Boro brake their duck in irresistible style
Stevenage Boro 6 Stafford Rangers 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports ONE word can aptly describe Boro s display on Saturday – awesome. After the trials and tribulations of the first four weeks of the season, Boro broke their duck in irresistible style. The visitor
Stevenage Boro 6 Stafford Rangers 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports
ONE word can aptly describe Boro's display on Saturday - awesome.
After the trials and tribulations of the first four weeks of the season, Boro broke their duck in irresistible style.
The visitors will point to the fact that they played for more than 70 minutes after Ged Murphy's sending off.
But Boro had already carved out four great opportunities, with the woodwork struck twice, before Murphy's moment of madness.
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The three men on target were hat-trick man George Boyd, two-goal Craig Dobson and another one from Steve Morison.
But mention should also be made of the precision crossing of Steve Guppy, Adam Miller's range of passing and the work ethic of the versatile Barry Fuller, pushed into midfield with Jason Goodliffe playing at right-back.
Newcomer Mark Beard - a full-back by trade - was on the bench.
Boro hit the woodwork twice in the opening seven minutes.
As early as the first minute, Wayne Daniel headed against his own bar following Goodliffe's knock back from a Guppy corner.
Then Morison shot against the post when he looked destined to score.
Add to this Boyd denied in a one-on-one by Dean Williams and Miller sending a diving header wide and Boro's dominance was apparent.
The visitors were wearing Boro's away kit from last season (due to a colour clash) and some of the ill-discipline which marred that campaign rubbed off on them after 18 minutes.
Fuller and Murphy tangled and the Stafford man stupidly kicked out.
After receiving treatment, Murphy was shown red and Stafford's task became that much harder.
Boro made them pay by racing into a four-goal lead by the break.
The deadlock was broken six minutes after Murphy's dismissal and was a clear sign that Boro's luck may have been changing.
If the build up was scrappy, then Boyd's finish was especially so.
His shot appeared to take several deflections before going in off both posts.
It was 2-0 on 33 minutes when Guppy was initially denied but Boyd was first to the loose ball.
This advantage was doubled before the break.
A fortuitous third saw Dobson's cross-shot from the right wing fly over Williams.
And, in added time, Morison scored his seventh goal in five games when he netted the rebound from Miller's shot.
The first 15 minutes of the new half were largely a non-event until Boro went back into overdrive.
Their fifth goal was a picture book effort as Guppy and Morison contrived to play in Boyd and he was not going to miss.
Three minutes later, it became 6-0 as a brilliant Boyd pass picked out Guppy who sent over a pinpoint cross for Dobson to meet it from the opposite wing.
The winger wheeled away in celebration and this sense of jubilation was mirrored around Broadhall Way.
A couple of cautions showed Stafford's frustration and they could easily have conceded a seventh.
Williams saved well from Boyd and Morison and the latter was unlucky when his shot hit the post and rolled across the line.
Alan Julian's one moment of activity during the game saw him deny Kevin Street a crumb of consolation for the beleaguered visitors.
Boro boss Stimson said: "It's been frustrating in the last few weeks because we've been close to what happened in this game.
"I think Crawley got away with it due to some refereeing decisions.
"I thought the worst when they went down to 10 men but the floodgates actually opened after that.