Defensive effort delights Stevenage boss Sarll

Joe Fryer celebrates a clean sheet with the fans. Picture: Danny Loo

Joe Fryer celebrates a clean sheet with the fans. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll was full of praise for his defence after a rearguard action in their 1-0 win at Barnet.

A superb Tom Pett volley gave the visitors the lead at The Hive but Dale Gorman’s 34th-minute red card saw the Bees lay siege to the Boro goal.

Sarll’s men held on to pick up all three points and remain unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two and the boss was quick to laud his defence, especially goalkeeper Joe Fryer – following criticism in the aftermath of last week’s 3-1 against Grimsby Town – and Luke Wilkinson.

“I was so pleased with Joe Fryer and I am absolutely delighted for him,” he said.

“He took some criticism last week and I was so pleased that everyone saw what a wonderful goalkeeper he is and the even better one he will be.

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“He kept a clean sheet, really dominated his penalty area and made two or three terrific saves with the help of the defence. I think their mentality and bravery are to be applauded.

“Wilkinson had a bit of sickness during the week but he was adamant he wanted to play. I have to applaud that ability to come out, not feeling your best but still giving your best.

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“He dehydrated himself because of the heat and illness so cramp kicked in so I had to take him off.

“When someone goes down with cramp, it’s very unlikely that it’s not coming back. When he went down, we thought the best thing to do to save him from injury was to withdraw him.

“I was so pleased with Kevin Toner who came on and replaced him, he did brilliantly well.”

The 34-year-old Boro boss was also pleased with the spirit shown by the 10 men away from home.

Sarll told the Comet: “Top teams come away from home, impose themselves on the game and take away points which is the most important thing.

“When you come out of that experience, 1-0 up, down to 10 men with your backs against the wall, you have to show spirit and togetherness.

“I am really proud of the players and once again, it shows the evolution of this side.”

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