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Steve Evans calls for VAR in the EFL after ‘huge game-changing error’ in defeat at Blackpool

Steve Evans calls for VAR in the EFL after a ‘huge game-changing error’ in their 3-0 defeat at Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.

The Stevenage manager urges the introduction of VAR after a controversial moment which saw Evans’ side have a goal ruled out for offside.

With with the home team leading by a goal to nil seconds before half time, Jamie Reid scored what looked to everyone watching a perfectly good goal, only for a very late assistant referee’s flag to rule the goal out for offside.

Stevenage manager Steve Evans said: “It looked clearly onside. The assistant referee flagged terribly late, so the entire team was celebrating.

“The video replay clearly shows it onside, and once again, we are on the wrong end of a really poor decision, just like away at Bolton last week.

“The Head of Referees at the EFL has already looked at the video footage, and first thing this morning, he rang me to apologise refutably.

“We seem to be on the wrong end of these big decisions this season. I struggle to find a coincidence.

“The EFL needs VAR at the earliest opportunity as the officiating is not at the level it needs to be.

“I read last week that Emma Hayes at Chelsea FC Women called for VAR in the Women’s Super League, and I completely support her case. It is frustrating to work all week and consistently watch very poor decisions like yesterday have such an impact”.

Ollie Norburn saw his shot from range deflecting off Jordan Rhodes and into the back of the net to put the hosts ahead on 38 minutes.

On the verge of half time, Stevenage had the ball in the back of the net, Jamie Reid heading the ball past the keeper, however, a late flag was raised by the Assistant to deny Boro’s number nineteen.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Tangerines saw Kenny Dougall’s free kick from thirty yards crashed against the crossbar.

A fortunate goal doubled Blackpool’s lead on 60 minutes, Owen Dale aimed from the edge of the area with his effort taking a huge deflection and flying into the back of the net.

Stevenage tried to get back in the game, but with over ten minutes to go, Blackpool scored their third of the afternoon, CJ Hamilton firing into the top corner.

The result leaves Stevenage 5th in League One with 21 points from 13 games played, while Blackpool are 7th with 19 points from 12 played.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said post-match: “It’s different this season. We’re getting more of the ball and I want us to be a team with the ball, the best form of defence is attack and when you’ve got the ball, you can decide what happens on the pitch more often than not.

“I know the supporters want to see attacking football and excitement and sometimes that takes a little bit of patience and you have to work for that. If you look at the second and third goals, the second goal is from passing the ball at the back and it goes back to Dan Grimshaw and then to James Husband and you draw them on to you, that then leaves the space in behind for Sonny Carey to run.

“That looks like a long kick down the pitch, it’s not, it’s something that we work on. Sonny slides the ball into Owen Dale and we get that little bit of fortune for the goal. Then the third goal again, you can’t keep going forward all of the time and I understand some of the frustration of us playing backwards and sideways, but we’ve got control of the game and we want to be a team that is possession-based and controlling games with the ball.

“In my previous time here it was more without the ball and that’s the evolution of this group now. I thought the third goal was a fantastic team goal, really patient, we’ve drawn them out and it’s a lovely one-two with Jordan and CJ Hamilton on the side. But to create that opportunity, you have to make those passes first otherwise you don’t create that space and we did that. A brilliant team goal that capped off a great performance.

“The foundation in the end was because we competed so well in the game. You could see early on in the game what the questions are that Stevenage ask of you with their style of play and you know they ask a lot of questions of you defensively. They get the ball up the field quickly and get a lot of bodies around it, you have to compete for first and second balls and we thought we did that extremely well.

“That gave us a chance to get some control in the game and we did and started to grow into the game with a couple of opportunities. A good first goal, which looks quite fortuitous but if you look back again, Jordan Rhodes is always on the half turn, always looking for someone to shoot and get the rebound and he deflects it in.

