INTERVIEW: Gary Smith on Boro’s ‘heartbreak’

17:07 15 May 2012

Gary Smith

Gary Smith


My players showed wonderful character over the two legs - Smith

Stevenage manager Gary Smith thought his side had done enough to take Sheffield United to extra-time before the Blades struck six minutes from time in their play-off second leg on Monday evening.

Boro had withstood large amounts of United pressure and a couple of good chances before Chris Porter popped up with the decisive goal on 84 minutes at Bramall Lane to break Boro’s hearts.

Afterwards Smith said his team had performed well over the two legs and matched the Blades pass for pass, but admitted his team didn’t create as much of a threat as they did a fortnight ago when the two sides drew 2-2 in the penultimate league game of the season.

“I think we can say that deflation is an understatement, especially the timing of the goal,” Smith told the Comet. “In the end I thought we’d done enough to get ourselves into extra-time.

“I thought the efforts of the guys were just remarkable. The sort of determination and discipline these guys showed is an absolute credit to the club and the organisation that they work for.

“They’re a fantastic group, it’s been great to work with them and I think just on the display tonight we were just a little bit short in the creative department that maybe put Sheffield on their heels two weeks ago and we didn’t quite make those heights with the ball.

“I think the difference was they played with an extra midfield player as well. It made the midfield part of the pitch very tight, very difficult to navigate, and for periods they managed to achieve it better although they were not much of a threat to our goal especially first half.

“The second period started to unfold for them and they showed maybe a little bit more of a cutting edge but I never really felt it was going to be too much of a problem. The guys stood firm, we looked in order and well disciplined, but unfortunately in the end that one order makes a big difference.

“If you look at 180 minutes of football against a top side like Sheffield United, one goal separates the teams.

“I think the players, over the two legs, have shown such a wonderful character and quality and we’ve probably missed the boat a little bit at home – taking that advantage here as I might have hoped.

“Now the sequence of games has unfolded, I can look back and say if you score at home it probably asks a bigger question of Sheffield to make something happen and it might leave a gap or two [in the second leg].

“They defended well themselves and mounted some good pressure and probably the enthusiasm of the crowd and the support they get has driven them on and kept them moving forward. It’s wonderful for the players here; it’s such a good atmosphere for them to work in and probably in the end that’s been a bit of a difference. They score a goal when that momentum worked towards the end and it’s heartbreaking for us.”

1 comment

  • Shame we didn't go for it more over the two games. I still have my doubts over Smith but what a great season. Good luck to United, any club that gets 90 plus points in a season deserves to go up.

    Report this comment

    Harry Gibbs

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More news stories

14 minutes ago
Clovelly Way in Stevenage remains closed after a two-car crash this afternoon left a woman trapped.

An elderly woman has been taken to hospital after a two-car crash in Stevenage left her trapped – with the road still closed at present.

D-Day veteran Frank Hooton's flag-draped coffin is carried into St Mary's Church in Baldock. Photo: Karyn Haddon

An emotional farewell was paid yesterday to a D-Day veteran and Poppy Appeal mainstay from Baldock who has died aged 90.

The chairman of North Herts District Council, Councillor John Booth, opens the new nursery at the Garden City Academy with staff and children.

Letchworth’s Garden City Academy officially has a new nursery following the purpose-built block’s ceremonial opening on Thursday.

Police at the scene of the stabbing at the junction for Fishponds Road and Bunyan Road in Hitchin.

A stabbing in Hitchin on Friday night happened after a standoff in a bar between two men thought to know each other – and police have now issued a further appeal for witnesses.

Other Stevenage FC News


Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters: