Last-gasp Hughes rescues it for Boro
TEDDY Sheringham didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after Mark Hughes netted his side a last-gasp equaliser at Newport.
Dipo Akinyemi had put Stevenage in front but second-half strikes from Aaron Collins and Scott Boden had turned the game on its head.
And after Hughes’ late intervention earned his side a point, Sheringham was full of mixed emotions.
“Going 2-1 down in a game you are always delighted to get back to 2-2, but at 1-0 we were controlling the game and we are very disappointed that we have not gone on to win it,” he said.
“After going one up we should have gone on to win from there but the momentum of the game changed very quickly after the break and in the end we have to take the point.
“We had spoken at half-time about what could happen if we did not watch ourselves and we had enough experience on the pitch to do that, but you have to give a lot of credit to Newport for the way they came back into the game.
“I can’t fault the character or the attitude of my players and we managed to score a couple of good goals.”
Butcher was also philosophical about the draw, saying: “I didn’t think we were comfortable with set-plays in the first half, and there was always a sting in the tail possible unless we got that third goal. It was a sucker punch, but we could have been out of sight.
“It was a harsh reality check, Stevenage worked better than us and deserved their lead, but the second half display was one of the best I’ve seen from any side that I have coached.”
Sheringham and Butcher have a combined total of almost 130 England caps between them, but their respective sides could have been split by a cigarette paper in a flat first half hour.
County fell behind when a routine punt up field caught their defence too far advanced and Akinyemi raced clear before calmly slotting home, although the same player squandered two further chances before the break. They needed the cushion of a second, because the Exiles equalised just prior to the hour when teenager Collins levelled, who like Akinyemi bagged for the first time in the Football League.
Boden then looked to have had the last laugh, lashing home after being set up by his strike partner Collins with ten minutes left. But Stevenage found an equaliser deep into injury time, Hughes scrambling home.
It was a painful lesson for the youthful Exiles who had a great chance at the death squandered by Regan Poole.
STAR MAN SCOTT BODEN Newpo