Stevenage boss Steve Evans rages after late Stoke penalty seals Boro's FA Cup fate

By Layth Yousif

30th Jan 2023 | Local Sport

Steve Evans blasts referee after Stevenage's 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Stoke. All pictures licensed to Layth Yousif / Gooner Fanzine courtesy of Offside Sports Photography / Daniel Chesterton. Any unauthorised use will result in breach of copyright (C)
Steve Evans blasts referee after Stevenage's 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Stoke. All pictures licensed to Layth Yousif / Gooner Fanzine courtesy of Offside Sports Photography / Daniel Chesterton. Any unauthorised use will result in breach of copyright (C)

Josh Laurent's long range goal helped Stoke City end Stevenage's thrilling FA Cup run and win through to the fifth round of the world's oldest knockout tournament.

The League Two side, who knocked out Aston Villa in the previous round, levelled through Jamie Reid's equaliser after Jacob Brown had given Stoke an early lead.

Just when Boro's 3,000 travelling fans sensed a repeat of their victory at Villa, Laurent put the Championship team back in front when he cut in from the right and sent a superb left-footed strike past Stevenage keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond.

Lewis Baker sealed Stoke's victory with a penalty - however the spot-kick was controversially awarded by referee David Webb after what looked like a fair challenge on Brown by Jonathan Tomkinson. 

The decision prompted boss Steve Evans to blast the official after the match.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio pitchside after the match, Evans raged: "We don't get a penalty for handball - his arm was out, it's a penalty - and then he gives Stoke a penalty and it's never a penalty. It's a great challenge.

"He's then watching the replay as we kick-off and is running about telling my players he got it wrong. How does that motivate my players to come back in a cup tie? Somebody needs to explain that. 

"He gets it wrong - referees get things wrong, I get things wrong. We all get things wrong. Players do. But you don't run about rubbing people's face in it when there's a cup tie with 15 minutes still to go. 

"The referee effectively kills the cup tie. We made some mistakes as well, but I'm proud of our efforts in the FA Cup

"(Former Premier League referee) Howard Webb did a podcast with me. Phone me, Howard. Phone me and explain why a referee runs about telling players after watching the screen - should he be watching the screen or watching the game? The game's kicked off. 

"Someone needs to know why the referee is running about telling my players 'I've got that horribly wrong'.

RELATED ARTICLE

FA Cup Gallery: Stevenage's thrilling run finally comes to an end at Stoke in front of more than 3,000 travelling Boro fans

"The fourth official was right by me and knew it wasn't a penalty."

     

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