The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By An­drew Pen­man

STEVE­NAGE man­ager Dar­ren Sarll ded­i­cated this first home win since Septem­ber to the long-suf­fer­ing fans at the Lamex Sta­dium.

Sarll’s men had lost seven out of their last eight home games be­fore former boss Gra­ham West­ley brought his base­ment boys New­port County to Broad­hall Way.

But the vic­tory was never in doubt as Matt God­den’s hat-trick sealed a first three points at home since Craw­ley Town left empty-handed on Septem­ber 10.

“It’s been a very long wait and I’m so proud of the play­ers,” said a de­lighted Sarll. “To come out and play against a Gra­ham West­ley side, some­one who’s got so many con­nec­tions with the club, I was re­ally proud of their fo­cus and brav­ery.

“The fans have been so sup­port­ive and so many times they have re­it­er­ated their back­ing of me and their back­ing of the play­ers. They have en­joyed the per­for­mances at home, even if the re­sults haven’t gone for us since Septem­ber.

“The East Ter­race have re­ally driven us on and been the 12th man. They’ve been bril­liant, and that per­for­mance on be­half of the play­ers and the staff is for the sup­port­ers of Steve­nage Foot­ball Club.”

God­den fin­ished off Steven Schu­macher’s de­fence-split­ting pass with a flour­ish on nine min­utes and punished vis­it­ing goal­keeper Joe Day for dawdling on the ball to fire into an empty net just be­fore the break.

And he wrapped up the tre­ble from the spot af­ter New­port sub­sti­tute Dan But­ler brought down Ben Kennedy in the box.

The re­sult means New­port re­main bot­tom of the League Two ta­ble and five points from safety, while Steve­nage move up two places to 13th.

“We played re­ally well, we passed it well and we had a re­ally sharp edge to us,” added Sarll.

“It’s Matt God­den’s first Foot­ball League hat-trick and he was fan­tas­tic, but Dale Gor­man was mag­nif­i­cent in the mid­dle of the pitch.”

But­ler hit a late con­so­la­tion goal for the vis­i­tors and West­ley felt his side showed that they demon­strated the fight they’ll need in the battle to beat the drop.

This was an eighth suc­ces­sive league de­feat for the Ex­iles who re­main five points from safety at the bot­tom but West­ley, who started with five new sign­ings, is op­ti­mistic.

“It was a very pos­i­tive af­ter­noon,” he said.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to start the game with five new lads in the side.

“That new­ness was al­ways go­ing to cre­ate a few mis­un­der­stand­ings here and there.

“We found our way back into the game but then we had the killer blow just be­fore half-time with the to­tally un­char­ac­ter­is­tic er­ror by the goal­keeper.

“The penalty was soft but we didn’t drop our heads. We showed char­ac­ter, strength and re­silience to fight back and get our goal.

“So for me there were lots of pos­i­tives.”


STAR MAN MATT GOD­DEN Steve­nage GLOVELY: Matt God­den is leapt upon by Dale Gor­man af­ter scor­ing his sec­ond goal

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