Deserved win for Stevenage over Stockport says Steve Evans but it was definitely in doubt
- Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO
There was a wry smile when it was put to Steve Evans that Stevenage's late win over Stockport County was never in doubt.
The League Two promotion favourites had taken a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the second half through Callum Camps but a late charge brought an equaliser from the penalty spot from Luke Norris and a 2-1 win courtesy of Jamie Reid's finish in the fifth minute of injury time.
"It was in doubt, that’s for sure," he said. "They are a good side and you can see they have good players and a good shape and they were better than us in the first half.
"We started the second half a bit brighter but we knew we had to change the system and we had good people on the bench.
"And credit to the boys that come on, they changed it and some of them made massive contributions.
"We’ve got a really good bench and we knew we might need them, and it did."
Reid was one of six Boro substitutes used as Evans gambled the farm on getting something out of the game, the sixth coming because of the rule regarding concussion.
Evans said: "I don’t think I’ve ever used six subs but because they had a concussion, we got the opportunity to make another and that helped us.
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"The players are a group, they are together and we said that we might lose today but we would still fight, we’re going to scrap every inch of the way.
"And we fought.
"We were absolutely pummelling them late on and we deserved the winner, there was only one team looking to score a second goal."
The result follows a 2-1 opening day success at Tranmere Rovers, the winner there coming five minutes from time from another substitute, Jordan Roberts on that occasion.
And there was absolutely carnage when Reid popped up with the winner, Evans himself earning a booking for running onto the pitch to celebrate.
He said: "Alex Revell turned to me in front of the lads at the end and asked how many late winners did we get in our time at Rotherham?
"We scored a lot and we think we’ve brought a winning mentality to this group.
"We’ll play better than that, we weren’t so good today, but we found a way to get to 70 minutes still in the game.
"We weren’t winning enough second balls, we weren’t penetrating them and we weren’t physical enough for 60 to 70 minutes.
"But the last 20 minutes we found an urgency.
"But we’ve scored a late goal, we’ve won, and I’ve pulled my hamstring and need an ice pack."