Steve Evans insisted Stevenage should have been awarded two penalties in their 1-0 defeat against relegation-threatened Reading at The Lamex Stadium.

The hosts controlled the first half but the Royals went into the break ahead thanks to an own-goal from Bradford loanee Vadaine Oliver.

It was a different story after half-time as Reading edged a closely fought encounter to secure just their second away win in the league this season.

The Boro had two penalty appeals waved away by referee Paul Howard and Evans felt his side were hard done by.

He said: “We have two clear penalties in the game that weren’t given.

“One for handball in the first half and the second for a reckless challenge on Ben Thompson.

“We have just looked it back on the big screen with the boys, we did enough in terms of how we played comfortably to win the game.

“It is a harsh result to take isn’t it? Apart from counter-attacks we have totally dominated the game.

“We have made four big chances in the game, normally our reliable strikers score the chances that are created but they didn’t.

“Listen, we shouldn’t concede the throw-in for their goal, it is a mix-up between Dan Sweeney and the goalkeeper.

“We said at half-time that if we continue to press then we’ll create chances and we did create chances.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow but we will take it and move on.

“You can see what it means to beat little old Stevenage, World Cup stuff at the end.”

The result leaves Stevenage in sixth while Reading are now a point clear of the relegation zone in 20th and Royals manager Ruben Selles was delighted with the three points.

He said: “We knew it was going to be very difficult, there are not a lot of teams who can come here and win.

“We knew we would have to play well and take our chances in possession.

“The ball came from a throw-in and we have been working on it, I also think we got into some positions where if we’d worked the ball better, we could have scored at least one more goal.

“I think we know that we can perform against any team.

“I think we have talked about learning lessons from games and I think today we learned those lessons.

“I think the boys have been working really hard for it.

“The changes were entirely tactical, it was not a test, I thought especially at left-back we needed to be more dynamic in the build-up.

“We say always that we take it one day at a time, tomorrow the boys have the day off and then on Thursday and Friday we will prepare for the next game.”

Manager Steve Evans dedicated Stevenage’s 1-0 win over Blackpool to teenage supporter Ollie Gatfield, who died in a car accident on his way home from a match last month.

Saturday’s match was the club’s first home game since the 19-year-old died as he travelled home from Stevenage’s win at Shrewsbury three weeks ago. His friend Liam Sharpe remains in a coma and a minute’s applause was held for the pair before the game.

Jake Forster-Caskey’s deflected 85th-minute strike settled a scrappy contest as Stevenage lifted themselves back into the League One play-off places.

Evans said: “We’ve been backed at home by an absolutely brilliant support and, if we ever needed someone above us, I’m sure he dived and headed it as it came across the goal and he flicked it in.

“That’s for Ollie and for Liam – come on, Liam, fight that battle, son.”

Blackpool began the brighter and were denied by fine saves by Craig MacGillivray to keep out Marvin Ekpiteta’s header and Ollie Norburn’s rasping drive, while Daniel Grimshaw tipped over Jamie Reid’s effort.

But the hosts won it when Jordan Roberts laid the ball off for substitute Forster-Caskey, whose shot was deflected past a helpless Grimshaw.

Evans said: “It’s not the best football game in the world for any football purist.

“In many respects there was a cancellation of both teams and it was either going to take a bit of magic or a little bit of luck and I think it was a bit of both.

“Forster-Caskey moves the ball, shifts it and there’s a great strike – some of the lads think it was going into the far corner, but it goes in the other side from the defender trying to block it.”

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was incensed with the build-up to the winner, saying: “(It was) a definite foul right in front of us.

“You could see it, Hayden (Coulson) gets a touch to the ball, the lad quite clearly falls on top of him, he was nowhere near the ball.

“It was right in front of us, the fourth official’s there, he (the referee) plays on and that’s what happens.

“They build moments and momentum in the game and that moment doesn’t happen if the referee does his job properly.

“I said to the fourth official, ‘That is a clear foul,’ and she says to me, ‘I know, I’ve told him.’ Brilliant, thanks very much.

“They fall over at every opportunity looking for a free-kick because they want to put the ball into the box, so they kid the referee and they played him better than he’s played the game today.”

Steve Evans insisted his Stevenage side should have scored more as they beat Northampton 3-0 to remain in the League One play-off spots.

