Three points on the road...
Stevenage got back to winning ways at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as first half goals from Kurtis Guthrie and Steve Seddon made the difference in a dominant display.
Dino Maamria named two changes to the side that drew at home to Port Vale on Tuesday night, bringing Ben Nugent back in following his one game suspension whilst John Hunt slotted back into his usual left-back slot with Seddon playing ahead of him in midfield.
Right from the start it was clear which team was the most likely to take control of the game. Stevenage were a constant menace to the Cheltenham back-line, particularly in the air as cross after cross tested the Robins defence.
Eventually that strategy would pay dividends as Guthrie rose highest from just a few yards out to nod in from Campbell-Ryce’s cross, netting his second league goal of the season.
A few minutes later Guthrie was at the centre of it again, this time knocking the ball down for his strike partner, Revell, but the striker couldn’t keep his effort down as his strike flew over the bar from just a few yards out.
Stevenage’s press meant that Cheltenham were struggling to keep hold of the ball and the pattern of the half remained much the same. Boro winning the ball back quickly, moving it into the attacking thirds before trying to pick out a striker to turn the ball home.
That’s not to say that the Robins didn’t have their moments. A clever corner routine on 38 minutes saw a Cheltenham man peel off the group before scuffing his shot towards the backpost. The home side’s best chance of the half came in the 40th minute though, as Dieng palmed away Hussey’s free-kick which was heading for the top corner.
Right on the strike of half-time, Stevenage got the second goal that their play deserved. Steve Seddon curling the ball beyond the reach of Flinders from inside the box after Boro robbed Cheltenham of possession once again.
Within 5 minutes of the restart, Maamria’s men could have wrapped things up. After beating Cheltenham’s offside trap, Revell and Guthrie found themselves behind the defence but hesitant play from the attackers allowed the opposition to get back, before teeing up Campbell-Ryce who could only hit the side netting from a narrow angle.
As expected, the Robins improved during periods of the second half and veteran Luke Varney should have halved the deficit on the hour mark, after peeling off his man to connect with a pin-point cross, only to header wide of the far-post.
In truth, the home side were mainly restricted to either balls into the box or efforts from distance, as Stevenage worked tirelessly to keep their shape throughout the contest whilst dominating aerially.
Guthrie, growing in confidence, almost caught Flinders off guard with a first time hit on the volley from about 30 yards out, the keeper able to keep track of the ball though as he punched it clear.
The Cheltenham second half comeback was losing steam as Stevenage switched back into cruise control to see out the rest of the contest. Revell, Seddon and James-Wildin could have all added the cherry to the icing, but three points and another clean sheet will make for a perfectly fine tonic to a long journey home.