Ahead of the new League One season, which kicks off in August, we're taking a look at the seven new teams who feature in the third tier next season.
Next up is Stevenage, who were promoted to the third tier following a second placed finish in League Two.
Under the guidance of experienced boss Steve Evans, who won promotion with Stamfiord, Boston United Crawley Town and Rotherham United, took the club from 22nd in the league to second place in the sdpace of season, remarkbale given that Stevenage very nearly dropped out of the Football League in 2019-20 - saved only by Burys' expulsion from the EFL.
A Short History
Founded in 1976 as Stevenage Borough, following the demise of Stevenage Athletic, they joined the United Counties League in 1980 and enjoyed instant success; winning the United Counties League Division One and the United Counties League Cup in the club's first year of formation.
Following three promotions in four seasons in the early 1990s, the club were promoted to the Conference National in 1994. Despite winning the league in the 1995–96 season, the club were denied promotion to the Football League due to insufficient ground facilities. Stevenage were finally promoted to the Football League after winning the Conference National in the 2009–10 season.
On securing Football League status, the club dropped the word 'Borough' from its title. Stevenage earned back-to-back promotions when they beat Torquay United 1–0 at Old Trafford in the 2010–11 play-off final.
Their first League One season saw a remarkable sixth place finish in the play-offs - where they lost to Sheffield United - and a run to the fifth round of the FA Cup which was ended by Premier League side Spurs. They were unable to replaicate their form the following season, finishing 18th before succumbing to relegation to League Two in 2014/15 having been rooted to the bottom of the table.
The 'Boro' found life back in the fourth tier easy going at first, making the play-offs again in their first season back, but subsequent 18th, 10th and 16th place finishes the next three years saw the club become a mainstay in the division. Disaster struck in 2019/20 when the club were initially relegated to the National League in the Covid-affected season, but were handed a reprieve when Bury were expelled from the EFL meaning only one team went down from League Two, giving them a stay of execution.
Two more bottom half finishes followed, until last season, when Evans guided the side to second place with just seven league defeats all season. Stevenage won 10 of their opening 13 matches, and recorded a huge FA Cup scalp, winning 2-1 away at Aston Villa in the third round.
Seasoned manager Steve Evans is no stranger to promotion, having brought Crawley into the Football League while also gaining two EFL promotions with Rotherham United, plus two in non league with Stamford and Boston United.
The Scot took over at the Lamex Stadium in March 2022, replacing Paul Tisdale with the club 22nd in the league. Evans led the club to safety, with ten points from his first six matches. A season to remember last time out saw Evans take the side into League One for the first time since 2015.
Head to Head
City and Stevenage have met mostly in League Two, and our record is pretty favourable - we've lost only once in the EFL to the Hertfordshire side.
Exeter: 11 wins
Stevenage: 2 wins
2-2 | 09/10/21 | Sky Bet League Two
After the demise of Stevenage Athletic, chairman Javier Revuelta (who was the leaseholder for the Broadhall Way ground) dug a trench down the centre of the pitch to stop the new Stevenage FC playing a youth game.