Jamie Reid put the hosts ahead after just two minutes before Jordan Roberts’ 42nd-minute cross evaded Max Thompson to double the lead.

Elliott List added a third midway through the second half to seal all three points against a Cobblers side who failed to have a shot on target.

Evans said: “If we are being honest Northampton got away lightly today, but it is a really good side with really good players. We tried getting some (of them) ourselves.

“We are pleased we have won the game and the supporters were entitled to that at home but we have seen a real good performance.”

Stevenage remain two points ahead of seventh but they are now only two points behind Peterborough in the automatic promotion places.

Evans, who led Boro to promotion from League Two last season, added: “We spoke to the boys about the period over Christmas and with the win today it leaves us a point behind where we expected but sometimes performances over the long period are good.

“There is no disputing that when you hear the Barnsley staff saying that (Boro’s 2-1 defeat at Oakwell on Saturday) was the best away performance of the season, we carried that forward today into this performance.

“Coming away from Barnsley they knew what they deserved but what you have with this group is fantastic and they work hard by backing each other.

“We shouldn’t forget that if we get a result here on Friday against Cambridge, we go into next year in the top four and that was unthinkable back in June and certainly unthinkable back in March.”

Northampton struggled after going behind early, and it took until the second half until they had a shot, which was a speculative free-kick from distance.

Northampton manager Jon Brady said: “It was hugely disappointing the goals we conceded, and especially conceding early on in the manner that we did.

“You can’t give the first goal away like that, it wasn’t good defending. The second one was a fluke goal that just loops in and again that shouldn’t happen.

“The third is also bad defending and put us on the back foot.

“It gave us a hugely tough afternoon and we will have to gain perspective and it is a difficult Christmas schedule and I have to manage bodies.

“Today wasn’t a good performance. I feel sorry for the fans but the performance wasn’t to the standard we require.”

Relieved Stevenage boss Steve Evans praised his side’s character after beating Port Vale on penalties to progress into the third round of the FA Cup.

Battling Boro overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to set up a trip to minnows Maidstone.

Ben Garrity’s brace put Vale two goals to the good before late efforts from Harvey White and Kane Hemmings, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, sent the game to extra time.

Ryan Loft scored a first Vale goal in the 115th minute but Nathan Thompson forced penalties and Stevenage stopper Taye Ashby-Hammond was the shootout hero as he saved spot-kicks from scorers Garrity and Loft.

Evans reflected: “We don’t do things the easy way.

“First things first, if you’ve come to the stadium as a neutral then this is a fantastic cup tie. You must be on the edge of your seat at both ends.

“When we get into the game and Harvey gets a goal I think we’re totally, totally dominant.

“When it goes 2-2 we know extra time’s coming but we think there’s only one winner because we had a lot of chances.

“To have the character the group has got to come back and score again to take the game to penalties is incredible.

“For the first 60 minutes we didn’t look like we wanted to be in the FA Cup, but for the last half-hour plus extra time we did.”

Vale boss Andy Crosby insisted his side only had themselves to blame after they crashed out.

After seeing his side crumble from 2-0 and 3-2 up, Crosby admitted: “We’ve thrown the game away twice. To concede a last-minute equaliser in normal time and then exactly the same thing happens in extra time, that makes it very tough to take.

“To go 2-0 up against a team who are third or fourth in our league was pleasing, but then we lost control of the game a bit and they can do that to you.

“The game wasn’t over at full-time, there were 30 minutes left. We go back in front again and look at the clock and think ‘we need to see this out now’. We’ve got to defend our box better than we did.

“The guys have given everything but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“It takes bravery to take a penalty in any situation in a shootout. Those guys have stood up, penalties get missed. It is what it is.

“Life is tough at times, you take the hits and you have to get up again and move forward.”

Manager Steve Evans wants Stevenage to continue gatecrashing the upper regions of League One after their 1-0 victory over Lincoln lifted them up to fourth in the table.

It is 12 years since the Boro reached the play-offs in what was their first season in the third tier and few would have had them down to threaten a repeat after winning promotion back in May.

They continue to defy expectations, however, as Jamie Reid’s 14th goal of the campaign earned a third league win in a row and handed Michael Skubala a losing start as Lincoln head coach.

Evans said: “We are that little bad apple in the barrel that no-one wants to be in that top group.

