Danny Scopes hails Concord Rangers’ display at Stevenage despite defeat
Concord Rangers manager Danny Scopes was bursting with pride at his side’s performance after they came close to producing an FA Cup upset at Stevenage
The Beach Boys, who play in National League South, twice come from behind against their Sky Bet League Two opponents at the Lamex Stadium in what was an enthralling 2-2 draw.
They came within one brilliant save from Boro goalkeeper Jamie Cumming at the end of extra time of reaching the second round for the first time of their history before the hosts’ held their nerve during the 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory.
Scopes said: “I think the boys gave everything and to go behind twice and come back the way they did and to show the character that they showed was outstanding.
“We were never going to have loads of the ball, we knew that, but I was a little bit disappointed with the second half.
“I thought we played well, but I thought we could have been a little bit brave at times with our first pass.
“I know that Stevenage haven’t had a great start to the season, but they’re full-time footballers and we had to respect that.
“We’ve got a bit of experience but we’re also quite young in a lot of areas.
“We had a game plan of how we wanted to play and I think the boys executed that really well.
“To not lose any period of the game was very important and to only lose on penalties, I think we can be proud of that.”
Stevenage went ahead through a deflected effort from Ben Coker but Concord equalised just before half-time through a poacher’s finish from Alex Wall.
Once the tie went into extra time, Danny Newton restored the Stevenage’s lead from close range, only for Odei Martin to force penalties with a header from Lamar Reynolds’ cross.
Tosan Popo unfortunately proved to be the fall guy of the shoot-out, as he was the only player to miss, with Cumming saving his spot kick.
A relieved Stevenage boss Alex Revell said: “Not what we really wanted, but ultimately for us our main focus was to be in the hat for the next round.
“There have obviously been shocks today and we didn’t want to be one of them, so it was important for us.
“We had some really good spells, but we also had some poor bits in the game that led to us conceding goals, so there is loads to work on, but ultimately it was all about getting through and we’ve managed to do that.
“We’re delighted to get through – there’s loads to look at and work on, but sometimes these games, where you’re expected to win, are tough.”