Huddersfield Town maintained their unbeaten start to the season but they were grateful for a late penalty miss by Stevenage’s John Mousinho to ensure they earned all three points.
Gary Roberts gave Town the lead on the stroke of half-time before a fine equaliser from Borough’s Scott Laird.
Lee Novak’s ninth of the season proved the winning goal but only after Mousinho missed from the spot in the last minute.
Both went 4-4-2 in this first meeting between the sides and although Town forced five corners in 21 minutes they never seriously tested goalkeeper Chris Day.
At the other end, left-back Calum Woods made a fine block on John Mousinho on the edge of the area.
There were first-half bookings for fouls for Stevenage’s Michael Bostwick and Town’s Damien Johnson.
Town took the lead a minute before half-time as Scott Arfield threaded the ball through and Roberts sidefotted home as Day raced off his line.
Town were rescued by a clearance inside the six-yard area by Woods before Stevenage equalised in the 67th minute, Laird drilling a shot from the left which struck the far post before crossing the line.
Town replaced Arfield and, surprisingly, Roberts with Anton Robinson and Danny Ward but continued to look ineffective up front.
However, Town regained the lead in the 76th minute when Novak was left with a simple tap-in after Robinson’s shot came back off the post.
Huddersfield received a mighty let-off in the 89th minute when John Mousinho sent his penalty over the bar after Antony Kay had sent Ronnie Henry tumbling.
The Terriers are up to third in the league on 24 points.
Stevenage were left furious when referee Steve Rushton failed to send off Kay, who conceded a late penalty when the last man, and then just booked striker Alan Lee for an alleged elbow on Phil Edwards.
Clark refused to be drawn into a war of words, but said: “We knew what it was going to be going on and the players had to keep focused. Stevenage will ruffle a few feathers in this league.
“(Alan Lee’s) always unfairly targeted with claims that he goes up with his arms. Alan is perhaps too honest and all he sees is the ball. Sometimes he’s unfairly treated.”
On the penalty decision Clark said: “Under the laws of the game, if it’s a penalty, Antony Kay should have been sent off. I’m sure Graham (Westley) is disappointed we didn’t go down to 10 men.”
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