Stevenage win battle of the boroughs
Stevenage Borough 2 Eastbourne Borough 0 Boro made it three wins in a row at The Lamex Stadium this evening when they convincingly saw off the challenge of Eastbourne Borough. Goals from Jon Ashton and Ronnie Henry kept up Boro s winning momentum and, i
Stevenage Borough 2 Eastbourne Borough 0
Boro made it three wins in a row at The Lamex Stadium this evening when they convincingly saw off the challenge of Eastbourne Borough.
Goals from Jon Ashton and Ronnie Henry kept up Boro's winning momentum and, in truth, only an excellent display from Eastbourne goalkeeper Michael Jordan prevented Graham Westley's men from running up a cricket score.
Bigger challenges lay ahead for Stevenage, starting away at Mansfield at the weekend, but confidence is slowly growing just as it did last season when the club embarked on their record breaking unbeaten run.
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After a cagey opening 10 minutes the game sparked into life when Eastbourne Borough came within a whisker of taking the lead.
Stacey Long was caught dawdling in the centre circle and Dan Brown's strong challenge resulted in the ball running to Jamie Taylor.
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The former Grays man immediate ran at the Stevenage defence before curling a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that looked destined for the bottom corner before Chris Day stretched out a big right arm and tipped the ball round the post.
The scare acted as the wake-up call Boro needed and within a minute Lee Boylan's flying header from the edge of the area was well saved by Michael Jordan after a good cross from Ronnie Henry.
Boylan was looking sharp and an opportunistic strike from the corner of the penalty area in the 18th minute almost caught Jordan out of position but the ball flew just over.
Boro were turning the screw as the Eastbourne forwards grew more and more isolated and it came as no surprise when Boro took the lead in the 27th minute.
Byrom's set-pieces had proved a disappointment up to this point but he got it spot on when his well flighted in-swinging corner found Ashton, who soared above the Eastbourne defence before planting a firm downward header in the bottom corner.
Boro should have doubled their lead on the half-hour mark when defender Ben Austin tried to shepherd a harmless looking long ball back to his goalkeeper. His chest down back to Jordan didn't have enough on it and Mitchell Cole was on to it in a flash.
The winger looked to have the simple task of side-footing the ball past Jordan but the Eastbourne shot-stopper produced a wonderful reflex save to deny the 23-year-old.
Jordan won the battle of wits against Cole again in the 35th minute when a defence-splitting pass from Byrom sent him clear on goal.
Cole cut back in on his right-foot and once again the ex-Arsenal trainee tipped over the bar.
Boro looked comfortable in the second half without carving out many opportunities. A clever lay-off by Beardsley found Boylan on the edge of the area but his right-footed effort was tame and easily saved by Jordan.
But the second goal the Boro faithful craved arrived in the 67th minute when Henry started and finished a fine move.
The Boro right back picked up the ball out wide before spotting Cole in acres of space on the other flank. Cole duly tricked his way past Austin before standing his cross up to the back post where the onrushing Henry headed home in style.
Cole had a decent chance to get his name on the scoresheet but fired over when well placed in the 72nd minute.
Eddie Odhiambo's introduction livened up Boro's attacking options and he teed up Boylan in the 74th minute but the striker's right-footed shot cannoned off the post and away from danger.
Boro (4-4-2): Day, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Long (Odhiambo 68), Byrom, Bostwick, Cole (Griffin 83), Boylan, Beardsley (Odubade 88). Subs not used: Rayner, Albrighton.
Eastbourne Borough (4-4-2): Jordan, Austin (Johnson 76), Elphick, Pullen, Baker, N Crabb (Enver-Marum 55), Weatherstone, Brown, M Crabb, Taylor (Smith 80), Atkin. Subs not used: Knowles, Smart.
Referee: Wayne Barratt (Worcestershire)