Six different goalscorers as Boro hit Stortford for six in the sunshine...
Three goals in each half saw Stevenage ease to a comfortable 6-0 win at Bishop’s Stortford this afternoon in their latest pre-season friendly.
After a competitive start to the game Boro opened the scoring on 18 minutes through Charlie Lee and never looked back. A trialist and a Ben Kennedy penalty before the break extended the advantage and despite making nine changes as the second half wore on, further goals from Jamie Gray, Tom Conlon and Matt Godden secured an emphatic victory in hot and humid conditions.
Stevenage nearly got the perfect start to the game inside three minutes when Dean Wells' long free-kick nearly caught out the Blues' goalkeeper, but he recovered ground to save himself any embarrassment.
At the other end Chris Day made the save of the game on five minutes, keeping out an effort from a left-wing cross with a marvelous reaction stop to prevent the Vanarama National League South side from taking the lead.
Dipo Akinyemi saw a strong-looking penalty claim turned away on 10 minutes and Ben Kennedy nearly embarrassed the ‘keeper again when he charged down a clearance, only to see the ball fly wide.
On 18 minutes Stevenage broke the deadlock and in truth never looked back from that point. Skipper Charlie Lee won the ball in midfield and advanced to the edge of the box before firing home clinically into the bottom corner.
Akinyemi and Lee both shot over the bar in a matter of minutes – the second a beautifully clean hit on the volley – but it was soon 2-0 on 24 minutes thanks to a fine team goal. Good pace by Akinyemi out wide saw the youngster stretch play before finding Franks on the overlap. The defender’s cross was headed back across goal by Kennedy for a trialist to net.
On the half hour Boro were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Kennedy’s low effort was blocked but the Northern Irishman showed his tenacity by winning back possession and creating space for himself, albeit he was eventually crowded out.
Lee clipped the top of the bar with a deep cross and Pett fired over after driving into space 20 yards out as Boro kept up the pressure.
However six minutes before the break Stevenage were awarded a penalty from which they would score their third. A great ball from Kerr released Pett inside the area and the winger took a touch past his man before being fouled. Up-stepped Ben Kennedy to convert confidently for 3-0.
Rowan Liburd and Tom Conlon came on for the start of the second half and the latter was soon in the action, cutting inside from the right but blazing over.
Former Reading man Liburd would prove a real handful during his 45 minutes on the pitch and he fired wide from a narrow angle in the first of his chances.
Further subs on and just past the hour mark disrupted play for a while but Boro soon found their rhythm against their tiring hosts and the chances stacked up.
Stevenage extended their lead on 67 minutes when Jamie Gray headed home Dale Gorman’s cross and went close to more with Godden denied by the ‘keeper and Liburd seeing his 77th minute shot hit the post.
The unlucky Liburd saw another shot blocked before Tom Conlon slotted home Boro’s fifth with seven minutes to go, finishing from close range.
Incredibly Liburd was again denied by the goalkeeper before Godden wrapped things up in the final seconds, finishing into the bottom corner after yet another Boro attack to open his own account for the club.
Stevenage fans left the ProKit UK Stadium happy after a convincing attacking performance by their side which saw countless chances and six very good goals taken. With nine goals scored in three pre-season games and eight different goalscorers it’s clear that Boro’s offensive threat can come from multiple sources this season, which is another positive ahead of the new campaign.
A busy week of training now follows ahead of next Saturday’s home game against Brighton & Hove Albion (5.30pm). Tickets for that game can be purchased now at www.borotickets.co.uk.
Stevenage: Day (Jones 60), Franks (Fox 60), Wells (Wilkinson 60), Johnson, Kerr, Akinyemi (Conlon 46), Lee (Tonge 60), McKee (Gorman 60), Pett (Gray 62), Trialist (Godden 62), Kennedy (Liburd 46)
Subs not used: Donnellan, Henry
Bishop’s Stortford: Wright, Rodgers, Herd, Auger, Furlong, Fowler, Green, Shulton, Suarez, O’Neill, Benjamin
Subs: Hall, Lovelock, Osei, Asante, Scott, Rumen, Milbourne, Nouble, Bradbury
Referee: Anthony Serrano