Stevenage boss hails 'brilliant' players after fourth successive win moves club to within two points of League Two play-offs

PUBLISHED: 08:37 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:37 15 February 2017

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll celebrates victory. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll celebrates victory. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Darren Sarll has hailed his 'brilliant' players after Stevenage registered a fourth successive win.

Luke Wilkinson heads home against Cheltenham. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS PhotoLuke Wilkinson heads home against Cheltenham. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

A Matt Godden penalty and Luke Wilkinson header earned Boro all three points against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday despite having Charlie Lee sent off 10 minutes into the second half, a decision Sarll disagreed with.

And although the visitors pulled a goal back late in the game through Kyle Wootton Stevenage defended resolutely and held Cheltenham at bay to claim the win.

Sarll said: “They were brilliant. The way they stood up to not only the opposition but other external influences, I thought they were magnificent.

“Going down to 10 men was another key test of our resolve and togetherness. I thought we looked so strong, such a unit.

“Nothing pulls you together like going down to 10 men. But digging in and getting through it and coming through the other side, it’s an unbelievable lift.

“People outside of the dressing room won’t understand. It’s three points. But the psychological injection in that changing room now is frightening.”

Though Boro had to defend their lead late on they kept Cheltenham to a few long-distance shots, mostly blocked by defenders throwing themselves in front of the ball, and Sarll praised his players for digging deep.

“The performances like Saturday [3-0 win over Wycombe] aren’t going to happen every week,” Sarll said.

“Man United don’t play at the top of their potential every week. It was these games we were losing early on [in the season].

“Jobi [McAnuff] was a spring chicken at his age, but my lord did he cover some ground. I could say Josh McQuoid got stronger as the game went on. Matt Godden was Matt Godden but we wanted to preserve him as he felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring [and was substituted].

“We’ve seen a couple of knocks the last couple of days. [Ben] Kennedy had to come out on Saturday and [Jack] King tonight but we wanted to preserve that.

“Luke Wilkinson put in a chest-thumping performance at the heart of the defence. I don’t want to undervalue the other back four, the goalie and the other three defenders in that, they were all terrific.

“Jamie [Jones] hasn’t had a save all night again. We left it a little bit close for comfort for my liking but even down to 10 men Ben Kennedy was an absolute menace and back to his best.

“He’s at his best when he knows he has to carry the team on his shoulders and did that.

“But for the fourth game in a row I can’t say any one player didn’t give their heart and soul for the club tonight.”

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