Furious Stevenage boss Steve Evans claimed Lincoln should have had a man sent off during their dour goalless draw.

Evans, who was himself booked for remonstrating against a decision in the first half, was adamant Ethan Erhahon should have received a second yellow card for a foul on Louis Thompson with 20 minutes to go.

He said: “For me there’s a massive, massive, pivotal moment in the game.

“I don’t want players sent off, but the referee will justify why he doesn’t give a second yellow for a free-kick when Louis bursts towards the box.

“It’s just a bad decision from a referee who I thought got around the pitch, was strong about his opinions but gave me a yellow card for lifting my arms.

“Michael’s (Lincoln boss Michael Skubala) running around waving his arms when Jamie Reid collides with the goalie and he just gets a smile.

“Bobby Madley talks well. I’ll give him compliments for being a strong referee, but you have to be able to come to Sincil Bank and give a second yellow.”

After seeing his side miss the chance to go five points clear of seventh-placed Oxford in the play-off race, Evans added: “It was two teams that knew it was important not to lose and there was a lot of cancelling out.

“I don’t remember our goalkeeper making a save and I know theirs didn’t. There was a lot of industry. They put in a shift.”

Lincoln stretched their impressive unbeaten run to 10 matches and have kept four clean sheets in a row.

Skubala said: “It wasn’t a nice game of football. That’s a Steve Evans team, you know what you’re going to get.

“I thought we dealt with it really well. In the end we were happy not to lose.

“It shows how far this group has come. We’re really disappointed we didn’t win the game. I told the lads not to worry because they’ve come a long way.

“When you play a Steve Evans side and a Stevenage team and you’re disappointed not to win, you’re doing a good thing.

“There was a lot of aerial. Our back line stood up well, their back line stood up well.

“I think in the end it was more in the air than on the floor.

“I thought it was a good test. When we went to their place I thought we got bullied a little bit and that didn’t happen today.

“If we’re disappointed not to win that, it shows how well we’re doing at the moment.”

Promotion-chasing Stevenage were held to a goalless draw at Lincoln.

Michael Skubala’s hosts stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games as they stopped Steve Evans’ side from going five points clear in the play-off race.

The draw ended a three-game winning streak for Lincoln, who have impressively kept four clean sheets on the spin, not conceding in 378 minutes of football.

Stevenage boss Steve Evans was booked for remonstrating with the officials in the first half.

The two sides cancelled each other out in a scrappy opening period, with Joe Taylor blasting over from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s cross for the hosts the best chance of the half.

The visitors were relieved when Carl Piergianni blocked Paudie O’Connor’s header at the far post.

Jamie Reid could only nod straight at Lincoln goalkeeper Lukas Jensen when he should have done better before Evans made a quadruple substitution in a bid to snatch the points.

Freddie Draper nodded over late on for City as neither side were able to find a breakthrough.

Jordan Roberts scored the only goal as Stevenage edged past managerless Cambridge to move back into the play-off places in Sky Bet League One.

Roberts put the hosts in front 10 minutes before the break, firing past U’s goalkeeper Jack Stevens from the edge of the box.

But Stevenage’s opener could have come earlier had it not been for Stevens saving Cambridge on two occasions.

The first stop came after Jamie Reid raced away before Kane Hemmings’ header forced Stevens to parry a second chance.

Boro finally took the lead when Roberts collected the ball and struck on the swivel for his fifth league goal of the season in the 35th minute.

Cambridge, who saw manager Neil Harris depart for Millwall last week, managed to get a foothold in the second half and Jack Lankester hit a volley just over the crossbar.

But Stevenage held on for a vital boost to their play-off hopes, reclaiming a place in the top six after a second successive 1-0 home win.

Louie Sibley’s last-minute winner gave Derby a 1-0 home victory over stubborn Stevenage to boost their automatic promotion hopes in League One.

With top scorer James Collins out with a knee injury, Derby lacked a presence up front but Sibley finally found a way through in the last minute of normal time.

The victory moved Derby three points clear of third-placed Bolton.

It was Stevenage who came closest to scoring in a goalless first half.

Joe Wildsmith missed a corner and Sonny Bradley had to clear off the line in the 31st minute and Wildsmith rescued Derby soon after when the hosts failed to deal with a long throw and the goalkeeper stopped Jordan Roberts’ shot on the turn.

Derby did not register a shot on goal in the first half and they continued to struggle until Kane Wilson surged forward in the 68th minute and played Nathaniel Mendez-Laing in but he fired wide.

Max Bird was denied by a superb Taye Ashby-Hammond save in the 77th minute but Derby struck late on.

Mendez-Laing cut in from the right and set up Sibley who finished first time from 12 yards.

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor saw a change in formation pay off spectacularly as his side came from two goals down to defeat play-off-chasing Stevenage 3-2 in a thriller at the Lamex Stadium.

The Pirates began the game playing 3-4-3 but found themselves in deep trouble before Taylor replaced defender Elkan Baggott with winger Scott Sinclair after 28 minutes.

With four at the back, Rovers came surging back against a side pushing for the play-offs in League One, with a wonderful strike from captain Antony Evans completing a memorable turnaround.

