IT’S SARLL FOR YOU, DARREN TELLS FANS
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