STEVENAGE only avoided relegation from the Football League last season due to Macclesfield Town’s misdemeanours.

The Boro finished rock bottom of League Two, seven points adrift with just three wins to their name and were seemingly heading back to non-league football.

That was until the Silkmen’s financial issues caught up with them resulting in a points deduction (on appeal), relegation and ultimately a winding up order.

Over at Broadhall Way, there was a collective sigh of relief – although they did have to be ‘re-elected from relegation’.

With the current crop of League Two teams so far doing it by the book, Boro’s 10-year stay in the Football League is looking equally as precarious as they find themselves in the relegation zone with just one win from their opening 12 games.

True, there are plenty of games to go to turn their fortunes around but this looks likely to be another campaign of hardship for Alex Revell’s side.

Last season, Stevenage endured the longest winless run in the division, a 10-game streak they have already equalled following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Morecambe.

Boro have not won in the league since beating Oldham 3-0 on September 19 and their only reprieve came when they beat Concord Rangers in the first round of the FA Cup two weeks ago, but even then it took a penalty shoot-out to beat the National League South side.

A home tie in the second round against Hull City next Sunday will be a welcome distraction from a torrid league campaign.

It is a far cry from a decade ago when Stevenage won the Conference title in the 2009/10 season then secured promotion to the League One via the play-offs the following season – enjoying a three-year stay in the third tier of English football before relegation back to League Two.

Much-travelled striker Revell joined Stevenage in January 2018, first as a player then accepting a coaching role before taking over the managerial position following Graham Wesley’s sacking after last season’s ill-fated campaign.

There is a familiar face hovering in the background at Stevenage that Whites fans will be all too aware of with Lennie Lawrence the club’s managerial consultant, holding a similar shoulder-to-lean-on role at Wanderers when Dougie Freedman was manager.

Just like against Salford City in their last league outing, this is another first for Wanderers who head to Stevenage having never played the Hertfordshire club before.

And just like Salford – where Bolton ran out 2-0 winners – Ian Evatt will be looking for a positive outcome to their first ever meeting.