Full-time report: Stevenage 3 Tranmere Rovers 1
- Credit: Archant
Goals from Jimmy Smith, Darius Charles and John Mousinho move Boro to fourth from bottom
Stevenage made it 10 points from four league matches as they were comfortable victors over Tranmere Rovers.
Goals from Jimmy Smith, Darius Charles and John Mousinho did the damage in a match that Stevenage never looked like drawing never mind losing, with Rovers’ goal coming late in the day from Boro’s Curtis Obeng due to a misunderstanding with his goalkeeper.
Stevenage made one change from the side that drew 1-1 at Crawley Town on Tuesday, with Roarie Deacon coming in for the injured Michael Doughty.
Darius Charles started the match at left-back, playing behind Deacon, but just 10 minutes into the game a tactical switch saw the striker moved up front as Boro opted for three central defenders with Curtis Obeng tucking in from right-back.
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The first chance of the match went the way of Stevenage with 20 minutes on the clock – and it resulted in the opening goal of the game.
Jimmy Smith was the man who put Boro ahead, the midfielder taking on a pass from Charles and taking a touch to move him away from his marker he spun around to his right and tucked his shot just inside the far post.
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The opening exchanges of the match had been laborious, but the game had suddenly burst into life and Boro had two glorious chances to double their lead moments after they had taken it.
The first was a long-range effort from Luke Freeman, which Owain Fon Williams got down low to his left to save, and the second almost saw Bira Dembele score his second goal of the week.
Unlike at Crawley, this effort, a header into the ground, bounced upwards, flicked off Fon Williams and hit the bar before being cleared.
Charles had been giving left-back Liam Ridehalgh a tough time in the final third since he had moved up front, and when Charles closed the defender down and won the ball on the right in the Tranmere half, he quickly played in Akins.
The winger, who had escaped his marker, hit the ball first time, and although it would have been a terrific goal had it gone in it curled the wrong side of the far post.
Stevenage continued to press for a second goal at the start of the second half, and when Freeman cut in on to his right foot and forced a save from Fon Williams Akins was waiting for the ball six yards out with the goal at his mercy only to slice his shot wide of goal.
It was the sort of miss that could have proved costly to the home side, but after a slow burning second period the match once again burst into life with 20 minutes to go with two Stevenage goals in 90 seconds.
The first came when Akins blocked a clearance just inside the Rovers area on the right and the ball fell fortuitously back to him allowing the winger to tee up Charles whose deflected shot bounced past Fon Williams.
The second caught Tranmere by surprise when they were too slow to react to a Boro free-kick, and when John Mousinho was played in the midfielder opened up his body to place a brilliant curled shot past Fon Williams and into the far corner.
The only blot on the Boro copybook came late in the game and from the boot of Obeng, who played a ball back to Day when he was coming out of his goal only for it to roll past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Stevenage: Day, Obeng, Charles, Dembele (Hartley 86), Ashton, Deacon, Mousinho, Smith, Freeman, Akins, Zoko (Burrow 90). Subs: Arnold, Wedgbury, Parrett, Heslop, Reid.
Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Wallace, Lowe, Cassidy, Jennings, Brown, Koumas, Ridehalgh (Robinson 66), Arthurworrey. Subs: Goodison, Rowe, Kirby, Stockton, Power, Mooney.
Ref: Simon Hooper