No Broadhall Way blues for the Boro
Stevenage Boro 2 Gravesend and Northfleet 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports from Broadhall Way THESE three points were about as routine as Boro could hope for at this stage of the season. Goals from strikers Jon Nurse and Darryn Stamp secured the points against th
Stevenage Boro 2 Gravesend and Northfleet 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports from Broadhall Way
THESE three points were about as routine as Boro could hope for at this stage of the season.
Goals from strikers Jon Nurse and Darryn Stamp secured the points against the mid-table visitors who have little left to play for now this season.
Boro were able to include Dannie Bulman, recovered from his horror tackle at Accrington the week before, while fellow midfielder Adam Miller was recalled.
It was the Boro midfield that dominated the early stages as George Boyd fired a 20-yard shot just wide inside the opening 15 seconds.
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Bulman twice tried his luck from distance without success as Boro poured forward.
This bright start gradually dissipated and the flow of the game was not helped by four bookings in little more than five minutes - the Boro trio of Barry Laker, Stamp and Boyd going into the referee's notebook.
Gravesend offered their one moment of threat midway through this period as Danny Slatter shot just past the post.
The first goal on target by either side opened the scoring after 35 minutes.
Stamp flicked on a long ball and strike partner Nurse was alive to touch the ball beyond Craig Holloway.
Boro's second shot on target of the afternoon doubled their lead in added time and it was the same two players involved.
This time Nurse was the provider as he laid the ball into the path of Stamp after his initial strike was blocked. The lanky striker made no mistake to make it four goals in four games.
Boro players and fans would have had bad memories of the preceding home game when Boro surrendered a similar lead at the break to lose.
This never looked lively on Saturday as shot-shy Gravesend never seemed to have the stomach for the fight.
After the visitors' only effort of the entire 90 minutes on target - a tame Mark Rawle shot straight at Alan Julian - it was Boro who should have extended their lead.
Sub Eric Obinna, on for Nurse, failed to make good enough contact with his head from a Ronnie Henry cross.
And Obinna will be disappointed he did not open his Boro account when he burst clear of the defence but could only find the side netting.
A Ross Smith header from a corner apart, Gravesend were insipid and were unlucky not to concede further in added time as Boyd shot just across the face of goal and then saw another opportunity go begging.
Skipper Jason Goodliffe said: "We expected a physical game against Gravesend but, without doing down our performance, they didn't put up so much of a fight.
"I think, like most teams, they struggled to cope with Jon (Nurse) and George (Boyd).
"Defenders are frightened of them and they provide that spark. The important thing for us is to keep both of them fit until the end of the season."
Striker Stamp added: "Ideally we would have liked to have gone on and won by four or five.
"We were comfortable in the first half and didn't have to get another. Gravesend didn't look like scoring.