Stevenage manager Graham Westley has backed his side to ‘win a lot of football matches’ and climb away from the relegation zone despite their heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Northampton on New Year’s Day.
Rock-bottom Boro were seconds away from a vital away point when Andy Williams raced through and slammed home a dramatic winner in the 94th minute.
It’s the second stoppage-time winner Stevenage have conceded in the space of four days.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Westley. “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.
“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.”
A relieved Keith Curle felt his side should have had the game wrapped long before Williams’ winner.
“That’s the beauty of being a centre-forward – you get one chance and you put it away and all the headlines are about you,” said Curle.
“It’s always nice to have forward-thinking options on the bench but I thought we created enough chances today to win the game earlier and make it a more comfortable afternoon.
“That started with the chance in the first minute and that’s something we work on in training with Vadaine (Oliver) because we know we’ve got good crossing ability.
‘”He made good contact but if you head it down you score and that might have affected Vadaine because he was disappointed and for 15 minutes he started playing how I don’t like him playing, which is standing still.
“But there’s lots of pleasing things to come out of the game, although there’s still an air of frustration as well because we can do certain things better.
“We need to be more clinical and take more care of the ball in the opposition’s half because we gave it away too cheaply but that’s something we’ll work on and it comes with coaching, improving and educating the players.”