Boro put three past Gravesend

Stevenage Boro 3 Gravesend and Northfleet 0 Boro moved into the top 10 as their steady progress up the table continued. This was an ultimately comfortable if somewhat flattering result as Boro rarely reached the heights of the previous Saturday s heroics

Stevenage Boro 3 Gravesend and Northfleet 0

Boro moved into the top 10 as their steady progress up the table continued.

This was an ultimately comfortable if somewhat flattering result as Boro rarely reached the heights of the previous Saturday's heroics against leaders Oxford.

Mark Beard deputised at right-back with Craig Dobson given a starting berth on the right-hand side of midfield.

With the influential Adam Miller and Brad Johnson bossing the middle of the park, Boro played some nice football in patches without really threatening until the 24th minute.

George Boyd went to lift the ball over Peter Hawkins on the byline and the defender seemed to jump and block the ball with his arm.

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The assistant referee agreed and flagged for a spot-kick.

John Nutter buried the resulting kick but it was ordered to be retaken, presumably for encroachment.

Nutter held his nerve and went high the other side this time to open Boro's account on the day.

Gravesend included Boro old boys Rob Quinn and Charlie MacDonald and the former joined team-mate Paul McCarthy, as well as Miller, in the book for his hack at Boyd.

The visitors held little attacking threat in the half apart from one isolated incident.

Boro keeper Alan Julian flapped at a Jon Keeling corner but Onome Sodje's header was somehow cleared from danger with an undeserved equaliser imminent.

Miller limped off injured, replaced by Dale Binns, with Steve Guppy reverting to central midfield.

Boro could have made it two in added time when a brilliant Boyd reverse pass sent Steve Morison in behind Hawkins.

The striker looked odds-on to score but McCarthy, already on a booking, got across to cover and produce a fine saving tackle.

It had been a comfortable first 45 minutes for Boro but there was considerable Fleet pressure after the break although Julian was still a virtual spectator.

In a rare Boro attack, Binns squeezed a shot just wide of the post after Dobson, Morison and Boyd were involved in the move.

The final result probably hinged on one moment in the 64th minute as Mark De Bolla's thunderous volley from the edge of the box came off the outside of the post with Julian beaten.

If that had gone in, things might have been different but Boro ran away with things - literally - as Jon Nurse came on for Dobson.

Nurse was the central figure as a brilliant Boro break produced their second goal on 72 minutes.

The speed and persistence of Nurse took him more than half the length of the pitch before he passed inside to Boyd who played the ball into acres of space for Morison to sidefoot home with aplomb.

Another lightning break was the catalyst for the third Boro goal four minutes later.

Boyd was sent tumbling in full flight on the edge of the box but Boro exacted maximum retribution.

From the resulting Guppy free-kick, Nurse capped a fine cameo by heading home at the far post.

Youth replaced experience in added time as Guppy exited and Jack Bradshaw, an attacking full-back, made his first team bow.

For Gravesend's returning pair, Quinn was subbed after Boro's third went in and MacDonald's fruitless afternoon was compounded in added time when his ambitious claims for a penalty rightly fell on deaf ears.