Taylor said: “It could have been [anyone to come off], but when you change from a back three to a back four you take off one of your centre-halves.

“James Wilson’s, similar to Scotty’s, experience shone as the game went on and Tristan [Crama] has got good legs as well.

“I hope he [Baggott] understands it, I don’t think he’ll like it – nobody likes being dragged – but it was very much needs must in that moment.

“We made changes, personnel and formation-wise, that seemed to settle them a little bit and gave us a better out in terms of the game, and then we started to play.

“Once we started to play, we needed a little bit more to believe in and LT’s [Luke Thomas] moment was a big moment for us because that gave us more belief and more feeling that we were in the game, and then two quality goals.”

Stevenage led 2-0 after 24 minutes through Kane Hemmings’ close-range finish and Jake Forster-Caskey, but Bristol Rovers had a lifeline when Thomas bent a superb effort into the bottom corner.

Evans then set up Chris Martin for the equaliser before smashing in what turned out to be the winner from 25 yards, before Kamil Conteh was sent off in stoppage time for the Pirates.

Stevenage boss Steve Evans said: “We just got a little bit complacent – well, a lot complacent.

“They get the goal completely against the run of play to bring themselves back into the game, we started on the front foot, I think we were very comfortable at half-time.

“I think we were comfortable at the start of the second half, there’s no issues in the game.

“I think there’s a big decision in the game – their boy Evans, who’s a really good player, scores a great goal and makes one, he should be off.

“He’s committed a number of fouls, but one in particular on the edge of their box.

“They get the [second] goal because we let a really good striker get across us and score a goal and the third goal was a great strike, but it’s fair to say in the second half we were way off the pace.”

Bristol Rovers came back from two goals down to defeat play-off-chasing Stevenage 3-2 on their own patch, with a stunner from captain Antony Evans sealing the turnaround.

It allowed the mid-table Pirates to get back to winning ways after back-to-back losses, but the Boro have been replaced in the top six in League One by Oxford.

Stevenage were ahead after just six minutes when Dan Butler’s long throw caused havoc in the six-yard box, which led to Kane Hemmings prodding in.

The hosts appeared to be cruising in the 24th minute when Jake Forster-Caskey doubled their lead, but Bristol Rovers quickly pulled one back when Luke Thomas bent a superb effort into the bottom corner.

The Pirates then equalised just after the hour mark as Evans got in behind down the left and Chris Martin was there to turn in his low cross.

And a brilliant comeback was completed after 67 minutes when Evans smashed in a fantastic strike from 25 yards, although the visitors finished with 10 men after Kamil Conteh’s second booking in stoppage time.

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.”

Vadaine Oliver’s own-goal condemned promotion-hopefuls Stevenage to a 1-0 defeat against relegation-threatened Reading at The Lamex Stadium.

The hosts spent the opening 15 minutes camped in the visitors’ half but Dan Sweeney failed to capitalise, sending a close-range header over the crossbar.

Sweeney almost made amends with a delicious delivery into the box before Jamie Reid’s teasing effort went behind for a corner.

However, the Royals had the final say of the first half.

Amadou Mbengue launched a long throw into a dangerous area with seconds remaining and after a melee inside the six-yard box, Oliver fumbled the ball into the back of his own net.

Reid could have equalised after being found at the far post midway through the second half but he failed to convert from close range.

Sweeney kept his side in the game with a superb intervention 10 minutes later, blocking Sam Smith’s right-footed effort after the forward went around Boro stopper Craig MacGillivray.

The hosts won several corners in the final 10 minutes but failed to carve out a clear-cut chance as the Royals secured just their second league win on the road this season.

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.”

Gary Caldwell criticised referee Ross Joyce’s decision to send off Jack Aitchison following struggling Exeter’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage.

Aitchison received a second yellow card for apparent dissent in the 43rd minute of the Sky Bet League One contest, with Carl Piergianni heading Boro into the lead shortly afterwards.

Half-time substitute Yanic Wildschut’s first league goal for the Grecians within two minutes of the restart earned the 10-man visitors a battling point but Caldwell, who was booked himself following Piergianni’s goal, could not hide his frustration with the officials.

“We don’t know what he’s sent him off for,” he said.

“He hasn’t sworn, all their players said he didn’t swear at the ref and he’s chosen to send him off. And when we ask him politely why at half-time, he refuses to tell us.

“Only we were getting booked in this stadium because referees are intimidated at this stadium.

“We are very respectful, everything goes against us and we have to deal with that. We dealt with it in a really positive manner.”

The Grecians’ winless league run stands at 12 matches but their under-pressure boss believes the second-half fightback shows the squad are still playing for him.

“I have never doubted that for one second,” he said. “I really believe in this group of players, they give so much.

“A lot has gone against them in recent months and when that happens as a footballer, confidence gets affected and it’s a difficult thing to play through.

“You have seen their character and resilience and we have to use this as a springboard going into the coming games.

“They can all be really proud of how they went about the second half, both the way we defended and when we had the ball.”

