23 September 2023

Steve Evans says Elliott List brace ‘pure joy’ after injury problems

23 September 2023

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.”

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