Stimmo excited by Boro’s progression

Marcus Crawley reports EVEN Stevenage Boro boss Mark Stimson is struggling to comprehend the progress his side has made this season. Stimson watched his side collect just five points from their opening nine Conference fixtures, with six defeats in the pro

Marcus Crawley reports

EVEN Stevenage Boro boss Mark Stimson is struggling to comprehend the progress his side has made this season.

Stimson watched his side collect just five points from their opening nine Conference fixtures, with six defeats in the process.

The former Grays boss stayed true to his footballing principles and now, barely four months later, Boro are in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy and well positioned for a surge up into the play-offs in the remainder of the season.


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Stimson, speaking after his side beat Morecambe 3-0 after extra-time in a Trophy replay on Tuesday night, said: "If someone had said to me at the start of October we would be in the last eight of the Trophy and six points off the play-offs by February, I wouldn't have believed them."

Their next game is a visit from Burton Albion this Saturday with fixtures now coming thick and fast.

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Boro expect to have a full squad with Steve Guppy back in contention as two games a week become the norm.

Stimson said: "We would definitely take it but we must not let the Trophy run distract us from our aim of getting as high in the league table as possible."

Boro's next opponents in the Trophy are Nationwide Conference South Salisbury City on Saturday, February 24.

Stimson added: "We definitely won't be underestimating them, that's for sure.

"They've had a fantastic season and could well be the leaders of the division by the time we play them.

"I've actually watched them play a couple of times this season and they've got a good manager in Nick Holmes who knows the game well."

Goals from Steve Morison, Jon Nurse and Adam Miller ensured Boro finally triumphed over the Shrimps this week.

It followed a draw at Christie Park on Saturday when a Morison goal was cancelled out by a hotly-disputed penalty in added time at the end of the game.

Stimson continued: "Sometimes you think your opportunity has gone but full credit to the players.

"They were devastated after Saturday but came out worthy winners in the replay.

"It's a brilliant result against a very, very good team.

"I think they will go close to the league title and they're the main threat to Dagenham in my opinion.

"We got stronger in the second half and in extra time there was only ever going to be one winner.

"The fitness levels told and the hunger of the guys was obvious.

"You have to be patient and then the quality will show. All the three goals were good ones with players breaking from deep."

Boro's midfield bossed the tie as the night wore on and Stimson believes there is more to come.

He said: "I thought Adam Miller was phenomenal with a great work ethic and was man of the match.

"It was also a pleasure to see Mitchell (Cole) and people won't have seen a faster winger than him in the league. I'm excited to be working with him again.

"And Daryl (McMahon) has got great composure on the ball.

"It was the first time Daryl and Mitchell have played together and everyone must remember that.

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