Steve Evans hails 'special player' as Gilbey leads Stevenage to Newport win

Alex Gilbey was Stevenage's match winner in a 1-0 League Two success over Newport County.

Alex Gilbey was Stevenage's match winner in a 1-0 League Two success over Newport County. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

Steve Evans lauded match-winner Alex Gilbey after Stevenage maintained their stunning start to the season with victory against Newport County.

The on-loan Charlton Athletic man curled in a shot from the edge of the area, three minutes into the second period, to give Boro a 1-0 win and make it seven wins and only one defeat from their opening eight league games.

And the 27-year-old, playing in only his second match since his deadline day switch to the Lamex, showed his fitness and form were rapidly improving.

Players of Stevenage and Newport County observe a one minute silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

Players of Stevenage and Newport County observe a one minute silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

Boro boss Evans said: "He was the best player on the pitch by some distance. I didn’t think he was so good at Crewe and I didn’t think he was so good in a couple of training games. 

"But you don’t bring a player with his quality and not put him on the pitch to start with. 

"He’s had one game before he came to us and we pitched him straight in. 

"He got tired at Crewe and we took him off after an hour but he’s done extra all week with the fitness team. 

"He was starting to go on 75 minutes and the easiest decision would have been to take him off but he’s normally a fit lad and his stats are usually incredible." 

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The match itself had Boro, who are still second in the League Two table, on the front foot from the word go.

But for all their possession and territorial dominance in the first-half, chances were almost non-existent.

And it needed some firm words from the gaffer for the second game running, although not the full hairdryer this time.

Evans said: "It was a different chat to Crewe. We were playing a good team but we hadn’t really moved them around in the final third like we should have done. 

"That criticism probably hurt them because it was mild and gentle but they reacted in the way you want a group of young men to react. 

"We'd dominated for 45 minutes but they had the biggest chances at halfway. 

"But for the first 25 minutes of the second half, we gave them an absolute pasting. 

"We had them on the ropes. If it is a boxing match, there isn’t one towel going in, there’s five. 

"The dressing room deserve enormous credit. They are a brilliant group to work with, whatever happens in the future."