Stevenage moved four points from the playoffs with an excellent 3-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon.
Goals from Steve Schumacher, Matt Godden and Tom Pett did the damage for Boro who were the better team throughout, terrorising the visitors with their pressing game and punishing them with some clinical finishing.
Darren Sarll made two changes from the side that won at Crawley last weekend with Josh McQuoid making his first start in place of the injured Ben Kennedy and Ronnie Henry returning for Fraser Franks, who dropped to the bench.
Stevenage started well and forced early pressure on the Chairboys goal with Connor Ogilvie and Charlie Lee both winning set pieces from which Steve Schumacher sent in dangerous balls. That said it was the visitors who had the first shot of the game on 10 minutes when Luke O’Nien fired in a low bobbling effort that Jones got down to.
A free-kick 18 yards out on 14 minutes then gave Gareth Ainsworth’s men a good opportunity but Sam Saunders flashed his effort just wide of Jones’ right-post with the ‘keeper beaten.
With 21 minutes on the clock a quick throw from Schumacher found McQuoid in space and his cross was controlled but then hit over by Godden.
60 seconds later Boro went even closer when Godden chested into McQuoid’s path and the ball eventually fell to Jobi McAnuff, whose curling effort was turned over superbly by Jamal Blackman.
After creating arguably the best chances of the game so far, Stevenage deservedly went in front on 25 minutes. Again McAnuff was involved, crossing from the left and when Godden’s neat flick saw the ball loop over the outrushing Blackman, there was Steve Schumacher to nod home from yards out.
Stevenage continued to look good and again tested the visiting ‘keeper five minutes before the break. This time it was Josh McQuoid who saw his low shot denied by Blackman’s outstretched hand, with Joe Jacobson then booked for a foul on Godden in the build-up.
Right on half-time Boro were handed a golden opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot. In truth it was a gift from Wycombe, who hesitated in their own defensive corner and lost possession with Boro then getting the ball into the box and
Tom Pett winning a clear penalty with some quick feet that drew a loose challenge. Up-stepped Matt Godden to send Blackman the wrong way for 2-0 and his 15th goal of the season.
Three minutes into the second half, Stevenage struck again and once more the Chairboys were architects of their own downfall. Boro pressed high and caught the defence out, with Pett gathering the loose ball, evading Blackman and firing home into an empty net.
The visitors didn’t have much to cheer about but thought they’d won a penalty when Scott Kashket went down in the box, but referee Whitestone waved away penalty appeals.
Stevenage continued to look lively going forward and most importantly rock solid at the back with Charlie Lee dominant in front of the defence and both King and Wilkinson coping admirably with the tricky Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Three goals down, Wycombe’s cause wasn’t helped by sub Miles Weston coming on and limping off five minutes later meaning all their subs were used by the 69th minute. Boro, meanwhile, waited until the final 15 minutes to bring fresh legs on.
Tom Pett saw a rising shot saved by Blackman with 20 minutes left after a driving 50 yard run through the middle of the pitch, before subs Kaylen Hinds and Ryan Loft caused plenty of problems of their own.
Victory today makes it three wins on the spin for Boro and three games unbeaten at home. They’ll look to extend that further with a Valentine’s Day date with Cheltenham Town here at The Lamex Stadium. Tickets for that game can be purchased at www.borotickets.co.uk.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Wilkinson, King, Ogilvie, Lee, Schumacher, Pett (Gorman 85), McAnuff, McQuoid (Hinds 75), Godden (Loft 75)
Subs not used: Day, Franks, Tonge, Cowans
Wycombe: Blackman, Jombati, Pierre, Stewart, Jacobson, Wood, O’Nien (Jakubiak 60), Gape, Saunders, Kashket (Weston 64 (Thompson 69)), Akinfenwa
Subs not used: Richardson, Bean, Harriman, De Havilland
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 2,602 (658 away)