Comfortable cup win for Darren Sarll's men...
Stevenage booked their place in the Second Round of the FA Cup on Saturday as a strong showing at home to Nantwich saw the boys come out 5-0 winners.
After a rather tight first half with the score at 1-0, Stevenage pulled away in the second as a double from Jonathan Smith and a hat-trick from Matty Godden secured the win.
Darren Sarll named four changes from last Saturday’s defeat at Yeovil. In came Beautyman, Wilkinson, Smith and Godden for Gorman, Franks, Vancooten and Wootton.
The non-league visitors got off to a decent start and looked comfortable during the opening 15 minutes. Sean Cooke with the first chance of the game but his shot from the edge of the box was dragged just wide.
It took a little while for Boro to settle but once they did, they found a route to goal.
Matty Godden on-hand to flick in Martin’s free-kick to make it 1-0 and dispel any early nerves that might have been bubbling under the Stevenage surface.
Boro went on to dominate proceedings but that wasn’t to say that Nantwich were out of it. Far from it, in fact. Star man, Sean Cooke saw another effort whistle past the post on 25 minutes and moments later, Clayton got onto the end of a flowing team move but saw his near-post shot beaten away by the alert Fryer.
Once that brief rally from Nantwich was over, Stevenage got back in control and should have increased their lead before the break.
Godden almost doubled his tally after half an hour but his long range shot landed the wrong side of the post. He again came close off a corner after Wilkinson played the ball back across goal, and Wilkinson himself could barely believe he didn’t turn in Martin’s cross just before the half-time whistle as Stevenage ended the half strong.
Early in the second half, Nantwich failed to capitalise on a poor back-pass by King that almost set Morgan on goal – his loose control in the end seeing the chance go missing.
Straight down the other end, Godden saw his back-post cushioned volley stopped on the line – Nantwich very much remaining in the game with the score only 1-0.
With 60 minutes gone the Dabbers had their best chance of the game. Cooke getting onto the end of a brilliant delivery but Beautyman doing just enough to put him off and send the chance over.
Desperate to put the game to bed, Stevenage continued to throw everything at the Nantwich goal - Newton couldn’t quite pick out Whelpdale at the back-post before Beautyman’s volley went flying over from close range.
Thankfully it didn’t take too much longer before it was all wrapped up. Jonathan Smith at the double within a matter of minutes, both goals coming from corners as he at first smashed in from close range before steering a fine header into the roof of the net.
Godden got his second and the team’s fourth with 15 minutes to go, latching onto the end of Martin’s fourth assist of the day before firing into the bottom corner.
It was clear that as the game wore on, Nantwich struggled to cope with the fitness and physicality of the men in red and white but it was a valiant effort from the seventh tier side nevertheless.
With just minutes to go in the game, Godden got his hat-trick after flicking in Gorman's half-volley from just a few yards out.
Job done for Darren Sarll's men who await the draw for the Second Round on Monday evening.