“There is only the town of Stevenage and everyone in it – myself, the board, the players, everyone that’s connected with the football club – that wants us in that top group because we’re fighting for something that people thought two years ago would be in the National League.

“We just have to keep working hard, keep principled, keep humble and then take it forward to a real tough game to face Lee Johnson at Fleetwood.

“This is a really good Lincoln side, I think everyone in football was surprised they decided to change manager, but Michael has come in and his team gave us a few problems in the first half.”

It was in the second half that Stevenage took control, with Lincoln goalkeeper Lukas Jensen saving bravely from Reid before Kane Hemmings struck the inside of the post.

The breakthrough came in the 68th minute when a scramble in the six-yard box following Jake Forster-Caskey’s corner led to Reid bundling in.

It could have been more comfortable for the hosts, with Forster-Caskey striking a free-kick just over and Jensen making a good save to deny Reid a second, but there was no doubt they were deserved winners.

Skubala admitted the Imps were ultimately outmuscled, saying: “We need to get stronger, there’s no doubt about that, and it takes time to get physically stronger.

“It’s not something where you can just flick a button, so we’ve got a lot of work to do with the lads off the pitch to get physical.

“They’re strong, it’s just sometimes where you’ve got to do the scrappy stuff away from home against Stevenage that we probably got outfought in those battles.

“I think you saw the work we’ve done [during the week] in the first half and I was quite pleased.

“We won a lot of second balls, which we knew we were going to have to do here, and we had a couple of moments where we probably should have done better in the final third.”

Stevenage boss Steve Evans was thrilled to see Elliott List bag a brace in a comfortable 3-0 win at managerless Cheltenham Town.

The former Gillingham forward missed a year of action after suffering an ACL injury at the start of last season.

He came off the bench in the 57th minute and added to Jordan Roberts’ first-half strike for Boro, leaving bottom side Cheltenham still without a league goal this season.

“I’m really pleased for Elliott List,” Evans said. “It’s been a long 15 months for him.

“He did his ACL in the first game of last season and the reaction from the group, including everyone on the bench, was pure joy when he scored his goals.

“If he’d watched my finishing in training he could’ve had three. In fact, he was annoyed he missed one and I had to remind him he’d scored two, we’d won 3-0 and it was a good day at the office.”

Cheltenham rallied in the first half after Roberts’ opener, but the second half was all Stevenage.

“We’re delighted with the performance overall and should’ve scored three in the first 15 minutes,” Evans said.

“Cheltenham then came back into it and hit the bar. But in the second half it could’ve been anything. It was one-way traffic.

“They’re between managers which creates uncertainty for the players, but we were the superior side.”

The Robins parted company with boss Wade Elliott in midweek and placed Kevin Russell in temporary charge.

It took Boro only seven minutes to pierce their defence when Dan Butler’s corner fell for Roberts in the box and he beat Luke Southwood with a low finish.

Jovan Malcolm smashed a shot against the bar for the hosts after Liam Sercombe’s pass in the 34th minute.

Aidan Keena fired a shot just over and Sercombe forced Kristian Hegyi into a flying save before half-time as the Robins rallied.

But List made it 2-0 in the 69th minute after another Butler corner was not dealt with and he followed up to score his second in the 73rd minute after Southwood parried Ben Thompson’s shot from the edge of the box.

Cheltenham have now waited more than 13-and-a-half hours for a goal and never before has a team gone nine games without scoring at the start of a league season.

Interim boss Russell saw positives in the performance, but distanced himself from taking the job on a permanent basis.

“I came in with Wade as a coach and he’s a really good friend of mine, so it’d be really difficult for me to take the job,” Russell said.

“With regards to working with the new person, that’s a conversation that needs to be had further down the line. We’ll have to see.

“There were some positive aspects to look forward to, for whoever comes in, with a lot of continuity to push on. There is still a lot to play for.”

Steve Evans hit out at the “shambolic” defending which cost Stevenage victory in their 2-2 draw with Carlisle.

Jamie Reid’s double looked set to give Boro three points, but Joe Garner’s last-gasp header rescued a point for the Cumbrians, for whom goalkeeper Jokull Andresson was in inspired form.

The result was enough to take Evans’ newly-promoted side a point clear at the summit, albeit having played a game more than the majority of the division, but the Boro boss was not in the mood to revel in the lofty position.

“I’ve got no interest in being top of League One,” he said. “We played really well, but we’ve given away two of the worst goals a team can concede and a team deserving of nothing get a share of the spoils.

