Manager Gary Smith was full of praise for his players after they pulled off a superb comeback to stun high flying Nott’s County at Medow Lane and move up to second in League One.
There was three penalties awarded in the game that also saw County’s Alan Sheehan sent off after blocking a goal bound shot with his hand and this proved pivotal as Stevenage took advantage of the extra man to secure all three points.
Smith was very pleased with his side’s performance and determination to get back into the game.
“Defensively we looked good, solid and very well organised. I think the first penalty was very suspect and the second one from my angle was a much clearer shout but of course we are really, really pleased that we got ourselves back in the game and then with that man advantage we pushed on and got all three points.”
He continued: “I think any side that is on an unbeaten run has that resolve and that spirit to try and cling on to that, it was always going to be very tight towards the end you could see that Nott’s County were trying to hold out and hang on to their lead rather than push on and get a second and we have taken advantage of that.”
Robin Shroot once again came off the bench to secure all three points and the Boro’ manager is really happy with his form and explains why he didn’t start him on Tuesday night.
“He keeps on scoring! I didn’t think Robin was the right choice for the start of the game, it was competitive there was other qualities needed to get us into the game and to get us through a tough period.
“The guys that started the game were mentally and physically at the game and put a hell of a lot in to the opening hour. The game opened up albeit close to being a man down at that point and when your chasing the game it is nice to have a couple of bodies like Luke (Freeman) and Robin (Shroot)to come in to it and it was very nice to see him on the sheet again.”
The visitors were running out of time to find an equaliser let alone a winner and the whole game changed in the 83rd minute when County’s substitute Sheehan, was sent off for blocking Marcus Haber’s goal bound shot and from then on Stevenage had the upper hand.
“The penalty is well executed and from then on the momentum shifts our way and its fallen to the one guy who is in great form. Marcus did really well as we broke for the penalty. He managed to organise his feet and open his body up and picked his spot very well.
“The penalty has still got to be scored, I would have rather taken the goal at that point than go through the pressures of the penalty. But once we scored, it was front foot time and the guys responded magnificently.”
Smith was also full of praise for Steve Arnold who was between the sticks in place of Chris Day and he didn’t shy away in his league debut.
“Talking of goal keepers let’s look at the other end as well. Steve Arnold did absolutely outstanding, his kicking was magnificent, he came out two or three times to punch and take pressure off the back four, he made an absolutely wonderful save at the feet of one of their forwards late on and at 22 he is a real talent.
“Steve has been playing well, Chris is an outstanding goal keeper himself we are very fortunate we have two great guys. But Chris’s form has not been quite where we would have liked it and he knows that as well and no doubt he will be back in the fold pretty swiftly but on tonight’s performance we have a second string goal keeper who is pushing him all the way and I am really pleased for Steve tonight.”
Midfielder Anthony Grant was replaced by James Dunne in the 28th minute after a serious injury in which he was taken to hospital and Smith gave some updates on the seriousness of the injury.
“Anthony has go off to hospital as a precaution , he took a nasty knock to the back of the head and neck and fingers crossed he is ok and that it was purely for precaution he will probably have a head ache in the morning.”
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