A 5-2 win over Crystal Palace and some good performances for first-team squad members was one reason Stevenage manager Steve Evans was happy after their EFL Trophy game - although it wasn't the biggest.

Boro ended the game with three of their U18 squad on the field.

Makise Evans made waves at the end of last season, appearing twice as a substitute as Boro won promotion from League Two.

By the time he arrived on Tuesday night, his title as the youngest ever Stevenage player had been taken by 15-year-old Max Woodford, the goalkeeper coming on for a debut the same time as David Hicks.

That was where the Boro boss took most pleasure.

He said: "We finished with young Makise Evans and David Hicks back in the group but for me [it was about] young Max Woodford. 

"He’s 15-years-old, not 16 until next May.  

"I saw him three or four months ago at the academy and just thought to myself he was another boy that's capable of playing at a really good level. He has all the attributes.  

"I think he got roughly 10 minutes and he comes on and punches one and his kicking is good so that’s a really pleasing aspect [of the game]."

The boss also revealed Woodford's remarkable and unexpected success story could have been even bigger.

"He was almost in contention to start," revealed Evans. "We were in conversation at training [Monday] afternoon and with Hegyi away on international duty, it was either going to be young Woody or Taye [Ashby-Hammond]. 

"We plumped for Taye because even though we are out of the competition, we wanted a win. We won all three at this stage last year. 

"We went with Taye but we said that if the opportunity arises, we'll give a young man his debut. 

"And he’s come on and done really well. He's a real asset for this football club."