Guthrie at the double...
Stevenage made the short trip down the A602 to non-league Hitchin in the third instalment of Boro’s pre-season. Goals from Kurtis Guthrie (x2) and a trialist earnt Stevenage the win in the local derby.
Dino Maamria named a similar strength side to the first half eleven of last night’s victory at Wingate & Finchley. Kurtis Guthrie came back into the starting line-up after his poetic performance at Jersey, while Paul Digby stepped forward into midfield. Chris Stokes, Scott Cuthbert, Charlie Carter, Joel Byrom, Terence Vancooten and Alex Reid made up the rest of the XI, along with three trialists.
Stevenage went close to a perfect start in the first few minutes, when Joel Byrom’s looping set-piece found a free Chris Stokes at the back post, but the ball seemed to get stuck under the new signing’s feet and was unable to convert.
Kurtis Guthrie however, did not need asking twice. The ball was kept alive by one of the trialists inside the box, before chipping to Guthrie on the penalty spot. After missing out last night’s friendly, the forward was keen to get back in the goals and made no mistake heading past the Hitchin Town and ex-Stevenage goalkeeper Charlie Horlock.
Things then looked to be made worse for Hitchin when Joel Byrom was taken down inside the box just five minutes later. As he did in Jersey, Charlie Carter stepped up to take the spot kick, however Horlock had different ideas and parried the ball wide.
Carter’s head did not drop nevertheless, and played a key part in doubling Stevenage’s lead. Alex Reid found the ball at his feet just inside the box before his shot on goal was saved once again by the Hitchin goalkeeper. The ricochet looped in the air and Charlie Carter made sure he was first to the ball. His slick pass set through Kurtis Guthrie who spun and placed the ball in the back of the net.
Back down the other end it was the Stevenage goalkeeper getting in on the action. The unnamed trialist was quick off his line to smother Arel Amu’s effort to halve the deficit.
Half-time came and Stevenage looked good for the lead.
Dino Maamria made just nine substitutes at half-time, with Iontton, Fernandez, Georgiou, Smith and Sonupe coming on along with four trialists.
The mass changes did not effect Stevenage in the opening 15 minutes, as youngster Jack Smith slid an inch perfect ball through the Hitchin back four, for Trialist to latch onto and smash past the near post.
More changes came as Joe White, Liam Smyth and physio/Boro legend Jon Ashton came on for the last half hour.
As with the vast amount of changes, the game became less fluid. The trialists continued to impress however, as did the young Stevenage players.
Emmanuel Sonupe went close with a free-kick from outside the box, as did Liam Smyth with a header at the back post, but neither could add to the scoreline.