Bristol Rovers F.C
Chris Lines 88, Luke Norris 90+6
Old boy Chris Lines proves a pain in the Gas as Stevenage leave it late to beat Bristol Rovers
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Alex Revell heaped praised on Chris Lines after his first goal in Stevenage colours, scored in the final minutes, paved the way for a smash and grab win at Bristol Rovers.
The 35-year-old stuck a leg around his marker at a Ben Coker corner with the subsequent shot squirming beyond Rovers' keeper Anssi Jaakkola with just two minutes remaining of normal time at the Memorial Ground.
Bristolian Lines had played over 300 times for his hometown club and only for a brief moment did he consider celebrating before being mobbed by jubilant team-mates.
The win was then secured six minutes into stoppage time with Luke Norris producing a slide-rule finish after being set up by Jake Reeves on the break.
It left Boro boss Revell with a huge smile on his face and many platitudes for his scorers.
He said: "It was a big day for Chris. He’s never been back here but he’s a fantastic player and great to have around the place.
"We pushed him slightly higher because we dropped Jake Reeves in and he showed what a good player he is and I’m delighted for him.
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"Coming back to somewhere you’ve played a lot of games and had so much success, he could have easily been nervous but he took it in his stride.
"I’m delighted for Luke Norris too as he’s worked extremely hard behind the scenes.
"He was disappointed not to play from the start but we have to make sure he is fit and right.
"It was a fantastic goal."
The win makes it a perfect week for "little old Stevenage" as the boss called them, following on from the opening day victory over Barrow in League Two and the penalty shoot-out success over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup.
It lifts them into second in the early table and was just rewards for their never-say-die attitude according to the boss.
Revell said: "It’s a fantastic feeling, especially when you are not at your best.
"We struggled to get going and show our patterns of play but the togetherness and desire to protect our goal, and to make sure we come away with a win, is incredible.
"For us it is about keeping our standards, and that’s not just the starting 11 but the whole squad. They do it every day and show how good we are.
"We’ve brought in some fantastic players and we have moulded them together and when they are not at their best we can see it."