Boro fail to deliver
Wrexham 1 Stevenage Boro 0 BORO S big guns failed to deliver as they made a disappointing exit from the FA Cup at Wrexham on Saturday. And boss Mark Stimson was left in no doubt where he felt much of the blame lay for his side s feeble showing against a p
Wrexham 1 Stevenage Boro 0
BORO'S big guns failed to deliver as they made a disappointing exit from the FA Cup at Wrexham on Saturday.
And boss Mark Stimson was left in no doubt where he felt much of the blame lay for his side's feeble showing against a poor League Two side.
"To get knocked out of the cup at this stage is very disappointing and I think I expected more from my big players," admitted Stimson.
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"George Boyd and Steve Morison were the quietest I have seen them, and I'm not sure if that's because they weren't on their game or because they were well handled by the centre-backs.
"I will take a good look at the video for this game but I hope that the players don't sleep well after a performance like that."
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The sentiment appeared spot on as Boro began brightly against a Wrexham side which was painfully lacking in confidence after a poor run of form in the league.
But despite some early neat passing and good interplay, Boro hardly managed to hit the opposition penalty box.
Indeed their day was summed up by the fact that the best chance of the game for the visitors was squandered by Craig Dobson more than four minutes into added time.
The fact that Wrexham managed 16 shots at goal to Boro's three tells its own story.
The omens did look bright in the early exchanges, with Boro forcing two corners inside the first minute while Morison should have done better when he headed into the arms of keeper Michael Ingham from close range on seven minutes.
But Wrexham gained some composure and the half chances started to build.
Twice the dangerous Danny Williams came close with headers while Kevin Smith put a snapshot wide of the post and Matty Done went on a mazy run which left Santos Gaia and Ronnie Henry for dead before he drilled an effort over the bar.
Boro were being forced further back but before they could be saved by the half-time break, Wrexham made the decisive strike.
Steve Evans created the goal on 40 minutes, good work on the left flank seeing him fire over a cross which allowed Williams to guide a header over Alan Julian and into the back of the net.
Boro did look to rally before the interval, Mark Beard seeing a close range shot blocked, but the threat was half-hearted and the second period was even worse.
Wrexham finally looked like a side who thought they might earn the win, and they were only denied a more comfortable lead by some awful finishing.
Maheta Molango was the chief culprit, but Evans, Smith and Done all tested Julian as Boro lapsed into the bad old days of defending.
Stimson did look to ring the ring changes, bringing on Dobson for Dale Binns and opting to put Luke Oliver up front when he replaced Jon Nurse.
And the shake-up almost paid dividends as Boro finally upped their game at the death.
Dobson combined well with Oliver and the pair fashioned two chances late on.
But an equaliser would have been unjust and may have concealed the worrying fact that almost the entire team were unable to raise themselves for what may prove to be the biggest game of the season.