New boys shine as Boro ease past Clarets
Chelmsford City 1 (Hockton 28) Stevenage Borough 2 (Griffin 31, Beardsley 83) CHARLIE Griffin and Chris Beardsley opened their accounts at the first time of asking as Boro eased to a comfortable 2-1 win at Chelmsford City. Graham Westley s starting XI f
Chelmsford City 1 (Hockton 28)
Stevenage Borough 2 (Griffin 31, Beardsley 83)
CHARLIE Griffin and Chris Beardsley opened their accounts at the first time of asking as Boro eased to a comfortable 2-1 win at Chelmsford City.
Graham Westley's starting XI featured just one of the club's summer acquisitions with Griffin up front alongside Lee Boylan. Boro took to the field for the first half in their training kit before switching to last season's home shirt at half time.
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The home side enjoyed the better of the opening chances but Chris Day was never tested, as Anthony Cook fired over the bar from long range and Jack Obestellar saw his shot blocked by Mark Roberts.
Griffin, signed as a replacement for Steve Morison, was a central figure in all the Boro attacks and he might feel he should have done better when he met Scott Laird's cross at the far post only to see his header go wide.
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Day had a moment of worry as Danny Bunce's free kick drifted past the Boro custodian's far post but there was nothing the stopper could do to stop Chelmsford opening the scoring in the 28th minute.
A long ball out from the back found Danny Hockton who exchanged passes with Jason Hallett before bending the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.
Boro weren't behind for long though as Griffin netted his first goal in Boro colours. A free kick in the Boro half was taken quickly by Ronnie Henry, who found Andy Drury on the halfway line.
The talented midfielder turned and ran at the Clarets' defence before executing an inch-perfect slide-rule pass to Griffin who fired through goalkeeper Ashley Harrion's leg from an acute angle.
Westley made just one change at half time introducing Darren Murphy for Jon Ashton, moving Michael Bostwick back in to the heart of the defence in the process.
The second half was just 30 seconds old when Drury raced in to the box and went down under the challenge of a Chelmsford defender only for the referee to point for a corner.
Drury's set plays were excellent as always and Boro would have had a second goal were it not for an excellent reaction save from Harrison to deny Murphy after the Irishman rose unchallenged to meet a Drury set piece.
Boro made a number of subs as the half wore on and there was a glimpse of what's to come from Yemi Odubade when the former Oxford man sped through the Clarets' defence looking to latch on to a long ball.
Boro grabbed the winner in the 83rd minute as another debutant Chris Beardsley saw his looping header sail over Harrison and into the net following Lawrie Wilson's cross.
Bostwick struck a venomous free-kick that was deflected over the bar as Boro saw out the remainder of the game with relative ease.
Boro: (4-4-2) Day (Bayes 74); Henry (Wilson 77), Roberts (c) (Albrighton 72), Ashton (Murphy 46), Laird (Odhiambo 77); Drury (Long 72), Bostwick, Bridges (Byrom 60), Cole (Odubade 55); Boylan (Anderson 69), Griffin (Beardsley 64m).
Referee: Peter Wilson