REPORT: Crewe Alexandra 1 Stevenage 2

Boro return to winning ways with victory at Crewe

Crewe Alexandra 1

Stevenage 2

npower League 1

MARCUS Haber scored the winning goal as Stevenage came from behind to beat Crewe on Saturday.

The win ended Boro’s losing streak, which stretched back three games to the beginning of December, and it was the first match Stevenage have won after coming from behind since their 2-1 victory at Notts County on October 2.

Stevenage were the better of the two sides and had at least three times as many shots at goal than their hosts, but not everything went the way of Gary Smith’s men as they went behind to a goal from former loanee Chuks Aneke before Lucas Akins and Haber put them ahead.

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Boro’s own loan player Oliver Risser returned to Swindon Town last week while Robbie Rodgers is likely to follow in his footsteps and return to his parent club Leeds United within the next fortnight.

Stevenage did have two new loan signings on the bench, however, with Sam Hoskins, from Southampton, and Steve Beleck, from Udinese by way of Watford, awaiting their debuts.

It took a good half-hour for the game to open up, and when it did Crewe scored with their first chance of the match.

Lurking on the edge of the box, Aneke struck his effort low through a crowded penalty area and past the unsighted Steve Arnold for the lead.

Boro had a couple of half-chances, one of which fell to Akins. Th wide man, who was playing more centrally alongside Haber, sized up the goal but put too much into a curled effort which sailed over on 40 minutes.

With two minutes to go until the break, Greg Tansey then stepped up to strike a 20-yard free-kick just over before, at the other end, Arnold was forced to make a save after a cross into his box was headed towards his own goal by David Gray.

Boro started strongly at the start of the second half and after Akins had run on to a ball over the top he held off centre-back Harry Davis and struck low but straight at Steve Phillips.

Five minutes later the same player fired his team level. Anthony Grant was the provider, taking the ball down before making space in the box to drill a cross to the far post where Akins, a marked man, was able to swing his boot at the ball to make it 1-1.

The visitors then went for the jugular and it was Haber who found the net. In a move similar to the one that had seen Akins find Phillips at the start of the half, Haber ran on to a ball, outmuscled his marker and struck well past Phillips and into the far corner.

At precisely the moment that the front man was pulling the trigger, on the sidelines stood Beleck waiting to come on but rather than trade like for like Smith opted to take off Filipe Morais and move Akins to the wing so as to persevere with two front men.

There were further chances for both sides as both Bradden Inman for the hosts and Tansey for Boro had shots blocked.

The best chance for an equaliser came in injury time but Ryan Colclough, on just a minute earlier as a substitute, could only head wide when it seemed easier to score.

The victory is a boost for Boro who continue their fine away form making it an eighth win on the road from 13 matches.

Next up, though, is a home match against Doncaster, whose manager Dean Saunders looks set to join Wolves this week.

Boro will be hoping the upheaval works in their favour.

Crewe (4-2-3-1): Phillips 6, Tootle 6, Davis 6, Ellis 6, Murphy 6, Pogba 5 (Colclough 90), Moore 6, Mellor 5, Osman 6, Aneke 6 (Inman), Dalla Valle 5 (Clayton 75). Subs: Martin, Dugdale, Smith, Robertson.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Arnold 6, Gray 6 (N’Gala 77), Comminges 7, Charles 6, Roberts 6, Grant 7, Tansey 6, Dunne 6, Morais 5 (Beleck 61, 6), Akins 6, Haber 7 (Freeman 90). Subs: Day, Hills, Shroot, Hoskins.

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