Brilliant Anang has superb Stevenage smiling after Carabao Cup success
- Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO
Scott Cuthbert was already smiling after Stevenage's win over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup but when asked about match-winning hero Joseph Anang, it stretched even further across his face.
The on-loan West Ham goalkeeper made two fantastic stops in the penalty shoot-out after the 2-2 draw to send a delighted Boro into the next round.
"I love him," said the skipper. "He’s brilliant and a great guy, very laid back.
"He’s brilliant about the place and because of his size you forget how young he is.
"He is a young boy and he is playing his first minutes in professional football and it is up to us, as senior players about the place, to help players like that and develop them.
"He’s getting better and better and [the shoot-out saves] will give him great confidence going into the game on Saturday at Bristol Rovers.
"You could see in the pens that he is a presence, he really fills the goal, and he did well for us tonight.
"I’m sure he will continue to do well too."
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It was almost the perfect night for Stevenage and their fans against their neighbours from across the border in Bedfordshire.
Elliott List had fired Stevenage into the lead and Ben Coker got the second from a free-kick although the Hatters fought back both times before the break.
But after a typical cup-tie in the second half, Boro got through 3-0 on penalties with successful conversions from Chris Lines, Luther James-Wildin and Jake Reeves.
But it was the style in which they prevailed that really thrilled Cuthbert.
"The first half was superb," he purred. "I know we gifted them two sloppy goals from our point of view, and we’ll have to do better than that, but for the first 25 minutes I genuinely thought we were unbelievable.
"The way we played the ball out from the back, the way we passed it about, and the first goal was just superb, something we work on day in and day out.
"They changed their shape and with their quality they were bound to cause up problems but we defended well at times.
"Big Joe did what he had to do and you’ve always got a chance when it goes to penalties."
And after backing up the 1-0 win against Barrow on Saturday in the opening League Two game, Reeves scoring just after half-time then, Cuthbert wants his team to really kick on now.
He said: "We’ve not got the biggest squad in the world but it is a team that is together, a well-knit squad and we all get on.
"The boys want to come in every day and work hard. The coaching staff believes in us, we believe in them and it is just a great place to be at the moment.
"If you can come in every day and enjoy your work and the atmosphere you’re in, results will follow.
"We picked up a massive win on Saturday and we are just desperate on building on these two games."