“That dressing room is flat and they will stay flat because we need to learn. Individuals have to take responsibility when we praise them and also when we criticise because it’s two shambolic bits of defending.”

Reid gave the hosts the a 15th-minute lead, firing home after Carl Piergianni flicked on Dan Butler’s free-kick.

Parity was restored four minutes later when Sean Maguire tucked the ball home via a deflection and in the aftermath, Stevenage assistant Paul Raynor was booked for dissent.

Andresson produced fine saves from Jordan Roberts, Charlie McNeill and Reid before the break and the first chance of the second half saw Piergianni hit the bar.

Reid doubled his tally with 16 minutes to go before being denied a hat-trick by the Icelandic goalkeeper, whose saves proved vital as Garner struck at the death.

“Jamie Reid will take the plaudits because he’s scored two, but he could have had five or six,” Evans said. “That’s not the standards you need at this level to win the game.

“There will be no plaudits from me about being top of the league when people around us have games in hand, that means nothing to me that nonsense.”

Carlisle came up alongside Stevenage in League Two last season and United boss Paul Simpson hailed goalkeeper Andresson for his part in earning his side a hard-fought point.

“Jokull is outstanding,” he said. “He’s made some excellent saves and that’s why we’ve brought him in because he’s a shot-stopper.

“He hasn’t got the height of Tomas Holy and his kicking might not be as good, but the players have got confidence in him.

“When he makes saves like that, they have more confidence in him and you need to be confident in your goalkeeper.

“It’s important to have a group who are ready and prepared to do the ugly stuff. I think if we do the ugly stuff throughout the game, then we could be taking away three points.”

Steve Evans was delighted to see Stevenage’s best-laid plans pay handsome dividends after his in-form side claimed an “excellent” 3-0 win at Leyton Orient to go third in League One.

Boro have now won four of their six league matches this campaign and their latest success came thanks to first-half goals by debutant Charlie McNeill and Dan Sweeney and then a wonderful 25-yard strike by Nick Freeman.

Evans’ promoted team now are level on 13 points with leaders Exeter and second-placed Bolton following their convincing victory over last season’s League Two champions, and the Scot believes the scoreline could have been even greater.

“I thought the boys were excellent,” Evans said.

“We knew we were playing against an excellent team but we had a game plan which we worked for a couple of days and we knew we could effect it in certain areas. With a little bit more care and attention I think we could have won by more.

“We didn’t set up immediately which comes with new players but we have tremendous team spirit and we learned lots today about individuals and we continue to be humble. We win, lose and draw together.

“We’ve come to Leyton Orient and the atmosphere has been tremendous from both sets of supporters albeit I care more about ours than anything.

“They have travelled in big numbers and Orient fans always turn up and get behind Richie Wellens and the team here.

“I thought Charlie McNeill’s movement was fantastic. In fairness, the Leyton Orient defenders done well to find where he was after half an hour because he ran them ragged into all sorts of channels and he got his goal as a reward.”

O’s boss Wellens took responsibility for the reverse following his side’s fourth defeat in six league matches this season.

Orient must view Stevenage as a bogey side having failed to win any of the last six encounters against them.

“I will take the blame,” Wellens said.

“It’s very difficult when you have a performance like last week whether we needed to change the team and I contemplated all week, do we need to go big or do we need to maybe go three at the back?

“I thought first 15 minutes we were good and dominating the game and Ruel Sotiriou has to score in that period but pretty quickly after that we conceded from two set-plays. After that they managed the game well and made no mistakes.

“I should have changed the team from last week and put more experience out there. Our average age of the side was 22-years-old but it was against a team of men and physically we struggled.

“Set-plays and balls into our box is something we need to work on. When you have so many young players, it’s a learning curve. Full credit to them though they were outstanding.”

Steve Evans felt that Stevenage were fully deserving of their 2-1 win at Cambridge.

Stevenage have won all three league games since promotion to League One, with their success at the Abbey Stadium ending their opponent’s own perfect start.

Jamie Reid’s fine effort from outside the box eight minutes from the end proved decisive, coming less than two minutes after Mark Bonner’s side had pulled level through Elias Kachunga’s first goal for the U’s.

“There’s no doubt, we should have had the game over in the first half. Rather than good chances we just don’t take advantage of getting in good areas,” said Evans, whose side had gone ahead in the first half through Jordan Roberts.

