Stevenage boss Steve Evans has seen his side win five of six games this season (Zac Goodwin/PA)
20 August 2022

Steve Evans hits back at spending suggestion as Stevenage continue flying start

20 August 2022

Steve Evans hit back at suggestions that Stevenage’s strong start to the season is a result of big spending after a 2-1 win over Carlisle at the Lamex Stadium.

Two of Boro’s summer signings were on the scoresheet against the Cumbrians, Kane Smith and Max Clark both opening their accounts for their new team.

The win – unbeaten Stevenage’s fifth in six games this term – could have been even more convincing, with the hosts completely on top for most of the first half before the in-form Kristian Dennis pulled a goal back for Carlisle.

And after comments from Carlisle boss Paul Simpson in the build-up to the game about the financial backing that Stevenage have at their disposal, Evans was keen to rebuff that argument.

Simpson had said: “I only hear rumours, but it seems that they’re having a right go at it in terms of the financial input that their directors have given to Steve.”

Evans responded: “We’re not a target, I listened to Paul’s presser whenever he did it and said we’re spending, well he wants to tell me where it is then.

“We’ve got a very competitive budget and our chairman has made that the case, but he’s made that the case for the four or five last years, people have just spent it badly for him.

“I thought we were stunning first half, no doubt in my mind that Carlisle’s a really good side with really good players, it didn’t look like that after 44 minutes did it?

“It looked as if we should have had six or seven, the performance was that good, missing big chances to make it that, then it’s sloppy from us, we give a cheap pass out of defence away in the 47th minute, the cross and they score.”

Former Boreham Wood man Smith opened the scoring after 16 minutes with a deflected effort before Clark doubled the lead shortly before half-time.

Carlisle pulled one back through Dennis’ fifth goal in five games this season right on the stroke of the interval but they were unable to add to that after the break.

But while the visitors have been hit by injuries early this season, boss Simpson refused to pin the blame on those absences.

He said: “I certainly don’t think it was one test too many, I do agree that we’ve got a reduced squad with injuries. Sadly we just didn’t deal with what we knew was going to come to us for that first 40-odd minutes of the first half.

“We worked on it, we talked to them and showed them and said exactly what was going to happen.

“We gave ourselves a huge lift with the goal before half-time and sadly, second half apart from huffing and puffing we didn’t do enough to earn a decent point out of the game which is really disappointing.”

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