Report: Colchester United 1 Stevenage 6

PUBLISHED: 09:55 28 December 2011

Michael Bostwick bossed the game in midfield for Boro.

Michael Bostwick bossed the game in midfield for Boro.

Archant

Boro run riot in Boxing Day rout

Colchester United 1 Stevenage 6

npower League 1

IN the beginning it was convincing; at the end it was thrilling.

Stevenage ran amok at Colchester with six scorers finding the net in a festive stuffing that neither they, nor their beleaguered hosts, will forget in a very long time.

That it could have been seven, eight, or even nine says much about Boro’s performance, but scoring six goals away from home is an accomplished feat no matter how poor the opponent. And Colchester were poor.

The hosts did plenty wrong, but Stevenage were much the better side from the off and but for a three-minute spell in the first half and a five-minute spell in the second they completely dominated proceedings in such a way that come 90 minutes their supporters were calling on the team for a seventh goal.

Colchester boss John Ward stood forlorn in the dugout at the final whistle. Moments before he had been subjected to Boro faithful singing “you’re getting fired in the morning” only then to hear his own fans warmly applaud the away supporters’ choice of song.

Stevenage were on the front foot for the majority of the first half, and the reason why they went into the break 2-0 up had a lot to do with a man who actually failed to find the net, Don Cowan.

Making his first start for the club and partnering Chris Beardsley, whom had recovered from a hamstring injury, Cowan harassed the Colchester defence and dragged them into places they didn’t want to go. This afforded Michael Bostwick and Joel Byrom the room in which to run the show from midfield.

Cowan, like Beardsley, was involved in the first two goals. The first, on nine minutes, saw the striker flick on a header to Beardsley who squared the ball across the six-yard box for Robin Shroot to tap in at the far post.

On 25 minutes Cowan was again involved, turning his man 35 yards from goal before laying the ball off to Beardsley as he was brought down.

The referee allowed play to continue and Beardsley took a touch or two before firing past Ben Williams, whose weak palm allowed the shot to creep inside his right-hand post.

Colchester did have their chances in the first half, but they came during a three minute spell just before the break.

First Karl Duguid curled a gentle effort onto the corner of the crossbar and post from the edge of the box, and then Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day had to save a 35-yard effort.

Boro were worth the half-time lead but the hosts got back into the game six minutes after the restart when a deep ball was turned across goal by Duguid for Ian Henderson to head home from six yards.

Stevenage still looked the most likely to score next and Bostwick put the game beyond the hosts with 25 minutes remaining.

By the time the midfielder scored some tasty tackles had started to fly in, but when Bostwick picked up the ball, 30 yards out, the only thing left flying was the ball from his right boot as his effort beat Williams with ease.

Bostwick’s strike was the first of four goals in an 18-minute spell for Stevenage.

Next to score was Scott Laird who fired across Williams after Bostwick had set him up from a free kick. Two minutes later Luke Freeman made it five when he also beat the Colchester goalkeeper from inside the box and when Byrom then stepped up to make it six after working the ball into the box from a Ronnie Henry throw-in, the game was all over.

In the dugouts Ward looked aghast, while Westley continued to bark orders at his defence to hold their positions.

In the end they didn’t have to, as this was as comfortable a victory as they come.

Colchester: Williams 3, Rose 4 (Coker 80), Okuonghae 6, Heath 5, Wilson 5, O’Toole 3 (Gillespie 73), Bond 5, James 4, Duguid 6, Odejayi 3, Henderson 5. Subs not used: Eastman, Izzet, White.

Stevenage: Day 7, Henry 6, Laird 7, Roberts 6, Ashton 7, Wilson 7, Shroot 7 (Freeman 57, 7), Bostwick 8, Byrom 8, Cowan 7 (Edwards 57, 7), Beardsley 7 (Harrison 75). Subs not used: Julian, Aneke.

Att: 5,276

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