Ronnie Moore witnessed Hartlepool United’s eighth home League Two defeat of the season and said: “I didn’t see that sort of performance coming”.
“We’re devastated, when you look at how important this game was,” said Moore.
We looked a bag of nerves, we gave the ball away, we were slashing at balls at the edge of our box.
“I could not believe the first 35 to 40 minutes.
“We spoke beforehand about getting Stevenage turned and getting in behind their defence.
“But we didn’t cause them any problems. We needed to pass and play and get Luke James in with his pace.
“But we looked a bag of nerves, we gave the ball away, we were slashing at balls at the edge of our box.
“Our keeper’s made two world class saves but we’ve not done well for their first goal, making bad decisions.
“Yes, it’s a helluva strike from the lad but we’ve let him keep coming in and coming in on his left foot and he’s ended up putting it in the top corner.
“We then talk at half-time about how we’re going to come out and put it right and we concede such a sloppy goal. I didn’t see that sort of performance coming.”
Moore was pleased with the fight Pools showed and thought after Paynter had finished well from Jordan Richards’ cross that they could go on and win it.
“We got a goal back from Billy and at that point, I thought we’d be the side who would go on to win it,” he said.
“But they sat deep - they’d done the hard work to get two up and they’ve said to us ‘come and break us down’.
“We’ve had one or two chances but haven’t taken them.”