

The hosts nearly added to their tally through Lucas Akins who rounded Stuart Nelson, only for his shot from a tight angle to roll just wide of the target.

Akins came even closer shortly after, this time heading the ball against the crossbar following a Bruno Andrade cross.

Gillingham also struck the post in the closing stages, before the ball was cleared by Roarie Deacon to retain Boro's two-goal lead and secure a vital three points.

Stevenage's Francois Zoko celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Doncaster during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013
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