“In the second half Cambridge were much better at counter-attacking than we were in the final third, but if it had been anything other than an away victory tonight it would have been a travesty.

“We missed three of four good opportunities. Jamie Reid should put us in front earlier than he did, but it’s a great strike to get the winner.

“The credit to us is that they get the goal from a scuff, they don’t get another chance.

“That’s credit to us because this is a good Cambridge team. There’s no one sitting here saying they aren’t a good team, they’ll win lots of games.

“He is big goal Reidy, the boys have just been singing that to him in the dressing room.

“He’s an infectious character but they’re all infectious. We can’t ask these players to give us any more.”

Bonner felt there were encouraging signs in the performance his Cambridge team produced, despite their first defeat of the campaign.

“They’re very, very good at what they do, Stevenage, and they’ll win a lot of games because of it.

“For large parts of the game we defended the threat very well, in certain periods when we were chasing we got counter-attacked a little bit too easily in the second half.

“The timing of the second goal’s a real killer for us because we’ve just got ourselves back in the game.

“I think there’s loads to learn tonight, and loads to like from it as well. Some of the football at times was brilliant, really good.

“We had the best chance early on where the ball flashes across the goal, a couple of set plays that flash across.

“It was nearly moments I think in a lot of our attacking play, without creating as much clear-cut stuff as we’d have liked.

“Actually our goal came probably at a time where the game was fairly balanced and we probably didn’t see it coming.

“The quick one from them is a tough one to take. I think if tonight’s a draw it’s probably the right result.”

Stevenage boss Steve Evans is hoping to use doubters as motivation after seeing his side defeat Shrewsbury 2-0 at the Lamex.

In Boro’s first home game in League One since 2014, new signing Aaron Pressley struck his first goal for the club with a sweeping finish before Jamie Reid secured the three points in the 87th minute when he poked home at the back post.

But Evans did not let himself get carried away after a second straight league win.

“Our mission is really tough,” said Evans. “I heard one of the Shrewsbury lads say to one of my staff, ‘Good luck staying up’.

“That’s probably where people see us in the league. So we have that as a bit of an incentive for ourselves.

“We have to be, if nothing else, the hardest working team in this league, because we can’t spend the money that Shrewsbury spent, for example.”

Having already welcomed a host of fresh faces, with six new arrivals in the starting 11 against the Shrews, Evans said he expects to announce another signing imminently.

“We’ve got players really battling hard to cement a starting place. I said to them we’ll hopefully strengthen in the next 24 hours,” he said.

“I’ve been asking his manager all summer if we can get him and when I spoke to him yesterday, he was like most of the lads we’ve already got in the door.

“He said, ‘I want to come, I want to be part of it. When can I sign?’.”

Meanwhile, new Shrewsbury boss Matt Taylor questioned whether an already busy schedule contributed to a below-par performance in Hertfordshire.

The Shrews travelled to Elland Road on Wednesday evening, where a spirited performance was not enough to prevent a 2-1 loss to Leeds.

Taylor said: “Was there the fact that the players haven’t had a day off this week? They’ve trained, they’re tired? Maybe.

“I’m not looking for excuses. I’m just telling you the truth. We’ve had a tough week in terms of fixtures. Has that had something to do with it? I don’t know.”

And while Taylor felt it was important to analyse what went wrong, the 41-year-old was equally determined to make amends against Burton on Tuesday.

“I think it’s important to go back and digest without emotion what happened today,” said Taylor.

“But I felt we never really got going in terms of the way I want the team to play and the way we have been playing for the last two games.

“But why football is such a great game is that regardless of the result, we’ve got an opportunity in three days’ time to make sure we can put that right.”

Stevenage boss Steve Evans was thrilled with his side’s display as they claimed a penalty shoot-out victory after a 1-1 draw against Watford in the Carabao Cup.

In a Hertfordshire derby, Vakoun Bayo tapped home for the away side just six minutes in to seemingly put the Hornets in control of the contest.

But Stevenage fought back resiliently, and Josh March’s volley saw the hosts draw level just two minutes prior to the half-time whistle.

Neither side could find a winner in the second half but it was the hosts who held their nerve in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, with Nathan Thompson netting the decisive spot-kick in a 4-3 success.

