Michael Duff frustrated despite Cheltenham’s victory over Stevenage



Posted Sunday, September 08, 2019 by PA

Michael Duff frustrated despite Cheltenham’s victory over Stevenage

Michael Duff was left feeling frustrated despite seeing his Cheltenham side continue their fine home run with a 4-2 win over winless Stevenage.

The Robins boss felt they should have killed off their visitors in the first half after Gavin Reilly’s 22nd-minute opener.

But Danny Newton equalised twice for the away side in the second half to cancel out Reilly’s goal and Sean Long’s strike before late goals from Ryan Broom and Alex Addai settled an entertaining affair.

“The overriding emotion, weirdly, is a bit of frustration,” Duff said.

“We let them off the hook first half and should have been three, four or five up even.

“Then we knew what was coming and we didn’t deal with it, which was the disappointing thing.

“It’s almost relief at the end of it that we have got ourselves out of jail.

“It was a strange game. We moved the ball and they couldn’t get near us first half.

“We got in every which way possible and got in some great positions, but couldn’t quite finish them off.

“The second half was a completely different game but there was a little bit of character shown and it’s very easy to lose those games after it goes to 2-2 as you think ‘it’s not our day’.  I was pleased with that.”

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria felt his team showed a vast improvement after half-time.

“The first half was terrible, but in the second half we came flying out of the blocks,” Maamria said.

“In terms of going forward we looked a threat, scored two and could’ve had more.

“But we didn’t get the breaks we deserved to score a third and they hit us on the counter attack.

“You could see the effort and determination in that second half. We just have to work harder on the training ground.

“We’ve got no excuses. We need to work harder defensively if we want to keep clean sheets.

“Their fourth goal was about five yards offside, I was in line with it. But it didn’t matter at that point so it’s not worth talking about.”

Reilly fired in Cheltenham’s first in the 22nd minute after Luke Varney’s flick on from a long clearance by goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

Stevenage levelled in the 48th minute when Chris Stokes teed up Joel Byrom and his cross was nodded into the bottom left corner by Newton, who had come on midway through the opening period following an injury to Scott Cuthbert.

Chris Clements’ ball forward was well controlled by Broom, who squared for Long to net the first goal of his professional career in the 57th minute.

Newton equalised for a second time in the 72nd minute but Broom fired home after Chris Hussey’s fine ball in from the left with 10 minutes to go.

Addai then raced onto Broom’s through ball in time added on and finished confidently, despite suspicions of offside.

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