“There was a little warning sign before half time which is what they do, keeping the ball alive particularly with corners and we probably had a little bit of fortune in that moment but we deserve that with some of the other decisions that have gone against us this year.

“The second and third goals were really good footballing goals so, to keep a clean sheet and score three goals, that’s a really good day. I think that’s one defeat in six, we should’ve won last week and we’re moving forward.”

This is how fans reacted as Steve Evans calls for VAR in the EFL after a ‘huge game-changing error’ in their defeat at Blackpool…

@FanHubHatter: And all the lower league clubs are going to spend the money on upgrading their stadiums etc to put VAR in? Does he realise it doesn’t get put in for free?

@jakerobbo05: Not exactly game changing you got slapped up by cj Hamilton

@rhjbm05: Yeah it was onside. Luckily for you it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as we would have still slapped you up 2nd half. It looked offside in real time to me, so a perfectly reasonable mistake from the linesman.

@Jonty72FY1: Game changing are decisions like Wycombe away where their goal stood and ours didn’t, both errors by officials as noted after by the panel. Part and parcel in this league as it is in the championship and lower leagues.

@Billythefifth: Nobody wants VAR thanks

@OllyAllen5: Why ruin what makes the lower leagues. I disagree completely

@NatVanChudleigh: By far the worst thing Evans has done since joining our club.

@JackSlater_11: This is bad look. Yes the decision was terrible but we were poor, deservedly lost the match.

@dom_flood: Ye not a fan of this. Problems would be solved if we had competent refs and linos, VAR should be nowhere near the lower leagues

@Garswoodlatic: …because VAR really works, doesn’t it? 🤔 And as for the utter hypocrisy criticising a referee after last week against Wigan… I’m speechless!

@SfcDanny: Evans needs to stop blaming officials every week and focus on getting the team playing football. It happens to every club and VAR will be pointless because it won’t make no difference what so ever. We were crap yesterday need to accept we wasn’t good enough and move onto the next

@SFC_Interviews: Agree something needs to be done but don’t agree with that being VAR, it won’t stop wrong decisions from being made because of the quality of officials not being good enough it’ll just add even more time onto games

@ChrisLukeJones: Abso fucking lutely not I don’t want to give these morons more opportunities to fuck it up

@a_cheevers6: All this does is add fuel to the fire. Yes, it’s frustrating to be on the end of bad decisions, but I’m a believer in bad decisions being evened out over a season. The issue ultimately lies with the officials.

@TSFCPodcast: Completely understand the frustration! The officials have been appalling, yesterday once again! Not sure VAR would be good for the EFL!

@buzzisbackCUFC: Steve Evans wants VAR? I wonder how that’d have worked out for him over the course of his career 😂

@ftfcknappers: I actually really like Steve Evans, and what he’s done for Stevenage is fantastic… But if we get VAR it would ruin the EFL. First thing that has to be done is FULL TIME REFEREES!! We haven’t even got goal line technology, that would be another MUST!!

@IanC1959: Would hate to see VAR. We lost and by most accounts were awful, just move on to the next game.

@Bluecat74Davies: Is he taking the piss ?! Was he not there against Wigan last week ?

@hangover1990: We were shit. One decision wether it was right or wrong wasn’t gonna change the fact we’d of still lost. Come on Steve. Focus on getting the boys on playing football

@NatureDales: It would ruin the game like it has top level. Horrendous.

@SFC_Copey: Whilst it was an awful decision. This just sounds bitter. Delete

@DanAuton2590: No VAR is a redeeming feature of the EFL, It’s one of the small amount of good things it has going for it, don’t ruin lower league football because of one bad call in a game you got hammered in anyway, take your L and move on like everyone else does #NoVAR

@michelle_jevons: Does he ever stop moaning? Same old Evans 🙄

@chris_lomas14: Game changer boys? You lost 3-0 let it go Jesus move on with your lives it’s really not that deep. Acting like VAR is the best did you lot not see the Liverpool spurs game?

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