Gallery: Boro continue winning form against Woking
If Boro go on to play-off glory in May then most fans will not remember this drab affair against Woking. All that will be recalled will be the moment Lee Boylan punctuated the mediocrity of the evening just before the hour mark when he took Andy Drury s
If Boro go on to play-off glory in May then most fans will not remember this drab affair against Woking.
All that will be recalled will be the moment Lee Boylan punctuated the mediocrity of the evening just before the hour mark when he took Andy Drury's drilled pass into his stride and finished in style.
Boylan's moment of brilliance kept Boro's play-off assault firmly on track against a Woking side, whose only objective was to leave The Lamex Stadium with the point they started with.
It looked like they would be successful with Boro struggling to find the kind of creative spark that has been such a feature of the club's nine-match winning run.
But when you have strikers like Steve Morison and Boylan then it can be the difference between challenging for a place in the top five or mid-table mediocrity.
Boro should have been ahead as early as the third minute when a fantastic pass by Morison released Mitchell Cole, who skinned the defender but, with the goal at his mercy, he lifted his effort over the bar.
- 1 Emergency services attend crash near busy Stevenage roundabout
- 2 Man charged with GBH after stabbing in Hitchin
- 3 Man injured police officers while being arrested for drug offences
- 4 Looking to local talent - Airbus star rises from apprentice to manager
- 5 Two reports of indecent exposure in Stevenage
- 6 Ian Stewart's sons say 'devastated father was in tears at wife's death'
- 7 Will housing expand into Green Belt land near Hitchin?
- 8 Why were they not at school? - a look at Hitchin's historical absence reports
- 9 'He was a good friend of Knebworth' - Knebworth House pays tribute to Bat Out of Hell singer Meat Loaf
- 10 New housing to meet high demand in Stevenage
The rest of the half was entirely forgettable apart from when David Bridges missing a gilt-edged opportunity from close range. The former Kettering man reacted quickest to a goalmouth scramble but with the ball bobbling he scooped his shot over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
The fact Boro were dealt a double injury blow four minutes before half time did nothing to help Graham Westley's side find their rhythm.
Ronnie Henry took a heavy knock to his left knee earlier in the half and couldn't shake it off which gave Boro fans their first glimpse of Jon Ashton in a Boro shirt since his January move from Grays.
Ashton moved into the heart of the defence alongside Mark Roberts and gave an assured performance to illustrate the kind of depth to the squad Westley has established at the club.
Darren Murphy joined the walking wounded when he pulled up sharply and Lawrie Wilson came on in his place at right back pushing Michael Bostwick into central midfield.
While Boro were adjusting to their change of personnel at the start of the second period Woking carved out their only chance of the evening.
Winger Kelvin Bossman found some space down the right hand side and his low cross was missed by Roberts at the near post and Rob Elvins was inches from getting a touch inside the six-yard area.
Only a wonderful save from Daniel Knowles prevented Bridges from opening the scoring. The midfielder had ghosted into the penalty area to meet Bostwick's looped pass but his header produced a wonderful reflex save and Boro's frustration continued to grow.
Bridges has looked slightly off colour in recent weeks but he bossed the midfield against the Blue Square strugglers while his ability to get forward look the most likely route to finding a breakthrough.
Then in the 59th minute the deadlock was broken and it was well worth waiting for. Drury picked the ball up on the right flank and fired the ball into Boylan in the penalty area and the striker's sublime first touch took him away from the defender before drilling the ball past Knowles.
It was the kind of finish that belied a striker that had not scored since early January against Farnborough and Boro fans will be eager for the former Cambridge man to get back on the goal trail.
The goal appeared to settle Boro down and they could have doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Morison met Drury's cross from the left but Knowles got down well to hold on to the striker's downward header.
Woking never looked likely to find an equaliser and the Boro bandwagon rolls with two Wembley dates remaining a distinct possibility.
Boro (4-4-2): Bayes 7, Henry 6 (Ashton 41, 7) Bostwick 7, Roberts 7, Laird 6, Drury 7, Murphy 6 (Wilson 41, 6), Bridges 8, Cole 6 (Vincenti 76, 6), Boylan 7, Morison 6. Subs not used: Albrighton, Willock.