Stevenage got back to winning ways at Blundell Park on Saturday as Kurtis Guthrie struck twice to secure a league double over Grimsby Town...
After putting Boro ahead with a dinked effort on 22 minutes, the striker headed in shortly after the break to all-but wrap up the points for Maamria's men.
The result leaves Boro five points outside the Play-Off places with just five games to go in the Sky Bet League Two season.
Dino Maamria named four changes to the side that were humbled at home to Notts County the previous weekend, bringing in Joe Martin for his first start of the season along with Terence Vancooten, Michael Timlin and Kurtis Guthrie.
Former Lincoln goalkeeper and rival of Grimsby, Paul Farman, got off to a brilliant start to proceedings, making arguably his save of the season after just 6 minutes as he parried away a powerful Hendrie strike from less than 10 yards away.
Stevenage would soon get on top of the game though and the combination of Ilias Chair and Kurtis Guthrie up-top showed early promising signs. The pair combined well in forward areas on a number of occasions early in the game, before Chair’s through ball for the Guthrie in the 22nd minute set the striker away, getting to the ball ahead of goalkeeper McKeown before dinking the ball over the onrushing stopper and into the open net.
Grimsby showed plenty of endeavour but little quality and struggled to make an impression on Farman’s goal. Aside from a Kristian Dennis free-kick that flew comfortably over the bar and a near-post flick towards goal that hit the side-netting, the Mariners offered little aside from their early point-blank opportunity.
Boro would have one final opportunity to extend their lead before the break, Michael Timlin caressing the ball over the bar following some good build-up play and a fine spot from Guthrie to lay the ball off for the on-rushing midfielder.
Within five minutes of the restart, it was that combination of Chair and Guthrie that came up trumps once again. Chair delivering a pin-point cross onto the head of Guthrie, who made no mistake from a few yards out, heading into the bottom corner to double Stevenage’s advantage.
Kristian Dennis could have cut into the deficit less than 10 minutes later, heading on-target from a Grimsby corner but Farman was once again quick across his goal to block the effort from striking the net.
With an hour played, Stevenage and QPR fans’ worst fears were realised as Ilias Chair was carried off the pitch and straight into he treatment room, following an off-the-ball incident which looks to have sidelined the talented loanee for the foreseeable future. Thankfully Maamria had a fine replacement ready to use, as Danny Newton entered the fray.
Grimsby huffed and puffed throughout the remainder of the contest but Boro’s rear-guard action was on-point. Time after time a body was there to see away the danger and keep Stevenage in control of the contest.
Facing a two goal deficit, the onus was on Grimsby to attack and after Vernon curled wide from a presentable angle, it became clear that it wasn’t going to be their day.
Guthrie could have taken home the match ball with less than 10 minutes remaining after Martin found the forward with another fantastic delivery, this time Guthrie unable to find the target, heading over the bar and into the stands.
In the end, a comfortable victory and a brilliant response to last Saturday’s disappointment as Stevenage refuse to give up on their season just yet.