Stevenage extended their unbeaten run to six with a superb 2-0 away win at York City this afternoon.
Boro dominated large parts of the game but had to wait until the 38th minute to take the lead through Adam Marriott, after yet more Charlie Lee magic on the edge of the box. Victory was secured just past the hour when Tom Pett lashed into the top corner as Graham Westley's men put in the perfect away performance.
Just the one change was made from the side which beat AFC Wimbledon last weekend, with Charlie Lee coming in for Chris Beardsley who was amongst the subs. Andy Bond also returned from injury to be named on the bench.
A booking within two minutes for John McCombe, for a foul on Charlie Lee, set the tone for a feisty half in which Boro were to have the better of the chances. From that free-kick Simon Walton curled a low effort just wide with Tom Pett nearly embarrassing Bobby Olejnik with a fierce shot on the run on 7 minutes, only for the on-loan ‘keeper to gather at the second attempt.
With just the single home league win all season the Minstermen’s early nerves was understandable although twice around the 10 minute mark they worked it behind Boro’s backline for Fletcher, only for the danger to be cleared on both occasions.
Coulson smashed a free-kick just over Day’s bar before the game entered a really scrappy period with referee Coote awarding a number of free-kicks which broke up the play and particularly riled the locals.
Back came Boro though and were soon imposing themselves on York, with chances aplenty coming as the confidence grew throughout the half.
Whelpdale could only hit wide at the back post after Lee had nodded on for Marriott to reach the byline and fire in a low cross before Lee should really have opened the scoring on the half hour. Good work by Marriott and Whelpdale saw the ball flicked into Charlie’s path in the box – with both Parrett and Pett in space he opted to flick at goal but mistimed his kick and it bounced harmlessly wide.
Not to be denied Stevenage continued to create chances with Parrett seeing a close-range effort tipped around the post by Olejnik and Charles saw a header cleared off the line from a corner.
But it wasn’t long until the deadlock was broken as Boro finally opened the scoring seven minutes before the break when Lee twice flicked over a defender on the edge of the area before unleashing a beautiful dipping volley on goal. It beat Olejnik but cannoned off the bar, with Marriott running in to head home for 1-0.
The visitors kept up the pressure and Parrett went close to extending the lead just before half-time, but after latching onto a loose ball could only blast wide of the far post.
The second half was much the same as the first with Stevenage on top for large parts and defending resolutely on the rare occasions York threatened.
Soon the chances were coming for Boro to extend the lead with some eye-catching build-up play. On 57 minutes Marriott knocked down for Lee to take a touch and blast at Olejnik, who parried but the inrushing Marriott couldn’t take advantage and his cut-back was cleared.
Three minutes later Boro recycled a corner and when Whelpdale crossed from the left, only a fine save from Olejnik denied Lee’s diving header from adding to Boro’s tally.
Chris Day was called into a rare piece of action soon afterwards from Jake Hyde but with 63 minutes on the clock Stevenage extended their lead in spectacular style. It initially looked like Boro had messed up a short corner, but Parrett found Pett centrally on the edge of the box and the in-form winger drove forward and unleashed a rocket into the top corner for a goal of the highest quality.
York were stunned but whatever they tried to muster in terms of a response they were snuffed out by Boro’s excellent backline. Indeed Stevenage were looking increasingly effective on the counter with Lee blasting just wide,Pett seeing another shot blocked and Boro’s attacking threats combining well to frustrate the opposition.
John McCombe headed over and Hyde blazed high and wide as the Minstermen’s chances remained few and far between as Stevenage saw out the perfect away game to secure their fifth win of recent weeks and extend that unbeaten run to six.
Next up for Boro is a trip to high flying Shrewsbury in an encounter which surely looks to provide the perfect test for this in-form Stevenage test.
York: Olejnik, Ilesanmi (Straker 55),McCombe, Coulson, Summerfield, Fletcher (Morris 67), Penn, Carson (Meikle 67), Lowe, Halliday, Hyde
Subs not used: McCoy, Montrose, Winfield, Platt
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Wells, Charles, Okimo, Pett, Walton, Parrett, Whelpdale, Lee, Marriott
Subs not used: Beasant, Bond, Dembele, Zola, Beardsley, Conlon, Deacon
Referee: David Coote
Attendance: 3,107 (281 away)