Caldwell’s opposite number Steve Evans felt Aitchison should have seen red for the challenge which brought his first yellow card but admitted his side did not do enough to win the game, despite Jordan Roberts and Elliott List spurning fine chances late on.

“We were far from our best,” he said.

“We looked as if Tuesday night’s game took its toll on us in terms of sharpness and freshness. We were off it the first 25 minutes then we got it into the game.

“With the sending off, my only question is why is he even on the pitch to receive a second yellow? He should have been in the shower room after running up and kicking Louis Thompson off the ball.

“Did we do enough in terms of the final pass? No. Did we miss a couple of huge chances? Yes.

“We had great opportunities, great overload, we had command of the ball. But our quality, for once, wasn’t there.”

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.”

Goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond was the hero as Stevenage secured their place in the third round of the FA Cup with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory at Port Vale.

After a 1-1 draw at Boro last time, another 120 minutes could not separate the two sides in the replay at Vale Park as they drew 3-3 after extra time.

Ben Garrity scored either side of half-time to put Andy Crosby’s hosts two goals ahead.

He opened the scoring after just six minutes as he tapped home from close range before he hammered in a second after Alfie Devine nodded a cross into his path 10 minutes after the restart.

Harvey White’s unstoppable near-post strike pulled one back before Kane Hemmings sent the game to extra time in the sixth minute of additional time.

Ryan Loft’s first goal for the club, in the 114th minute, again seemingly sent Vale through before Nathan Thompson sent the game to penalties.

It was then a painful penalty shoot-out for the hosts as scorers Garrity and Loft saw their spot-kicks saved by an inspired Ashby-Hammond, either side of Luther Wildin smashing his over.

Steve Evans’ side now have a trip to non-league Maidstone, who are playing in the third round for the first time since they reformed in 1992.

Dino Maamria was sacked as Burton manager following his side’s 2-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Stevenage.

Deji Oshilaja gave Albion a seventh-minute lead, converting the rebound after Joe Powell’s penalty was saved by Taye Ashby-Hammond.

But Kane Hemmings struck against his former side on the stroke of half-time and Jamie Reid kept his cool from the penalty spot to condemn Burton to a fifth defeat in six winless games in League One.

That run has seen Burton slip down the table, with Maamria leaving them in 19th place, four points above the relegation zone.

A statement from chairman Ben Robinson read: “Dino Maamria has been relieved of his first-team duties with immediate effect.”

Maamria performed his post-match media duties but was in sombre and reflective mood of not only the game but his time at the club before learning of his departure.

“I thought we started well in very tough conditions,” Maamria said.

“We dealt with a number of long balls and then went ahead, deservedly, I thought and then last minute of the half we switch off at the back post and then they score to go in at half time one-one.

“Second goal it comes from a poor throw out and their players pick it up. KB (Kwadwo Baah) is trying to get back in position but they get a penalty.

“It is tough to take. Ultimately I have been at this club two weeks short of three years and I have loved my time here. I think the fans have been magnificent with me throughout that time, a lot of players and a lot of staff.

“It is a winning business and I haven’t won enough games. We had a good October but overall I understand the fans frustrations. Football is a winning business and we didn’t win today.”

Stevenage boss Steve Evans hailed his side as they maintained their League One promotion push.

Evans, whose team are third, said: “It was an outstanding performance. Maybe we were still trying to deal with the conditions in the first 10 minutes and we were a bit sloppy leading to them getting the penalty.

“We had a perfectly good goal disallowed with one that was over the line, having seen the footage and the stills, but in fairness to the referee there were a lot of bodies in the way but then you look to the assistant, so we felt a bit hard done to.

“I thought we became really strong in the last 20 minutes before half-time, got the goal, and perhaps we should be turning round in front, despite the penalty and then, I think, second half, we controlled it. It was inventive and it was bright.

“For 70 minutes, how could you not be commending that sort of performance and we come away with a very hard fought and deserved three points.”

Goals from Jamie Reid, Ben Thompson and Elliott List earned Stevenage a 3-0 win at Fleetwood.

Reid scored his fifth in his last four games to give the visitors a half-time lead and second-half efforts from Thompson and List helped settle the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Reid hit home a crisp opener in the eighth minute after Carl Piergianni won a header on the edge of the box and Jordan Roberts played the ball across goal.

Fleetwood had half-chances to draw level before the break, but Danny Mayor sent a shot straight at goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond.

Jack Marriott could not capitalise on two chances in quick succession, seeing his first shot blocked and a second effort clear the bar.

In added time at the end of the first half Ashby-Hammond’s miscued punch from a corner found Shaun Rooney, but his wild finish flew yards over.

The hosts showed signs of life early in the second period and Phoenix Patterson crashed an effort against the crossbar.

In the 56th minute Kane Hemmings capitalised on a slip by defender Bosun Lawal to set up Thompson and he netted his first for the club.

Fleetwood pushed forward as they sought a way back into the match, but, with Mayor also hitting the bar late on, it was clear it was not to be their day.

And List completed Stevenage’s impressive victory with a breakaway goal in stoppage time.

Page 1 of 3
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.