Opposition view: Westley hails 'magnificent' Boro and insists Town's winner shouldn't have stood

Graham Westley
Graham Westley

Stevenage manager Graham Westley hailed his side's 'magnificent' efforts against Northampton on New Year's Day and insisted Andy Williams' stoppage-time winner shouldn't have been allowed to stand.

Bottom-of-the-table Boro, without an away league win all season, were seconds from a vital point on the road after frustrating their promotion-chasing hosts for much of the game.

But Williams broke Stevenage hearts in the fourth minute of injury-time when he out-muscled Ben Nugent, drove into the box and dramatically fired beyond Paul Farman.

Stevenage also conceded a late winner at Plymouth on Sunday, though Westley felt Williams' goal should have been disallowed for a foul in the build-up.

"It's unbelievable," he said afterwards. "I thought our lads were magnificent, they worked for every ball on that pitch, they kept taking the game forward and they had a real drive to go and win it.

"To lose it to the late goal and to lose it to a foul is a horrible feeling. You look at it and Williams has jumped right into (Ben) Nugent and he played the ball a long way second to playing the defender.

"To lose the game to a horrible goal like that in the 94th minute is absolutely demoralising for the players, especially after the late goal the other day.

"But at times like this you get a chance to show your character and I've seen them put in three performances now against Plymouth, Forest Green and today where they've shown great determination, great work ethic and great tactical understanding.

"I think we've got better in the second-half of games and that'll happen as players learn about the manager and the manager learns about his players.

"They've shown a great response in that regard and I'm almost embarrassed to have lost the game and to say credit to the lads - but credit to the lads because they really put in a shift in for the football club.

"By the time we've ironed out one or two details and we've got our match sharpness up to speed, we can expect to win a lot of matches between now and the end of the season."