Stevenage lost 5-1 to a non-stop Crewe Alexandra side on Saturday afternoon in the final home game before Christmas...
It was a difficult afternoon for the Boro as the team fell behind in the first half after two quick fire goals from the away side. Things went from bad to worse in the second half, as another three were conceded before Cuthbert scored a consolation header before the final whistle.
Stevenage made three changes to last week’s draw at Newport County, with Kurtis Guthrie, Paul Digby and Charlie Lakin replaced by Paul Taylor, Ben Kennedy and Michael Timlin.
Both sets of teams started the opening ten minutes on the front foot in an entertaining start to proceedings. The high-tempo game kick started with successive corners for Crewe, but it was Elliot List that had the first chance of the game when he broke into the box on the left flank before his ferocious shot just went over the bar.
With reply, Crewe were denied what looked like a certain goal when Charlie Kirk unleashed a left-footed shot inside the box, but Paul Farman was down quick enough to parry the shot away from his near post. Boro then nearly took the lead in the 19th minute when Paul Taylor beat Crewe’s offside trap, before playing the ball square for List to turn the ball home, however, the linesman had his flag up.
Taylor was looking lively in his return back to the team and could have taken the lead himself in the 26th minute when he looked for the spectacular from 25 yards, but his chance flew over the bar.
But after Stevenage’s bright start to the game, Crewe opened the scoring after beating the offside trap when Chuma Anene was left alone inside the box for a simple finish. And as quick as a flash, Crewe doubled their lead after Oli Finney was on the end of a Charlie Kirk cross as Stevenage went into the break 2-0 down.
Early in the second half, Tyler Denton’s cross found Taylor at the edge of the box, whose effort was deflected wide, but that was as good as it got for Boro as in the 56th minute, Daniel Powell made it 3-0 after his low-driven effort just slipped under Farman.
Timlin, Taylor and Carter came off for Lakin, Soares and Cowley but minutes later, Crewe added a fourth and then fifth as Anene found the net with his head before Cuthbert scored an own goal. With minutes meaning, the Captain headed home in the Crewe net, to make it 5-1 to the visitors in the final game before Graham Westley takes charge of the team.