Stevenage kicked-off their pre-season preparations with a 6-0 win at Biggleswade Town this afternoon at The Carlsberg Stadium.
Boro went ahead through a Luke Freeman effort just before the break before second half goals from Omare Tounkara (2), Dani Lopez (2) and Matt Ball sealed the win against their hard working hosts.
The visitors lined up for the first half with Chris Day in goal, a defence of Sam Wedgbury, skipper Jon Ashton, Luke Jones and Darius Charles, a midfield of Filipe Morais, James Dunne, Greg Tansey and Luke Freeman with Jordan Burrow partnering Oumare Tounkara up front.
After some early possession for both teams the first chance fell to Boro on the quarter hour. A bursting run forward by Freeman saw him feed Tounkara, whose first touch took the ball beautifully past his defender only for the advancing ‘keeper to save well.
Two minutes later the Waders’ number one was at it again with a good tip over the bar to keep out a rising drive from James Dunne as Boro pushed forward. Filipe Morais was the next to test the 'keeper but his 25-yard effort was directed straight at him.
The heat was playing its part on the game with the referee permitting a drinks break just before the half hour, allowing both teams and the officials to take on some fluids.
When play resumed, Dunne saw another effort tipped wide by the flying man in pink before Boro’s dominance was finally rewarded on the stroke of half time. Luke Freeman played a neat one-two with James Dunne just inside the box and slotted the ball into the far corner to give the visitors a narrow, yet deserved half time lead.
Half Time – Biggleswade 0, Stevenage 1
Graham Westley made changes at the start of the second half with Dani Lopez, Simon Heslop and Roarie Deacon coming on for Burrow, Dunne and Freeman respectively. Deacon was in the thick of the action straight away with good play out wide and a lovely near post cross which was converted by Tounkara with a bullet header for 2-0.
Four minutes later and it was 3-0 with the Frenchman notching his second with another neat finish, instinctively heading Dani Lopez’s chipped through-ball over the advancing keeper.
Biggleswade created a chance of their own on 53 minutes when Heslop was robbed on the edge of the box but the effort was tame and straight at Day.
Lopez and Jones then went close to extending Boro’s lead with a chip and a powerful header respectively before a whole host of substitutions saw several breaks in play.
The Waders continued to create a couple of decent half chances but with 11 minutes remaining it was 4-0. Roarie Deacon saw his shot saved but Matt Ball was following up and converted the rebound. At first there was confusion with the linesman flagging for offside, but the referee overruled him and the goal stood.
With seven minutes remaining Biggleswade nearly grabbed themselves a consolation after some neat build-up play but Chris Day would have been relieved to see the shot fly wide of his right hand post from distance.
Two late goals by Dani Lopez put the icing on the cake for Boro in a professional performance as the visitors ran out 6-0 winners.
After the game Boro boss Graham Westley called it “a good, disciplined performance” and said “it was nice to starting off in a winning way, nice to start off with a clean sheet and nice to start off with some good goals”.
We’ll bring you more post-match reaction from GW over the weekend and his thoughts ahead of Tuesday’s home friendly against a QPR XI (7.45 ko).
Boro: Day; Wedgbury (Gray), Ashton (trialist), Jones (trialist), Charles, Morais (Furlonge), Tansey (Shroot), Dunne (Heslop), Freeman (Deacon), Tounkara (Ball), Burrow (Lopez)