Mousinho fires Boro into play-off places
Midfielder strikes twice as Stevenage continue their rise up the League 2 table
Burton Albion 0 Stevenage 2
npower League 2
STEVENAGE moved to within four points of the automatic promotion places after John Mousinho fired them into the play-off places on Tuesday night.
The midfielder opened the scoring on four minutes with a strike into the top of Adam Legzdins’ goal before putting the game to bed five minutes from the end when he scored from the penalty spot after substitute Darren Murphy had been brought down in the box.
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As with the win over Lincoln on Saturday, Boro rarely looked troubled against a poor Burton side which got the ball forward but ran out of ideas when they approached the Stevenage box.
Against Lincoln, Stevenage were forced to come from behind for all three points but they came out of the blocks quickly at the Pirelli Stadium and took the lead in the opening moments.
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Skipper Mark Roberts began the move from the back by passing upfield and out wide to Lawrie Wilson who, following some good build-up play with Craig Reid just inside the Burton box, laid the ball on a plate for Mousinho to fire home with ease.
Burton did get the ball in the net on 15 minutes, but Sam Winnall was adjudged to be offside before he headed goalwards, while the only other chance of note in the first half fell to Boro’s Darius Charles.
Starting at left-back, Charles was pushed up front after Boro took the lead to act as a strong outlet against the imposing figure of Burton defender Darren Moore and he almost made it two when, running on to a ball on the edge of the box, he shot at Legzdins only for the Burton goalkeeper to get enough on it to divert the goal-bound shot away to safety.
As the half went on Burton began to see a bit more of the ball, but just as Lincoln had done on Saturday they failed to get past what is proving to be the meanest defence in the league.
Both Mousinho and Reid saw efforts fly over the bar in the opening moments of the second half, which also saw a change of officials with Wayne Porter replacing the injured Rob Shoebridge, before Scott Malone, the Brewers’ only attacking threat, saw his free kick deflected over 10 minutes in.
Adam Bolder then forced Day into a save as the hosts finally put a little bit of pressure on the Stevenage back line, but the visitors held them at bay.
Next to try his luck was Michael Bostwick who, running from his own half, caught the Burton midfield out by feinting a move out wide and cutting inside saw his shot from distance deflected wide.
Burton went close with 20 minutes to go when Day was forced into a fine left-handed save to palm John McGrath’s volley out for a corner, and from the resulting set piece the rather cumbersome Calvin Zola failed to connect with a knock down across goal.
Burton were duly punished in the final 10 minutes when Boro should have been awarded two penalties, and Boro made sure they converted the one they did get.
With seven minutes to go Wilson beat his man on the wing before being pulled down just inside the box, only for Mr Porter to give a free kick just outside.
But there was no denying Boro a spot kick moments later when Murphy, on for Bostwick, played a one-two with fellow substitute Ben May only to be pulled down eight yards from goal as he was about to shoot.
How McGrath only saw yellow is anybody’s guess, but it mattered little as Mousinho fired home to finish the game off.
Stevenage: Day, Laird (Sinclair, 65), Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Wilson, Mousinho, Bostwick (Murphy, 81), Foster, Charles, Reid (May, 86). Subs: Long, Bridges, Beardsley, Maamria.