Adam Marriott notched a hat-trick as Stevenage continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 win at Chesham United this afternoon.
The striker found the back of the net twice in quick succession around the half hour mark before completing his treble five minutes after the break, in a game full of chances for Boro. An 87th minute strike proved just a mere consolation for Chesham.
Graham Westley named a strong team with Sam Beasant returning between the sticks, Harry Worley and Dean Wells at centre-back, Andy Bond partnering Simon Walton in centre-midfield and Tom Pett, Darius Charles and Adam Marriott all starting. Chesham, meanwhile, named former Boro ‘keeper Shane Gore, ex-scholar Ryan Towner and experienced Football League defender Darren Purse in their line-up.
After a fairly even opening 10 minutes the chances soon began to stack up for Stevenage. Pett fired over in the box after a good dummy from Charles, who himself nodded wide from close range after a Walton cross found him just six yards out.
The front two went close again with Marriott cutting inside and having a pop, but seeing that 14th minute shot bobble wide, and Gore saw a Charles screamer fly past his post at full stretch.
The deadlock was finally broken just before the half hour mark when Marriott was in the right place to tuck home from close range with the ‘keeper grounded after Walton had seen a shot blocked.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 and that man Marriott again, this time doubling both his and Boro’s lead after good work by Pett.
The second half saw a welcome substitute appearance for Calvin Zola who replaced Worley, with Charles moving back to partner Wells. Straight away the big frontman was into the action, cutting inside his defender but seeing a weak shot easily gathered by Gore.
However five minutes after the break it was 3-0 with Marriott completing his hat-trick, this time coolly firing home after excellent approach play by both Pett and Deacon.
Walton nodded over and Lee fired over the bar after a mazy run as Boro kept up the pressure with Sam Beasant – a virtual spectator for much of the game – then having to be alert to deny a Chesham sub as he burst through one-on-one.
Stevenage were dealt a blow with 20 minutes remaining when Zola went down and walked gingerly off the pitch after treatment. He was replaced by Conor Calcutt with Jo N’Guessan and Fejiri Okenabirhie both coming on for Marriott and Pett as the half progressed.
A late consolation for Chesham will frustrate Boro who otherwise put in a bright and well organised performance against their Southern Premier League hosts, ahead of the visit of Reading to The Lamex Stadium on Tuesday night.
Stevenage: Beasant, Lee, Worley (Zola 46 (Calcutt 69)), Wells, Dembele, Pett (N’Guessan 77), Bond, Walton, Deacon, Marriott (Okenabirhie 77), Charles
Subs not used: Day, Casey