Boro run riot at Moss Rose
Stevenage move to within two points of automatic promotion places
Macclesfield Town 0 Stevenage 4
npower league 2
BORO ran Macclesfield Town ragged on Saturday as they moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places.
Two goals apiece for Rob Sinclair and skipper Mark Roberts saw Stevenage to a 4-0 win, but the difference between the two sides was much greater with the hosts lacking the drive and desire of Graham Westley’s men.
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When these two sides met on the opening day of the season – Boro’s first match in the Football League – Stevenage made too many errors and struggled for the sort of form that won them the Blue Square Premier title last season.
Seven months on the tables have turned to such an extent that it was Macclesfield that looked na�ve and outmanoeuvred by an experienced competent Boro side which is the form team as League 2 enters its final stages.
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Macclesfield were not a team to be taken lightly and had been on a five match unbeaten run of their own before Saturday, but when Boro turned the screws midway through the first half after a drab opening half hour the Silkmen had no answer.
By the time Boro went ahead Macclesfield had already squandered their best chance of the game when Tyrone Barnett failed to connect with a Colin Daniel pass across the face of Chris Day’s goal.
Barnett was just inches short of converting the ball goalwards, but Boro captain Roberts had no such problems when putting his side ahead 29 minutes in.
Staying up for a free kick when others had journeyed back down field, Roberts was unmarked at the far post to poke home Darius Charles’ pass across goal to put his side ahead.
Within a minute Boro should have had two but Craig Reid, breaking free of Nat Brown, fired too close to Jose Veiga and the Town goalkeeper held on.
Boro now had the smell of victory in their nostrils and they were quickly two goals to the good when Sinclair scored his first of the game.
Lawrie Wilson crossed from the right and the ball hit Brown on the arm before deflecting to the far post were Sinclair won the battle with Veiga to head home on the goal-line.
The home side were incensed by the decision to let the goal stand, but the challenge was legitimate and if anything it was Veiga who was guilty, with the goalkeeper not commanding the space underneath his crossbar.
Next to go close for Macclesfield was Ricky Sappleton whose shot from distance had Day scrambling to his left before spinning wide of goal, and Roberts almost made it three for Boro before the break but his turn and shot from inside the area was straight at Veiga.
Roberts did not have to wait long for his second of the game, however, and once again Macclesfield had a part in their own downfall.
John Mousinho took a free kick on the left and aimed for Luke Foster who despite being on the six yard line was unmarked and he headed the ball down for Roberts who stooped low to head past Veiga.
The hosts, now three down, awoke from their slumber and peppered a few shots at Day’s goal but they were all too high or wide. They did have what looked like a decent shout for a spot kick when Brown grappled with Charles in the box, but referee Ilderton saw nothing in it.
That was on the 60 minute mark, and within 25 seconds Charles led Boro to their fourth of the afternoon.
Picking up the ball in his own half, the left-back ran through the heart of the Macclesfield midfield passing just one challenge before flicking the ball into the area where he tried, but failed, to take the ball past Veiga.
It was a superb run which should have yielded Charles a goal, but it was Sinclair who pounced on Veiga’s rebound to fire the ball home.
Charles went close again with four minutes to go, but scuffed his shot wide, and Daniel saw his shot turned wide by Day but it was a comfortable save on what was a very comfortable afternoon for Graham Westley’s men.
Macclesfield: Veiga 4, Tremarco 5 (Brisley 5, 63), Bencherif 5, Brown 4, Draper 5, Sappleton 6 (E Sinclair, 63), Daniel 6, Daigne 5, Gray 5, Wedgebury 6, Barnett 4. Subs not used: Cudworth, I Reid, Chalmers, Hamshaw, Mukendi.
Boro: Day 6, Henry 6, Charles 8 (Beardsley, 86), Roberts 8, Ashton 7, Sinclair 7, Wilson 6, Foster 7, Mousinho 6, Bostwick 7 (Murphy 58, 6), Reid 6 (Laird 63, 7). Subs not used: Welch, Long, Bridges, May.
Referee: E Ilderton.