“When you look at their team, you know they’re going to be on the front foot and full of confidence so we changed our shape and the momentum of the game changed,” said Evans.

“Over the first half and into the second half, we should probably win it in normal time; I know our goalkeeper made a couple of saves late, but we got into some good areas.

“All over the pitch we were good tonight, we had to play really well just to contain and be in the game against a side that is full of talent.”

Watford manager Valerien Ismael rued the Hornets losing control of the contest after a bright start.

He added: “We started really well, we were completely (in) control for half an hour and for no reason we lost control and didn’t play anymore.

“The opponent put us exactly where they wanted so there was no control, it was a hectic game.

“We regained control and in the second half we changed tactically and the team reacted well and we created the big chances of the game in the second half and we have to score the chances.”

Stevenage manager Steve Evans felt his side were good value for all three points after they started the new Sky Bet League One season by beating Northampton 1-0.

Boro’s first ever win at Sixfields came courtesy of Carl Piergianni’s 81st-minute close-range finish as Stevenage edged a tight game between two teams who are newly promoted into the division.

A total of 22 minutes of stoppage time were played across both halves – the result of a new EFL directive – and Evans felt his side did enough to kick off with a win.

“It’s a great way to start the season,” he said. “I set the boys four targets: to get our first clean sheet, to get our first point, to score our first goal and to get our first win. We’ve ticked all of them off today.

“I thought it was a game of two halves. Obviously conditions played a part but they were better than us in the first half.

“They have kept together a lot more players from last season and they looked more used to each other, but the elements played a part and we saw that in the second half.

“We should have been behind at half-time but the changes we made really worked and I think over the whole game we deserved to win.

“They had two one-on-ones in the first half but we created chances as well and in the second half we were the team with more purpose and more drive, certainly in terms of fitness levels, and all of the new boys did really well.”

Northampton boss Jon Brady was encouraged by his side’s first-half performance but admitted they faded after the break.

“I thought we were excellent in the first half and that was clear for everyone to see,” he said.

“We should put those chances away. We hit the post twice, we had some good entries into their six-yard box and flashed some crosses into the area.

“We controlled play really, really well but we came out for the second half and had the wind and rain in our face and it was hard for us to get out.

“They’re very good at turning the ball in behind your back-line and hurting you and they constantly do it, but to control the play we needed to be better on the ball in the second half.

“We weren’t great in possession in the second half. We need to make better decisions and show more composure in those moments because the ball was turned back to them too much.

“That was disappointing because we controlled the game so well in the first half, but you’ve got to take the positives and there was certainly a lot to be encouraged about.”

Stevenage manager Steve Evans revealed that Sunday's stunning FA Cup triumph over Aston Villa had given club chairman Phil Wallace "the greatest day in his life".

The League Two promotion hopefuls sprung a shock at Villa Park, with two late goals securing a 2-1 comeback victory over Unai Emery's Premier League side.

Villa, who had Leander Dendoncker sent off for a foul that led to Jamie Reid's equaliser from the spot before Dean Campbell's 90th-minue winner, have now lost eight consecutive FA Cup games.

But the hosts' woes were far from the mind of victorious boss Evans, who shared a telling snippet from a conversation he had enjoyed with his employer. 

"It is really special," he told BBC Sport. "The chairman just said to me it's the greatest day in his life and he's been with the club for 26-27 years.

"It's a fantastic day for the town but we'll not kid ourselves; this is a fantastic football club and we'll enjoy the moment and these guys have treated us absolutely fantastic since we walked into the building today.

"We'll know to be humble and get on with our jobs for Saturday."

It is indeed back to reality for the fourth-tier club, who head to Harrogate next weekend as their promotion push continues.

For Villa, who welcome Leeds United on Friday, it is a stark reminder that, despite making strides since Emery's appointment in October, they still have a long way to go.

The winning goal came from a short corner as the 10-man hosts failed to close down Campbell, who struck a low shot beyond Robin Olsen.

An apologetic Emery, who made eight changes and saw his men take the lead through Morgan Sanson, said: "They were so excited to try and surprise us in the corner and they did it.

"I'm really sorry for the supporters. It's a process we are [undergoing] here and I want to create [something].

"It was really so, so disappointing. We can feel because at the end we lost everything we created in the 80 minutes."

It is the first time since 1964 that Villa have lost to a fourth-tier outfit while in the top flight.

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