Gallery: Boro edge closer to Wembley with 4-0 win over Forest Green
Boro edged a step closer to Wembley on Saturday after dishing out a 4-0 hammering to Forest Green Rovers in the FA Trophy quarter finals. The Lamex Stadium faithful are once again starting to dream after watching yet another authoritative display that sa
Boro edged a step closer to Wembley on Saturday after dishing out a 4-0 hammering to Forest Green Rovers in the FA Trophy quarter finals.
The Lamex Stadium faithful are once again starting to dream after watching yet another authoritative display that saw their winning run stretched to eight games.
Andy Drury set Boro on their way with a sumptuous curling free kick in the first half and it was one-way traffic in the second period as Graham Westley's side showed the kind of clinical edge that bodes well going into the season's final furlong.
David Bridges' glancing header made it 2-0 before Mark Roberts' towering header finished the game as a contest. Steve Morison then grabbed his customary goal and no team will want to see their name come out alongside Boro's when the semi final draw is made.
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Forest Green certainly did not look overawed in the early stages and settled the quicker of the two sides. A nice touch by Andy Mangan on the edge of the area teed up Conal Platt but the midfielder's 20-yard effort flew over the bar.
Despite the pitch looking in much better condition than when Boro beat Burton in the previous round, the surface was still not conducive to free-flowing passing football.
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The direct route looked the best tactic and it almost led to Boro breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute. Bayes' long kick was flicked on by Morison for Lee Boylan, whose flick looked to have put Bridges through on goal until a last-ditch tackle by Lee Fowler rescued Rovers.
Boro were slowly starting to exert their superiority and Michell Cole's snapshot on the edge of the area almost beat Ryan Robinson with the aid of a deflection but the 'keeper adjusted his feet well to hold on to the effort.
Two minutes later and FGR should have gone in front when a long hopeful clearance from Paul Stonehouse caught the Boro defence square allowing Mangan in on goal.
The striker looked set to open the scoring but blazed over the bar under pressure from Michael Bostwick.
The miss seemed to galvanise Boro and in the 23rd minute Boro took the lead. Cole's mazy run was brought to an end by a seemingly innocuous challenge on the edge of the area but the referee bought it and awarded a free kick.
Drury then promptly stepped up a curled a sweet right-footed effort into the top corner for his second goal in as many games.
Manager Westley paid tribute to the midfielder in the week and the former Lewes man looks to be thriving under the 40-year-old's reign.
Boro almost doubled their lead within two minutes when Bridges met Cole's cross from the left but the former Kettering man's glancing header flew just wide.
Boro were denied a blatant penalty in the 34th minute when Bridges was shoved over in the penalty area by Mark Preece but somehow the referee waved away the home crowd's loud appeals.
Boro were still trying to get rid of the bitter taste left in their mouths when Rovers almost got back on level terms. Adriano Rigoglioso's deep cross found Platt free at the back post but his fierce left-footed strike was well saved by Ashley Bayes with his feet.
Boro were looking to put the tie to bed at the start of the second half as Bostwick went close with a drilled free-kick from just outside the area but the ball flew just over.
Bridges went close again when his smart turn and shot forced Robinson to make a reflex save with his feet. But just before the hour-mark the midfielder had his goal as Boro all but booked their place in the semi finals.
Cole and Morison combined well down the left before Morison whipped in an inswinging cross and Bridges got the slightest of touches to double Boro's advantage.
It was now simply a case of how many Boro could rack up in the last half-hour. Morison went close twice in a matter of minutes but was foiled first by 'keeper Robinson after being put clean through before hitting the bar with a prodded effort after Drury's free kick.
But Boro got a third with 20 minutes to go as Roberts got in on the act. Ronnie Henry's cross from deep found the former Northwich Victoria man and his header from 12 yards arrowed into the corner.
Three minutes later and Boro had a fourth as Morison finally got on the scoresheet. Boylan evaded the Rovers defence down the right and pulled the ball back the 25-year-old made to fire home through the legs of Robinson.
Morison almost grabbed a second in the 79th minute but his header from a Drury cross was well held by the 'keeper.
Boro (4-4-2): Bayes 7, Henry 7 , Bostwick 7, Roberts 8, Laird 7, Drury 7 (Wilson 84), Murphy 7 (Albrighton 84), Bridges 7, Cole 7, Boylan 6, Morison 7 (Willock 88). Subs not used: Anderson, Vincenti.
Referee: D Sheldrake