Stevenage rediscovered their home form with victory over Walsall to reignite their League Two promotion charge.

All four goals in the 3-1 win came in what was a fantastic first half for Boro.

Two of them were from Josh March with Luke Norris getting the other, more than enough despite Manny Monthe grabbing one for the visitors.

Two home games on the bounce were seen as a big opportunity for Stevenage to stem a sequence of just one win in the last seven.

This was the perfect performance and sets them up for part two when they host Crewe on Tuesday.

There were five changes in total from the horror show at Rochdale one week earlier, although one of them was forced on Steve Evans.

Toby Savin's rolling seven-day emergency loan was not renewed so instead Jon McCracken, a 22-year-old from Norwich City who was signed on Friday afternoon, was given the starting goalkeeper's jersey.

Jake Reeves, Jake Taylor, Kane Smith and Josh March were the others to come in with Michael Bostwick, Jamie Reid, Jonathan Tomkinson and Jake Forster-Caskey moving to the bench.

The changes were designed to have an impact, shake things up. It's fair to say that particular plan worked.

And yet despite Boro getting to half-time 3-1 ahead, there was still so much more they had to give.

That may have been splitting hairs though as it was a wonderful performance, reminiscent of matches earlier in the season.

Boro had already gone close when Alex Gilbey broke through the middle but they were in front on seven minutes.

The move started in their own penalty area, Dan Sweeney and Max Clark crowding Andy Williams out.

Clark then got the ball and sent it long over the top of the defender for March to chase.

He got there first, cleverly ran in front of the Walsall man and then thumped a shot over the top of Owen Evans.

Number two arrived before 15 minutes was up and it was a super team goal.

Passes were exchanged on the right before Gilbey sent a through ball in behind the Saddlers defence to Smith.

He took a couple of touches before sliding it across the six-yard box for Norris to turn in.

Norris then had two bites of cherry, choosing to shoot with the second of them and sending his effort only inches wide.

It felt like Stevenage could run riot but they were stung by a rare Walsall attack, a deflection wrong-footing McCracken and allowing Manny Monthe to prod into an almost unguarded net.

It had the potential to unravel all the good work but it barely registered with Stevenage who restored their advantage six minutes later.

Norris got a big assist on it, snaking out a foot to loop a Clark free-kick back into the middle.

But from there it was all about March though as he leapt high and with an overhead scissors kick, he sent the ball into the far corner.

Taylor could have made it four after a clever move from a long throw but he just sliced across the ball, causing it to swerve away from the far post at the last moment.

But it had still been a wonderful half for Boro and it forced Walsall manager Michael Flynn into drastic action at the break, making four substitutions.

It gave the visitors much more height and they had a few corners with which to use that advantage.

There was a couple of scrambles but Boro never truly looked in danger, although the height and physicality of the second-half Saddlers line-up stopped the free-flowing attacks of Boro.

Conor Wilkinson sliced one shot wide for them while Norris did the same at the other end.

There was also a shot from Jordan Roberts that deflected off Joe Low and fortunately for Walsall flew past the outside of the post.

Douglas James-Taylor had two glorious chances for Walsall but he got neither on target.

Had one of them gone in, it may have been a different conclusion to the contest.

As it was Stevenage saw the game out with comfort.


Stevenage: McCracken, Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Taylor (Horgan 88), Norris (Rose 90+4), Roberts, Smith, Gilbey, March (Jamie Reid 90+2).

Subs (not used): Przybek, Bostwick, Tomkinson, Forster-Caskey.

Goals: March 7, 35, Norris 14

Booked: Piergianni 62, Reeves 67, Gilbey 69


Walsall: Evans, White, Gordon (Wilkinson 46), Daniels, Monthe, Knowles, Williams (Kinsella 46), Comley (Stevens 81), James-Taylor, Maddox (Riley 46), Hutchinson (Low 46).

Subs (not used): McEntee, Songo'o.

Goals: Monthe 29

Booked: Evans 35, Knowles 69


HT: Stevenage 3 Walsall 1

Referee: Carl Brook (Hastings)