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Stevenage boss slams ref after last gasp Newport equaliser

14 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Stevenage manager Steve Evans. Photo George Tewkesbury PA Images

Stevenage manager Steve Evans hit out at referee Ollie Yates after a late penalty allowed Newport to level for a second time and claim a 2-2 League Two draw at Rodney Parade.

The second-placed visitors went ahead twice but were pegged back on each occasion by a Omar Bogle brace as they were made to settle for a point.

“It’s quite alarming,” said the Scot. “For the referee to deduce that that’s a penalty, it’s just a disgraceful decision.

“He’s been poor all night – for both teams. Normally, when I’ve seen him, he’s been competent and good. I don’t know what was wrong with him tonight.

“Maybe it’s Valentines and he’s thinking about love, I don’t know. But he didn’t think about love giving that penalty.

“You cannot give decisions like that unless you’re sure. It’s such a bad decision, it’s incredible. He wins the ball and clears his lines.”

Evans’ men were ahead in the third minute when Luke Norris latched onto a sublime Kane Smith through-ball before slotting past Nick Townsend with ease.

But Newport were level at the break thanks to Bogle’s 10th goal of the season – his first since October – two minutes before the break.


Evans made four changes at the break and his side responded to regain the lead within five minutes of the restart as Jordan Roberts volleyed the ball home from close range.

But Bogle had the final say after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Michael Bostwick in the box with six minutes remaining.

The striker picked himself up to send substitute goalkeeper Adam Przybek the wrong way and earn the Exiles a point.

It was a decision that left Evans fuming as his side fell 10 points behind leaders Leyton Orient, albeit with three games in hand.

Evans added: “We’ll get another phone call and an apology. I don’t want their apologies; just get these guys to do their job properly.

“If these were players, they wouldn’t be playing. If they’re incompetent like tonight, don’t let them officiate.

“The apologies don’t matter to me anymore. I’ll wallpaper my garage with them. And I’ve got a big garage – it’s four garages together – and I’ll fill the four of them up.

“There’s no other team in the whole of the EFL that’s getting the decisions we’ve had for the last month against them. But we have to endure it and rise above it.”

Graham Coughlan had no sympathy for his opposite number and the Exiles boss felt they should have had another penalty in the first half.

“I have no doubt Bostwick slipped and he has gone right through Omar, so by the letter of the law, it’s a penalty,” said the Irishman.

“It’s an unfortunate incident because ‘Bozzy’ doesn’t normally make errors and is reliable, but he did slip and took him down. I don’t think they have an argument.

“In fact, we have a stronger argument at the other end. Aaron Lewis was taken down. We were unlucky and hard done by, I’d like us to be on the right end of penalty decisions for once in my Newport tenure.”

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