Dreams of Wembley end for Boro as Westley takes blame for Grecian tragedy

PUBLISHED: 10:41 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:41 27 January 2020

Stevenage manager Graham Westley celebrates the draw having finished with nine men after Stevenage vs Colchester United, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at the Lamex Stadium on 4th January 2020

Stevenage manager Graham Westley celebrates the draw having finished with nine men after Stevenage vs Colchester United, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at the Lamex Stadium on 4th January 2020

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Stevenage boss Graham Westley admitted he was to blame for Boro’s 3-0 Leasing.com Trophy quarter-final defeat to Exeter City on Tuesday, bringing an end to dreams of reaching the final at Wembley Stadium.

Two quickfire first- half goals put the game to bed as Nicky Ajose opened the scoring on 25 minutes, before Matt Jay doubled the host's lead just five minutes later.

Another goal from Jay just three minutes after half-time wrapped up the win for the Grecians, dumping Stevenage out.

Westley accepted his tactics and team selection were to blame, having named an unchanged side from Saturday's win over Cambridge United.

"I got it horribly wrong. It was an embarrassing performance in the first 45 minutes and it didn't get a lot better in the second half," he said.

"On energy we were so low it was scary. I trusted the team to go again after Saturday, to recover and to get it right on the night, but I got it wrong.

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"I picked the same team again for all the right reasons in my mind, but you live and learn.

"When you are working with a new group of lads who are playing their ninth game in 27 days, there are going to be times when you make mistakes in selection and tactics.

"I just didn't get enough energy out there and we weren't able to adapt because of that and it was a night that I can't take any pride from."

Boro are back in action on Saturday as their battle for League Two survival resumes, with Plymouth Argyle the opponents at the Lamex.

Westley hopes he can pick his side up for the game, adding: "I said to the lads on Saturday that we've got to make sure we don't get too up, and tonight we need to make sure we don't get too down.

"Things are never as good as you think and things are never as bad as you think, and tonight we showed that.

"We've learned tonight that we are not quite at the level we need to be at, we've got a tough game on Saturday, we need to make sure we get our energy levels right and I need to make sure I get my game plan right."

Stevenage are currently outside the relegation zone on goal difference, and they will be hoping for a victory and a Morecambe defeat on Saturday.

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