Experience means the most to Stevenage
STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley believes his side could and should have netted more goals, despite recording their biggest win of the season.
Chris Whelpdale and Charlie Lee scored inside the opening five minutes to get Boro off to a dream start before Whelpdale added his second late on.
It was third clean sheet in four games for Boro and a point would have seen Mansfield move into a play-off position.
Graham Westley said: “It was a strong display. In the second-half we were much, much better and we could easily have run out with a much bigger score line with the chances we had.
“It was great to get the relief from those two early goals, that would’ve given the players some confidence and we took the game forward.
“We had more experience on the pitch today and, I’ve been saying it all year, when you get your experienced boys out there you start to see patterns that are different, better and show more maturity.
“Today the quality of football was much better.”
Whelpdale opened in the third minute after a pinpoint pass from Tom Pett left him one-on-one with Dimitar Evtimov.
The Bulgarian blocked the first effort with his legs but the Stevenage midfielder passed the rebound into the middle of an open goal from eight yards.
Charlie Lee doubled the lead with a simple finish two minutes later.
The 27-year-old was found unmarked by a Chris Beardsley cross and he calmly slotted home from the middle of the area.
Whelpdale tapped in at the back post to seal the win in the 83rd minute.
Second-half substitute Roarie Deacon provided the assist after he cut into the area from the left wing and squared for the former Gillingham man.
Mansfield came close to scoring several times in the first-half but struggled in the second.
Reggie Lambe had a tenth minute effort cleared off the line by Andy Bond and Matt Rhead headed over a Rakish Bingham cross from close range just before halftime.
Mansfield boss Paul Cox said:“We’ve started games really positively of late.We come out, put opponents on the back foot, look sharp and really fit and strong but today it was over in ten minutes.
“After those first two goals were conceded we must have had three or four great chances to get back on equal terms but from back to front it was one of those days where we didn’t show up.
“I’m going to have to go back and look at what we’ve done.
“Look at freshening some of the lads up and try to get them fitter and sharper and we’ll go again next Saturday.”
STAR MAN CHRIS WHELP