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Exiles boss rues missed opportunities as Newport lose to wonder strike

13 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Photo David Davies. PA Images

Newport boss James Rowberry was left ruing his side’s missed opportunities in the first half as they went down 1-0 at Stevenage.

Alex Gilbey’s stunning strike from the edge of the box just after the break was the only goal in a frenetic encounter that offered few chances until the midfielder broke the deadlock.

The Boro had seen plenty of the ball before the break but failed to test Nick Townsend in the Exiles goal, with the best chances falling to James Waite and Omar Bogle for the visitors.

The hosts could have had more, with Luke Norris, Jamie Reid, and Saxon Earley all going close as Stevenage pushed for a second.

“We have a chance where normally we score and that changes the game,” said Rowberry.

“First half we competed with their direct style, long balls into the box, we dealt with that particularly well.

“Second half, three minutes in we do something we haven’t done all game, miss four first contacts off a direct ball and we’ve got to do better.

“I’m just bitterly disappointed in that goal and the way we conceded it.

“We’ve got to be better in both boxes.”

Honest words

Home boss Steve Evans said he believes honest words at half-time spurred Stevenage on to a win that maintained their 100 per cent home record this season.

“I said to the boys at half-time, we’ve dominated the 45 minutes but they’ve had the biggest chance of the half,” said Evans.

“We worked really hard, we were the better side, but we didn’t do enough.

“We’re playing against a good team, with good players, a bright young manager and we’ve not really moved them around in the final third as much as we should do.

“That criticism probably hurt them a bit but they reacted in the way you want a group of young men to react.”

Whatever the Scot said in the dressing room seemed to do the trick as Stevenage dominated a second half brought to life by Gilbey’s curling effort.

And Evans was pleased with his side’s reaction as he hailed a special player in Charlton loanee Gilbey.

“The first 25 minutes of the second half we gave them an absolute pasting and you’re hoping the game is done then,” added Evans.

“You get a special goal from a special player, it’s a great finish and then we’ve got at least six good chances to put us two ahead.

“When it falls out the box, I expect him to score. He’s put it in the one place that makes it a special finish.”

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