Boro win again as they await league's big guns
Crawley Town 0 Stevenage Borough 3 LUTON Town may have raised a few eyebrows by hitting eight goals past Hayes and Yeading at the weekend but their hefty goal count remains irrelevant so long as Boro continue to collect three points from each match. Graha
Crawley Town 0 Stevenage Borough 3
LUTON Town may have raised a few eyebrows by hitting eight goals past Hayes and Yeading at the weekend but their hefty goal count remains irrelevant so long as Boro continue to collect three points from each match.
Graham Westley's men did just that on Saturday when they made light work of a potentially tricky tie, especially after Crawley had given Boro a thorough test at the Lamex Stadium just three weeks ago.
Yemi Odubade scored twice and Joel Byrom once as Boro chalked up another away win at the start of what is unquestionably the biggest week of their season.
With Oxford United and Luton both winning on Saturday Boro could not afford to drop any points before the two big hitters visit the Lamex Stadium, the former on Tuesday the latter Saturday.
After impressing after coming off the bench in Boro's 2-1 win over Grays Athletic midweek Tim Sills got his first start for Boro in eight league games in place of Chris Beardsley while Mitchell Cole, who also came on as a substitute against Grays, replaced Byrom.
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Boro got off to a dream start when David Bridges passed to Odubade on the edge of the box and the front man raced clear of Matt Langston to put the ball past Simon Rayner on five minutes as the 'keeper was unable to get enough of his body in front of the shot as it bounced over him.
Boro continued to press and used the wings effectively through Cole on the left and Andy Drury on the right but Crawley fought back and almost levelled things up through Langston but his shot from 15 yards flew over the bar.
Boro went two up on 33 minutes. Odubade, Boro's top scorer this season, again ran on to a through ball past the beleaguered Langston to curl his effort around Rayner and into the net.
Jon Ashton could have added a third for Boro before the break but when he rose to head Drury's free kick he could only flick the ball past the far post rather than on target.
Rain was forecast for Saturday afternoon and for once the suits at the Met Office were not wrong.
In fact the torrential rain came down along with hailstones as Crawley came out of the traps in the second half but despite their possession they rarely troubled Chris Day.
At the other end Odubade went close to bagging his third of the game but was inches short of connecting with a Scott Laird cross but a third did come for Boro, and boy was it special.
On as a substitute for Cole, Joel Byrom had only been on the pitch 15 minutes when he collected the ball a yard inside the host's half and hit a perfect chip which flew over the leaping Rayner who was caught off guard.
The ball hit the back of the net and capped another win for Boro who also clocked up their 20th league clean sheet of the season in the process to stay five points ahead of the chasing pack.
Crawley Town: Rayner, Rusk, Rents, Langston, Broadhurst, Forrest, Pinault, Wilson (Hutchinson, 80), Cogan (Killeen, 46), Smith, Ademeno (Malcolm, 75). Subs: Jordan, Quinn.
Boro: Day, Laird, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Cole (Byrom, 54), Drury (Long, 71), Bridges, Bostwick, Odubade, Sills (Beardsley, 61). Bayes, Griffin.
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire).