Schumacher and McAnuff bring the sunshine as Stevenage defeat Grimsby Town
- Credit: Archant
As the sun came out after something of a bleak few days Stevenage’s 2-0 win over Grimsby Town courtesy of goals from Steven Schumacher and Jobi McAnuff brought smiles to the faces of some players that stretched as far as the rainbow sprawling across the skies on the horizon behind the East Terrace.
Too often here at the Lamex the season the results have mirrored the sullen heavens; they have been drab and at times just plain miserable.
But following two defeats on the road, at Plymouth and Hartlepool, Stevenage’s winding journey in League Two could have easily have hit another buffer with Grimsby in town.
Boro had conceded five times when the sides met last August, with Omar Bogle proving a most difficult opponent, but today Boro were a different opponent. They were solid in midfield and between them their defenders, including full-back Connor Ogilvie brought back in from Spurs, kept Bogle quiet the entire game.
Grimsby were bereft of ideas except to hit their big striker when possible, but Boro had tuned into this early doors and put numbers on him. Grimsby’s mistake was that they didn’t stray from this mode of attack, and Stevenage were comfortable for the most part once they had taken a fourth minute lead.
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In addition to prowling the middle third of the pitch since his return to full fitness, Schumacher has also become something of a goalscorer of late.
He had notched three in 14 matches before the visit of Grimsby, the latest coming with a 25-yard free-kick at Plymouth a fortnight ago.
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And here, afforded the chance to try his luck from the same distance after just three minutes, he duly obliged with his second goal in three matches.
It was another free-kick, but unlike the wicked strike he caught Luke McCormick out with in Devon this was a sublime, curling effort hit like a precise pass straight into the top corner.
While Grimsby’s fans were in fine voice throughout, their numbers tightly packed into the Austin Stand, on the pitch their side were far more disappointing as if they were simply waiting for their magician, Bogle, to conjure up his 20th goal of the season.
Yet two poor free-kicks aside Bogle produced very little, though this was in part to a solid defensive performance from the hosts; certainly much better than in recent weeks.
And Boro were hard done by when Schumacher appeared to be felled in the box towards the end of the first half by Shaun Pearson, with the referee waving away the appeals for a penalty.
A second followed on the hour mark and it was time for McAnuff to get his second of the season, both against this afternoon’s opponents.
Jamey Osborne sold his goalkeeper short with a free-kick, with Dean Henderson’s clearance landing at the feet of McAnuff. The winger looked up and, with a defender running back to the line, managed to curl a shot over the despairing Henderson and retreating defender to double his side’s lead.
At this point a rainbow appeared behind the east terrace and Boro soon thought they’d struck gold with a third, only for Charlie Lee’s header at a corner to be ruled out for a foul.
Yet two goals is all Boro needed as a first clean sheet at home in the league all season helped them to a big, and fully deserved, three points.
Stevenage: Jones, Franks, Wilkinson, Ogilvie, Henry, Pett (Tonge 90), Schumacher, McAnuff (McQuoid 72), Lee, Kennedy, (Gorman 88) Godden. Subs: Day, Cowans, Johnson, Loft.
Grimsby Town: Henderson, Andrew, Pearson, Mills (Davies 68), Boyce (Asante 74), Vernon, Collins (Yussuf 56), Comley, Clements, Osborne, Bogle. Subs: McKeown, Disley, Jones, Gunning.
Att: 3,394 (1358)