Stevenage took all three points in dominant fashion with an excellent 3-0 win at Crewe Alexandra this evening.
A sublime first half performance, which saw three goals in little over 10 minutes, was matched with a steely second half performance as Boro dominated their hosts for long periods of the game.
Graham Westley made two enforced changes from the side which lost narrowly at Walsall on Saturday with both David Gray and Lucas Akins missing through suspension. Simon Heslop returned from illness, with Jimmy Smith moving to right-back, whilst Greg Tansey stepped up from the bench. Oumare Tounkara was also back amongst the subs.
Less than four minutes in and Boro created the first chance of the game. Zoko played in Morais and the midfielder took a touch before dragging his low effort wide.
However it wasn't long before the Portugese winger was on the scoresheet. With just 10 minutes on the clock he latched onto a Zoko flick and sped away from the defence, before forcing the 'keeper onto his backside and coolly finding the back of the net to put Boro one up.
Two minutes later and it was 2-0 to Stevenage. Luke Freeman saw a low drive parried away by Phillips at his near post and the ball found its way back out to Heslop. He shaped to shoot, taking out the whole defence, allowing him to play in Freeman again whose cross-cum-shot flew in at the near post, possibly off Abdul Osman.
Crewe had just about caught breath when Morais was at it again with a third for Boro. The Railwaymen stood off him as he raced towards goal from the left hand side of the penalty area, inviting the winger to curl an absolute beauty into the top right hand corner to send the Boro fans into raptures.
The hosts were shell-shocked and Tansey so nearly made it 4-0 moments later. Zoko advanced down the left and fired in a cross behind a retreating Crewe defence which found the midfielder who, with the ball just behind him, could only blaze over with his left foot.
The home fans were restless but this was as much about Boro's excellent pressing and energy all over the pitch, forcing Crewe into numerous mistakes.
On the few occasions the hosts did create half-chances, Boro's defence stood firm. Despite not having much to do in the opening half hour, Chris Day had to be at his best to superbly gather a dangerous Moore cross as Crewe players advanced whilst his defence then coped easily with a number of Crewe corners.
A crescendo of boos greeted the home team on the referee's half-time whistle but Boro's loyal supporters were clearly delighted.
Stevenage started the second half brightly with Michael Doughty forcing an early corner and Morais seeing a shot go over following a neat Boro free-kick.
Zoko then should have made it 4-0 when he beat his man to a bouncing ball and advanced on the keeper before chipping the ball against the post.
Stevenage continued to frustrate their opponents with the home crowd getting more and more agitated with their team. Doughty didn't help their mood when he went close with an effort from distance which forced Phillips into a finger-tip save.
Crewe began to enjoy a sustained period of possession but were left to shoot from range. Whilst this did yield a couple of corners through deflections, Boro's defence was able to clear on each occasion.
Up the other end James Dunne, who had just replaced Tansey, played a neat one-two with Morais before drilling an effort which was smartly saved down low by Davis.
The hosts made a couple of subs of their own which seemed to breathe some life into the team but when they did have a sight on goal, Aneke could only scuff his shot straight at Day and Boro cleared.
With 15 minutes remaining Dean Parrett was given his debut in place of Morais, who received a standing ovation from the travelling fans.
Aneke flashed a header wide as Crewe sought a late consolation before Sam Wedgbury replaced Simon Heslop with just five minutes remaining.
Anthony Grant fired high and wide in the closing minutes as he looked to score against his old side, but it was his former employers who saw out the game and claimed all three points.
Crewe: Phillips, Mellor, Ellis, Dugdale, Tootle, Osman, Grant, Nolan (Oliver 65) Moore, Aneke, Molyneux (Leitch-Smith 57)
Subs not used: Garrett, Clayton, Ray, Guthrie, Waters
Boro: Day, Smith, Ashton, Jones, Hartley, Tansey (Dunne 65), Doughty, Heslop (Wedgbury 85), Freeman, Morais (Parrett 75), Zoko
Subs not used: Arnold, Burrow, Andrade, Tounkara
Referee: S Martin
Attendance: 3,682 (75 away)