04 October 2022

Half-time telling off worked as Stevenage eased past Sutton – Steve Evans

04 October 2022

A half-time telling off led to Stevenage producing a much-improved display in the second half as they saw off Sutton 3-0 in League Two, according to manager Steve Evans.

Boro led 1-0 at the break thanks to Dan Sweeney scoring from the only chance they created in the first half, but they moved through the gears after the restart, with Luke Norris’ double sealing their fifth win in six games in all competitions.

It also maintained Stevenage’s 100 per cent home record as they moved up to second in League Two, behind leaders Leyton Orient only on goal difference.

Evans said: “Both teams concentrated on winning the battle – rather than playing – and that’s what disappointed us.

“Paul Raynor was particularly aggressive and high-volumed with the players at half-time – we were 1-0 up but we forgot to play.

“I thought we played a lot of good stuff in the second half.

“I think if we had a little bit more care in the second half, we probably win more comfortably, but it was good to see Luke Norris get two goals, two brilliant finishes as well.

“Danny Rose has a great header, after brilliant play by Luther (James-Wildin) but when those chances come, they’re very difficult to take.

“The goalie’s at one end of the goal and he’s coming across, but he smashes it in and it the third goal was a brilliant counter, there was some fantastic one and two-touching.

“We’re all buzzing for him because he’s a great kid.”

Sweeney’s header broke the deadlock after 29 minutes before Norris made sure of Stevenage’s biggest win of the season so far with first a rebound and then a brilliant curled finish.

The striker then went off after being kicked in the face by Sutton defender Louis John, whose team-mate Jon Barden was later carried off on a stretcher with a broken leg.

Sutton manager Matt Gray said of the injury: “He’s in a bad way. It was a very bad break of the leg.

“He’s obviously in a lot of agony, it’s not good, I could tell by the players’ reaction.

“It’s certainly secondary for me to talk about the game overly because of the concern for such a good lad who’s been with me since day one, since I’ve been the manager.

“When you have a horrific injury like that, football just goes to the side.

“My concern now is getting down the hospital and being with him and contacting his family.

“To touch on the game, first half there was one ball into the box that we didn’t deal with, but other than that I was reasonably pleased.

“In the second half, we were nowhere at it and thoroughly deserved to get beat.

“Tonight, we didn’t deserve anything, and that’s the first time I’ve said that this season.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox