Stevenage boss unhappy with defensive display

Westley unhappy with Carling Cup defeat to Peterborough

GRAHAM Westley said his side needs to work on their defending after Boro conceded four goals to Peterborough United on Tuesday evening.

Although Stevenage scored three themselves and lost the game in the cruellest of manners through a last minute penalty in extra time, Westley believes his side opened up far too easily to record their worst defensive display since conceding four against Kidderminster Harriers in April 2009.

“It was probably a good game for the neutral,” Westley said. “The home fans, I think, seemed to enjoy it for most of the 90, and the 30 of extra time.

“There were a lot of good characteristics that the side showed, but I can’t remember...our defence opening up like that.


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“The goals were sloppy, unnecessary, really disappointing, totally uncharacteristic and a sign, perhaps, that we’ve got a lot of work to do to get our team and squad attitude back in place as conceding four goals at home is a real disappointment.”

On three occasions Boro found themselves behind, and on three occasions they were able to get back on level terms before Jon Ashton was adjudged to have brought down returning old boy George Boyd in the 120th minute.

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Stevenage themselves had earlier escaped conceding a penalty after Alan Julian had fouled Tommy Rowe in the opening minutes, but although Westley conceded that decision should have been given he said the Boyd decision was perhaps a harsh one.

“I am disappointed probably that the free kick (which led to the decision) was taken in the wrong place...it took one of our players out of the game, gave them an overload,” Westley said.

“I was disappointed we backed off because we’d shown our best defending all night long had been on the front foot (but) the two wide boys attracted our full backs which opened up our channels (and allowed) a little slip ball in the channel.

“Boyd had gone down previously and even their captain had laughed, one of the boys said to me.

“Did he go down easily (on this occasion)? Well, most people in the ground felt that he did.

“Ashton said he didn’t really put anything on him, it was just two bodies coming together, but George is a clever player and he earned the penalty.”

Stevenage have to put the defeat behind them ahead of this weekend’s trip to Chesterfield, a side they know well from last season’s rivalry in League 2.

“We put in a good performance last season (at Chesterfield). We lost 1-0 but on the day we could have easily got something out of the day but we’re a better side now,” Westley said.

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