Steve Evans livid with Port Vale penalty as Stevenage taken to FA Cup replay

By Sports Desk December 02, 2023

Manager Steve Evans was furious at the “atrocious” penalty awarded against Stevenage after they drew 1-1 with Port Vale in the FA Cup second round.

Goal machine Jamie Reid put Stevenage ahead midway through the second half but the lead lasted only seven minutes before Funso Ojo equalised from the penalty spot.

Referee Tom Reeves judged Uche Ikpeazu was fouled by Terence Vancooten, leaving an angry Evans rueing a missed opportunity and adamant the referee got it wrong.

“If it was played at the bottom of my garden I’d have shut the curtains, that’s a great saying from Bill Shankley,” Evans said.

“It’s just the worst decision to give a penalty. It’s not the first time this referee’s done this to us.

“I’ve already spoken to somebody senior about it in the tunnel but we’ve got nothing other than an apology and we go to Port Vale a week on Tuesday.

“There’s no way we shouldn’t be going through on the basis of his decision. It’s atrocious. I’ll go and speak to him but I’ll get his usual rubbish that I normally get from him.

“Two of their players, I know them really well, and they said it’s not a penalty. He wins the ball really clearly.

“The referee comes from nowhere doesn’t he? And then gives a penalty. It’s as if as soon as the ball went into the box he was giving a penalty, that’s how I feel.”

Vale had goals ruled out for offside in both halves at a foggy Lamex Stadium.

Elliott List could only volley off target for the hosts while Ethan Chislett dragged wide of the mark down the other end in a quiet first half.

But striker Reid pounced on a fine Harvey White through ball to open the scoring in the 69th minute.

Dan Butler could have put the game to bed but he fired just over from the edge of the box and was made to pay.

“I thought it was the least we deserved. I was delighted with lots of aspects,” said Vale boss Andy Crosby.

“They’re having an unbelievable season and they’re a difficult opponent to play against.

“I thought the penalty was the least we deserved. I don’t think the resilience in this group should be in any doubt.

“They’re sticking together. We’re obviously going through a really challenging period in terms of results but this group are really close and tight and they kept going and got the least they deserved with an equaliser.

“The last time we were here we thought the referee [on that day] had missed the most blatant penalty, we then got a letter through from the PGMOL saying we should have had two penalties. Maybe it’s evened itself out. I’m not sure.”

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