Holroyd treble sinks Hereford

On loan striker takes his tally to four from two games

npower League 2

Hereford United 1 Stevenage 4

HE may have only played two games for his new side, but Chris Holroyd has made an impressive start to his Boro career ��- after all he’s already their top scorer this season.

The only goal on Saturday at Lincoln was followed by a hat-trick to bury bottom side Hereford United in a 4-1 win on Tuesday evening and it looks as though Graham Westley has found the goalscorer he was looking for.

Njazi Kuqi and Danny Charge are among those who have trialled with Boro since the start of the season as the Stevenage manager looked for a striker to fire Stevenage to further League 2 success, and Holroyd looks to be that man.

With a defence showing signs of the sturdiness which propelled them to the Blue Square Premier title last season and a resolute and combative midfield, Boro are showing signs of improvement and have taken seven points from their last three games.

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Add to that Holroyd’s dream start for the club – the 4-1 win over Hereford was the most goals Boro have scored away from home since they pust six past Eastbourne in March and was also the last time a Stevenage player (Mitchell Cole) bagged a hat-trick – and Boro are beginning to get the results earlier season performances had promised but not delivered.

Jon Ashton also got on the scoresheet at Hereford but the game was closer than the scoreline suggests with both sides having numerous chances at goal.

Boro began the game unchanged for the first time this season and with Dino Maamria again on the substitutes’ bench.

Scott Laird, Ronnie Henry and John Mousinho all had efforts at the home side’s goal in the opening 10 minutes as Boro started strongly, with only the latter making ‘keeper Adam Bartlett work.

Hereford’s Guillem Bauzza also tried his luck with no success and then Holroyd struck.

On 13 minutes the striker took hold of a Lawrie Wilson pass with his back to goal and turned to drill his left-footed shot into the net past Bartlett.

Both sides continued to push with Day saving from Bauzza and Charlie Griffin going close.

Despite Hereford’s attempts to get back into the game they were unable to hit the onion bag before half time and had to settle for a sit-down in the dressing room a goal behind.

They were straight out of the blocks in the second half, and they drew level on 49 minutes when Sean Canham scored with his head from all of six yards.

Canham went close not long after, but despite some cheers from some in the crowd his close-range effort went inches wide of Day’s goal.

A minute later and Ashton put Boro ahead. Wilson again provided the assist as the defender headed home from inside the penalty area on 62 minutes.

Two became three fewer than nine minutes later when Holroyd rounded Bartlett to flick the ball into an empty net for his third in two games and three could have been four as Holroyd lifted the ball too high and over the bar from inside the box after a pass from John Mousinho.

Despite two reasonable Hereford chances Boro looked comfortable and Holroyd picked up the match ball with 10 minutes remaining. This time substitute Peter Vincenti was the provider, and his cross was controlled and then struck home by Boro’s new striker.

Back in August Vincenti scored Boro’s first ever goal in League 2, but seven weeks later Boro’s fans have a new name to cheer.

Hereford: Bartlett, Green, Valentine, Townsend, Rose, McQuilkin, Gwynne, Lunt (Manset, 74), Fleetwood, Canham, Bauzza. Subs not used: Whittaker, Thompson, Stratford, Colbeck, Weir, Rabihou.

Stevenage: Day, Henry, Charles, Bostwick, Ashton, Laird (Winn, 61), Long (Sinclair, 85), Wilson, Mousinho, Griffin (Vincenti, 76), Holroyd. Subs not used: Bayes, Odubade, Maamria.

Attendance: 1,444

Referee: Michael Naylor