Boro find their feet
Southport 1 Stevenage Boro 2JOHN SIDDLE reportsThe tide has turned were the words of Mark Stimson who saw his Boro team overturn a goal deficit to record their first away win of the season thanks to a confident, assured second-half performance. But such is Stimson s modesty, he was more eager to att
Southport 1 Stevenage Boro 2
JOHN SIDDLE reports
The tide has turned" were the words of Mark Stimson who saw his Boro team overturn a goal deficit to record their first away win of the season thanks to a confident, assured second-half performance.
But such is Stimson's modesty, he was more eager to attach the victory on Tuesday night to a change in footwear, than to any form of half time Churchillian prose.
"No magic words were said at half time, just a change in footwear. The pitch was quite wet, and a few of the boys were wearing rubber studs."
A change in footwear - and a reversion to 4-4-2 - did Stevenage a world of good.
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From looking decidedly sloppy in the first half, Boro pulled off a real Jekyll and Hyde act to perform a class above their opponents.
Starting meekly in a rather dishevelled 3-4-1-2 formation, Boro were slow to react to the threat of a young, pacy Southport side.
A lack of cohesion was evident when Mark Boyd was afforded space to slot home his third goal of the season.
Struggling to stop the rot, a second Southport goal looked forthcoming, and Alan Julian had to be on guard to fend off attempts from the lively Tony Gray, while Baker was unlucky to see a 30-yard scorcher sail inches over.
Indeed, for the most part, Boro's away day blues showed no signs of ending.
But cue the second half, and the tables soon turned.
Playing far more confidently in a more trusted formation, Stevenage stepped up to the plate and soon pulled level.
Jon Nurse, who tormented Chris Lane throughout the half, swung in a beautiful cross from the left allowing Steve Morison to deftly flick his header past a stranded Robinson.
Leaving Southport stunned, Boro then moved up a gear and soon went in front.
George Boyd ran centrally at the Southport defence, jinking past Dan Kirkup before teeing up Nurse, who found acres of space to bury his shot from 12 yards.
The result was all but sealed when Southport's Lane was rightly dismissed for lunging straight through Nurse; an act of petulance purely borne out of frustration, indicative of how the game had swung.
"We've been trying to reverse our away form," said Stimson.
"We almost sneaked it at Exeter, but this is a start, and we'll take it on from here. We weren't up to scratch first half, but the second half was much better. We passed it around well, and created some good chances, and possibly could have got a couple of more goals.