Boro's magnificent seven
Stevenage Boro 7 Merthyr Tydfil 0 The poor Martyrs were put to the sword by a virtuoso performance by George Boyd in Saturday s one-sided FA Trophy tie. The 21-year-old gave a masterclass in skill and technique in a spellbinding 10-minute spell after half
Stevenage Boro 7 Merthyr Tydfil 0
The poor Martyrs were put to the sword by a virtuoso performance by George Boyd in Saturday's one-sided FA Trophy tie.
The 21-year-old gave a masterclass in skill and technique in a spellbinding 10-minute spell after half time.
Boyd scored the first four, including a five-minute hat-trick after the break, and created the fifth before being taken off to general acclaim and to save the Welsh visitors from further punishment.
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It had taken half an hour for Boro to turn their undoubted superiority into goals against the BGB Premier Division side.
Boss Mark Stimson showed his regard for the competition by naming his strongest available line-up.
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The fit-again Barry Fuller was back at right-back although Adam Miller missed out in central midfield due to suspension.
Boro missed several gilt-edged opportunities during a frustrating opening spell where Merthyr could even have sneaked a lead.
Steve Morison had already headed straight at Ashley Morris from a Boyd cross before a Merthyr flurry.
Garry Shephard's effort from distance drifted harmlessly wide but there was far more concern when one of Morris' long goal kicks caught out the Boro defence.
Craig Steins left Santos Gaia trailing in his wake but shot wide of Alan Julian's near post.
Their first corner of the match minutes later also caused some consternation in the Boro ranks.
Steve Guppy and Morison again had tested out Morris before Boro went ahead on the half hour.
Guppy's corner was never cleared from the danger area and Boyd struck home the loose ball with ease.
A minute later and the tie was effectively over as a contest.
A crude lunge at Boyd by Jamie Rewbury incurred the referee's wrath and more unpleasantness meant the central defender left for an early bath.
Now down to 10 men, Merthyr were lucky not to go in further behind as Morison was denied twice more and Nurse also failed to beat Morris.
Merthyr's penalty appeals on the restart fell on deaf ears as Steve Williams went down under challenge from Mark Beard.
There was no looking back for Boro after this as Boyd took charge with some wonderful skills.
He first sent defenders one way and then the other without even touching the ball before scoring in the bottom corner with his right foot.
His next goal to complete a hat-trick came a minute later as he picked up Brad Johnson's pass and buried the ball in the opposite corner with his left foot this time.
It then became Boyd four, Merthyr nil, barely two minutes later as the silky striker rounded the last defender and keeper as if they were not there.
Within minutes, even more Boyd magic created an opportunity for Morison to score the fifth.
Realising the job was done, Stimson replaced Boyd with Dale Binns and his standing ovation was richly deserved.
Guppy and Beard both went close from distance before Boro made it six on 74 minutes as John Nutter's cross allowed Guppy to glide a header into the bottom corner.
Shephard headed over when he could have grabbed a consolation for Merthyr and it Boro made it a magnificent seven five minutes from time.
Binns crossed for fellow substitute Craig Dobson to score past the hapless Morris.
Merthyr's only shot of the afternoon on target came in added time when Julian got down well to push Williams' shot round the post.
The 7-0 beating would have been hard to take for the Welshmen but they were clapped off by the appreciative crowd for their unstinting efforts.
# Boro's reward is a home tie in the second round on Saturday, January 13, against the winners of Harrogate and Leigh RMI.