Evatt delighted as half-time changes spark first win for caretaker

If tonight's game at the Proact was supposed to be a meaningless affair, no one told Ian Evatt.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 11:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 11:46 pm
Caretaker boss Ian Evatt was a happy man at the full-time whistle.
Caretaker boss Ian Evatt was a happy man at the full-time whistle.

The caretaker boss was a happy man after his side put a poor first half behind them to beat Newport County 1-0 at the Proact.

It was the final home game of the season for the relegated Spireites and up until the interval it had a 0-0 draw, at best, written all over it.

But Evatt made a double change at the break, introducing Robbie Weir and Jacob Brown and the pair helped give the hosts real momentum.

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Once on the front foot, Town went ahead through top goalscorer Kristian Dennis and in the end could have won by at least a couple of goals.

"Really happy," said Evatt, who sang the praises of his half-time replacements.

"Obviously first half didn't go to plan so I had to make some changes. Second half the lads were fantastic, really took on board what we wanted.

"We gave them some clarity, who to press and when, their efforts were brilliant and we probably deserved to win by more than one in the end.

"They (Brown and Weir) were brilliant. It just wasn't working first half, we were two yards off the pace, weren't getting pressure on the ball like I wanted and I had to change it.

"I can't speak highly enough of Browny and Robbie when they came on.

"Browny was fantastic, he gave me all that pace and direction I was after and proved to me he wants to be at this football club.

"For a young lad to come on in difficult circumstances and play like that is a credit to himself.

"Robbie gave us that solidity in the middle of the pitch.

"As a manager it's down to me to make changes, I've done that and it looks good for me because we've won 1-0 but it's the players who have taken it on board, come out for the second half and really dug in for me."

Evatt was unable to give any insight into the club's search for a permanent manager, instead choosing to focus on his next task in hand - Barnet away in the season finale.

"It couldn't have gone much better (tonight). I'm learning on the job, I'm enjoying it.

"We can't get away from the fact that it's been a bitterly disappointing season.

"All we can do is go to Barnet, try and get another win and hopefully go into the summer with a better mood and a bit of a better spirit."

The one sour note of the victory was the sight of Millwall loanee Sid Nelson being helped from the pitch after colliding with the post making a goal-line clearance.

Evatt doesn't believe the centre-half will feature at the weekend.

"I think he clashed with the post, it's quite a nasty injury, he's very sore at the minute.

"It was fantastic defending to clear it off the line, put his body on the line. That's what I demand and these fans demand and if players do that they'll get the utmost respect from me and the rest of the supporters.

"I wouldn't think he'd play Saturday."