When it rains it pours for Westley
IT IS sometimes an overused football cliché, but Stevenage boss Graham Westley could only bemoan football’s cruel nature after Rotherham snatched a late victory at the New York Stadium.
Francois Zoko looked to have earned the visitors a late point when he cancelled out Wes Thomas’ first-half opener but Lee Frecklington snatched an even later winner for the Millers.
And Westley – who felt the first goal should not have stood – insisted his bottom-placed side had deserved more for their efforts on the day.
“I feel for the lads,” he said.“I think they put a lot of work in and they spent themselves.
“Football can be cruel sometimes and it was certainly cruel to us.
“We were devastated not to get the decision for the first goal. We’re not looking for excuses, but our keeper has the ball in his hands.
“I think 99 times out of 100 you will see a freekick given.
“There’s always going to be a sense of real despondency when you have worked so hard to get back in it, but I think we have enough strength of character to be able to respond in the right way.”
With keeper Chris Day losing the ball under pressure from Alex Revell, Thomas fired the hosts in front on 41 minutes after John Mousinho had done brilliantly to block his initial effort.
Stevenage had the better of the second-half with Zoko firing wide within a minute of the restart, and Luke Freeman twice missing the target after doing well to make space.
They looked to have been rewarded for their efforts when Zoko turned in from close-range after Lucas Akins’ flick-on on 87 minutes.
But just moments later Frecklington received the ball from Haris Vuckic on the edge of the box and placed a low finish into the bottom corner to snatch all three points.
And boss Steve Evans said:“It’s pleasing – it’s equally as good a win as we’ve had all season.We were a notch down, and maybe the extended break has not helped.
“But the character in that dressing room, I’ve spoken about for many months. One thing they’ve got is they’re resilient and they’ll run until they’ve got nothing less.
“The character in winning, the togetherness and desire for want of a better word is something we have in that dressing room in abundance.
“Rotherham were not mentioned pre-season, and we’ve just gone about our policy of working hard.
“The play-offs are still the objective and all we can do is keep winning.”
STAR MAN BEN PRINGL