MATCH REPORT: STEVENAGE 2, GRIMSBY TOWN 0
Stevenage made it two home wins out of two in 2017 with a comfortable 2-0 win against Grimsby Town.
A stunning early free-kick from Steve Schumacher was added to in the second half by a composed finish from Jobi McAnuff, as Boro outfought their opponents in a really positive display.
Darren Sarll made two changes from the side that lost at Hartlepool with Connor Ogilvie slotting in at left-back and Jobi McAnuff playing left-wing. Dale Gorman and Henry Cowans dropped to the bench.
Stevenage got off to the perfect start with just three minutes on the clock, after winning a free-kick outside the area. Up stepped Steve Schumacher with a brilliant effort that whipped over the wall and found the top corner for 1-0.
Buoyed by that lead, Boro continued to push forward with Schumacher and Lee commanding in the middle of the pitch as the hosts spent much of the first half in the Grimsby half of the pitch.
The much-coveted Omar Bogle twice fired wide from free-kicks as the Mariners looked to respond, but instead it was Stevenage who looked the more likely to score again.
Matt Godden fired over from 25 yards after cutting in, a dangerous Schumacher cross was gathered by Dean Henderson with the striker lurking and then referee Huxtable waved away what looked a blatant penalty for a foul on Schumacher, as Darren Sarll’s men kept up the pressure.
Midfielder Zak Mills dragged a weak shot wide in a rare sight of goal for the visitors, as Boro took their 1-0 lead into the break.
Four minutes into the second half striker Scott Vernon was played through on goal, but out came Jamie Jones to smother the ball and avert the danger.
Instead it was Stevenage who doubled their advantage on the hour, albeit in slightly unusual circumstances. Grimsby won a free-kick deep into their half which was taken quickly back to ‘keeper Henderson. The on-loan goalkeeper wasn’t expecting it and rushed a clearance, which then fell to Jobi McAnuff who coolly curled home from 25 yards out for 2-0 with the ‘keeper stranded.
Charlie Lee thought he’d made it 3-0 on 67 minutes when he headed home a Schumacher corner, but the referee’s assistant flagged for a foul.
Grimsby threw on strikers Akwasi Asante and Adi Yussuf as they switched to a back-three, but although enjoying some decent possession in the Boro half they failed to create much as the home defence looked rock solid.
With 15 minutes remaining some excellent skill from Ben Kennedy saw the forward skin his man and advance into the box, only for Matt Godden to completely miskick his effort. The striker did go close in the final few minutes, however, when he fired a left-footed shot wide and then lobbed an effort straight into Henderson’s hands.
Stevenage saw out the game with ease against an off-par Grimsby to record an excellent three points and just as importantly record their first clean sheet at home in the league this season. Next up is a trip to Crawley Town and tickets for this can be purchased at www.borotickets.co.uk.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry, Wilkinson, Franks, Ogilvie, Pett (Tonge 90), Schumacher, Lee, McAnuff (McQuoid 72), Kennedy (Gorman 88), Godden
Subs not used: Day, Cowans, Johnson, Loft
Grimsby: Henderson, Andrew, Pearson, Bogle, Mills (Davies 68), Boyce (Asante 74), Vernon, Collins, Comley, Clements (Yussuf 56), Osborne
Subs not used: McKeown, Disley, Jones, Gunning,
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Attendance: 3,394 (1,358 away)