Result matched performance at last as Jake Taylor shines in Stevenage victory
- Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO
A goal is often enough for a player to be given the man of the match accolade - Jake Taylor of Stevenage, however, was already assured of that honour long before his stoppage-time strike against Walsall.
The 30-year-old delivered a superb display as Boro clinched a 3-1 success at the Lamex, their first under new manager Paul Tisdale, adding to an own goal and one from Chris Lines.
But for the man himself, the afternoon was justification for improved performances across the pitch in the last few weeks.
Taylor said: "We’ve been pretty good for a few weeks now and the results haven’t matched the performances but to come away with three points is what we have all been working hard for.
"It’s a good day and there is still work to do but this was a step in the right direction.
"When we’ve been on top in games, we haven’t scored so it was nice to get an early goal.
"We deserved it though, we played a lot of nice stuff.
"It was enjoyable out there."
Taylor's goal was his first for the club and came after he was used in a far more advanced role than has seen so far since arriving from Exeter City in the summer/
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He said: "I haven’t played it here but played it previously under the manager. It gets me higher up the pitch and gets me involved a bit more.
"I still had a lot of work to do but I enjoyed it.
"It is important that there is lots of versatility in the team, we want to create chances, score goals and win games, and we did that in abundance.
"We defended well as a team and it was nice to nick one right at the end.
"There were a lot of tired bodies out there and there were a few ricochets but it was nice to see it go in the net.
"This is the start of a good journey for the second half of the season."
He was one of four players to be brought into the side from their last game with the other three debutants and a fourth new signing, Ed Upson, making his first appearance from the bench.
Those new faces are a good thing though according to Taylor who says the competition for places will push everyone at the club to better performances.
He said: "It definitely raises everyone’s game and the competition for places is much higher.
"[Michael Bostwick] went off with an injury but you could bring on the likes of Ed Upson.
"It gives the manager options but it breeds hard work and helps spur players on in training. That is important.
"When you get older you come across the same people. [The new signings] are all familiar faces with one or two I’ve played against that I’m now happy are on my team.
"It’s a good squad."