REPORT: Yeovil Town 0 Stevenage 6
Boro go on the rampage as Gary Smith’s men eye play-off spot
Yeovil Town 0 Stevenage 6
npower League 1
Stevenage sent out a warning shot to Carlisle United ahead of their crunch encounter on Tuesday evening by demolishing Yeovil in their biggest win of the season so far.
Boro assistant manager Mark Newson said last week his side needed to be more efficient in front of goal, but even he couldn’t have imagined this type of performance from a Stevenage side that had not won in their previous eight League 1 games.
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With their next two matches against play-off rivals Carlisle and Brentford, this was a timely win and a fillip after a dismal run which had threatened to derail the club’s promotion aspirations.
Goals from Luke Freeman (two), Patrick Agyemang, Jon Ashton, Mark Roberts and Jamaal Lascelles did the damage while Yeovil had Michael Woods sent off for a high tackle on Michael Bostwick with the Boro midfielder lucky to escape serious injury.
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Yeovil were excruciatingly poor and at times it seemed Stevenage did not have to try so hard to put the ball in the back of the net, helped, as they were, by the sort of defending more suited to a school playing field.
Boro started with Agyemang and Craig Reid up front, and the duo combined to set up Freeman for Boro’s first goal inside the first 15 minutes.
Reid turned two men on the edge of the box before sliding the ball through to Agyemang, and with goalkeeper Sam Walker closing him down the improving front-man set up Freeman to fire home from six yards.
Andy Williams’ trickery had caused Ashton problems early on but, that aside, Yeovil rarely tested the Boro defence in the opening exchanges.
The home side’s job became even more difficult just after the half-hour mark when Woods went in high on Bostwick. It was a poor challenge, and it was a surprise to see the former Chelsea midfield argue his innocence when it was such an obvious sending-off offence.
Yeovil almost hit back moments later with their best chance of the game but Andy Williams, after beating Chris Day in the air, hit his effort at Scott Laird on the goalline when he should have buried the chance in one of the corners.
The much-maligned Agyemang was next to score, hitting the target three minutes before half-time. At times the front man’s touch was poor while for his size he still fails to dominate opponents in the air, but when put through by a long Lascelles ball he passed his effort to the side of Walker and into the net to double Boro’s lead.
Yeovil made two changes at half-time with Jonathan Obika and Bondz N’Gala coming on for Paul Huntington and Gavin Williams with manager Gary Johnson going with three centre-backs. Yet although the Yeovil boss wanted his side to attack, his players failed to respond and appeared dismally short of the quality needed to fight their way back into the tie.
The one chance Yeovil did create in the second half saw the home side again denied by Laird whose perfectly timed tackle saw him take the ball away from Obika as the front man set his sights.
Stevenage dominated the second half to such an extent that it was surprising that they didn’t score a third until the 69th minute, Ashton heading in Stacy Long’s corner.
Newson had mentioned before the game that with Boro’s height they should be scoring more goals from set pieces, and following Ashton’s example was Lascelles who jumped higher than the static Yeovil defence to head in a Freeman corner.
Boro had not yet finished and next to find the target was captain Mark Roberts who tapped in the fifth after Freeman had sent a pass his way in the box with 10 minutes to go before Freeman got his second of the game late on.
The scoreline was in no way kind to Stevenage who also had a Jordan Slew ‘goal’ ruled out for offside, but Boro know that it will count for nothing if they fail to deliver the goods when they host Carlisle in their biggest match of the season so far on Tuesday evening at the Lamex.
Yeovil Town: Walker 3, Ayling 4, Hinds 3, Huntingdon 4 (Obika 46, 5), Grounds 5 (Haynes-Brown 80), G Williams 2 (N’Gala 46), D’Ath 4, Blizzard 3, Woods 3, Franks 4, A Williams 4. Subs: Agard, Stewart.
Stevenage: Day 6, Laird 8, Ashton 7, Roberts 7, Lascelles 7, Freeman 8, Long 8, Wilson 6 (Myrie-Williams 74), Bostwick 7 (Mousinho 79), Reid 6 (Slew 60), Agyemang 7. Subs: Shroot, Thalassitis.
Att: 3610 (157)