Jack-in-the-box Jon strikes Boro winner
Stevenage Boro 1 Morecambe 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports EVEN Anthony Elding must have been impressed. The exiled striker, surprisingly watching the action on Saturday just weeks after leaving Broadhall Way, witnessed a second successive display by Boro of gri
Stevenage Boro 1 Morecambe 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports
EVEN Anthony Elding must have been impressed.
The exiled striker, surprisingly watching the action on Saturday just weeks after leaving Broadhall Way, witnessed a second successive display by Boro of grit and determination.
Morecambe - who hit the post and had another effort cleared off the line - could feel aggrieved at not earning a point.
But Boro also could have scored several more in a victory which means the home side leapfrog Sammy McIlroy's men in the Conference table.
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Boro's defence again had an unsettled look about it with Mickey Warner (a right-back by trade) and Rob Quinn (signed as a midfielder) playing as the two centre-halves. Ronnie Henry and David Perpetuini occupied the full-back spots.
Morecambe pushed in the opening exchanges, former Everton man Stuart Barlow seeing his header easily saved by Alan Julian and the keeper also dealing comfortably with Garry Thompson's shot.
Thompson was certainly in the thick of the action, being cautioned before his free-kick nearly gave Morecambe the lead.
It took a wicked deflection off a Boro player to wrongfoot Julian and the ball luckily came back off the post.
Boro were hardly in the match as an attacking force, although livewire Jon Nurse had been denied by Steven Drench following a neat turn.
There was no surprise that it was Nurse who opened the Boro account on 34 minutes.
Dannie Bulman's ball over the top evaded Darran Kempson and Nurse expertly lobbed the onrushing Drench, with the covering defenders unable to hook the ball clear.
And it may even have been two at the break as Drench got down well to block Adam Miller's fierce hit.
Miller - a curious mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous all afternoon - and Nurse both tried their luck from distance on the restart.
George Boyd was a lot closer in to the goal when he shot over after Drench fumbled a routine catch.
This early Boro pressure gradually subsided and Morecambe could have grabbed an equaliser at this point.
The imposing Jim Bentley headed wide a great opportunity and Julian had to be at his acrobatic best to brilliantly keep out David Perkins' powerful shot.
Dino Maamria was spectacularly wide, following more good work by Nurse, and then it was the turn of the Morecambe keeper to perform heroics.
Nurse could not have struck his shot any better but Drench stopped it and then fell on the loose ball.
Morecambe could have claimed an equaliser 10 minutes from time when an awkward ball across goal was missed by Perpetuini. Thompson did not make great contact with his shot and Julian managed to hack the ball clear off the line.
Boro were coming under increasing pressure at this stage but still survived without too many major alarms.
There were (incorrect) shouts for a penalty when Darryn Stamp handled on the edge of his own area, with the resulting free-kick blocked by the massed ranks of the Boro defence.