Full-time report: Stevenage 3 Mansfield Town 0
PUBLISHED: 15:57 27 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:12 27 September 2014
Chris Whelpdale’s brace helped fired Stevenage to their biggest win since the 4-0 drubbing of Stourbridge in the FA Cup last December.
The winger netted once in each half while Charlie Lee scored the game’s other goal as Boro strolled to what was a comfortable victory against a tough Mansfield Town side bereft of the sort of cunning in the final third that Stevenage showed throughout.
Dean Parrett was in for his first start for the club following his comeback from injury, but there was no return for Sam Beasant (foot) so Chris Day kept his place in goal.
Whelpdale, injured last week at Oxford United, was back in the team, and it was the winger who opened the scoring for the hosts.
It took more than 70 minutes for Boro to have a shot on target at Oxford United last week, but within the first six minutes of this encounter they had scored twice.
Put through on the right by Tom Pett, Whelpdale fired straight at Dimitar Evtimov with his first effort before pinching the ball back off the keeper and blasting home the opener.
And then things got even better for Graham Westley’s men, with Pett and Chris Beardsley involved.
The former sent another ball in down the right, and Beardsley spotted Lee’s run through the centre. Collecting the ball, Lee worked it from under his feet and sent a ball past Evtimov and crashing into the back of the net for 2-0
After recovering from the initial double blow, Mansfield slowly moved up the gears and they twice forced Day into action. Firstly, Matt Rhead shrugged off his marker to head straight at the goalkeeper, and then Rakish Bingham hit a low drive from distance that Day dived to his right to keep out.
Moments later they had another two chances in quick succession, but this time Bingham hit the foot of the post with a low hit before Rhead struck the rebound straight at Day.
Boro bossed the Mansfield attack in the opening periods of the second half, and as a result the visitors, who had already made two changes at the break, were forced into taking off the ineffective Rhead for Alex Fisher with half an hour to go.
In fact, it was the home side who next went close when Beardsley made a trademark run into the left channel, won the ball from Ryan Tafazolli and got into the box before forcing a save out of Evtimov.
Astonishingly for a team trailing by two goals, with 15 minutes of the match remaining the hosts worked the ball up the right only for the winger to find just two team-mates in the box with his central midfielders occupied by marking space near the halfway line.
Boro should have added a third goal with 13 minutes to go, but Connor Calcutt, on for Beardsley, headed over from a couple of yards after Lee had nodded the ball to him for an easy chance.
And yet, just moments later, the hosts did wrap up the game. Roarie Deacon was the provider this time, the winger using his pace down the left to get past Liam Marsden before rolling the ball across the 18-yard box for Whelpdale to fire home his second of the match in what was a resounding victory for the hosts.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Charles, Wells, Ashton, Whelpdale, Pett (Deacon 65), Parrett (Conlon 46), Bond, Lee, Beardsley (Calcutt 75) Subs: Reading, Dembele, Zola, Johnson.
Mansfield Town: Evtimov, Sutton (McGuire 46), Riley, Tafazolli, Rhead (Fisher 60), Bingham, Heslope, Lambe (Palmer 46), Beevers, Marsden, Murray. Subs: Studer, Dempster, Thomas, Taylor.
Ref: Patrick Miller
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