‘Willingness to get first win cost us,’ says Stevenage boss Sampson after Cambridge draw

Joel Byrom of Stevenage during Stevenage vs Macclesfield Town, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at the

Joel Byrom of Stevenage during Stevenage vs Macclesfield Town, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at the Lamex Stadium on 31st August 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Interim Stevenage boss Mark Sampson believes Boro’s willingness to get their first win of the League Two season cost them after they drew 1-1 with Cambridge United at the Lamex on Saturday.

Jason Cowley turned home Elliott List's shot to give the home side the lead on eight minutes, but with their first victory in sight, Sam Smith levelled the game on 83 minutes to break Boro hearts.

Sampson believes the will to win cost his side the much-needed three points, saying: "Ultimately, we had a bad spell in the second-half and our nerves got the better of us.

"The willingness to get this first win has probably cost us in the end in terms of not concentrating and playing the game in front of us.

"It was a game that in hindsight we should have finished off really.

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"We started really well with a good tempo, good intensity, scored a really good goal. We probably had five good moments in the first 15 minutes where we could have scored.

"Towards the end of the half they got a grip of the game and used the width after Luther (James-Wildin) went off.

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Trying to defend their lead in the second-half, Stevenage sat back and invited pressure from the away side, something which Sampson would lament following the draw.

"Second-half, I think for too long we were just waiting for that final whistle and we forgot to play," he said.

"We want to win so much and we absorbed so much pressure that we forgot to play. We forgot to pick the first pass, get ourselves up the pitch and be brave.

"Far too many balls went dead in the channel and we gave them another chance to set up an attack.

"Like I said, we had more than enough chances to win this football match and we just need to be a bit more clinical and brave."

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