Stevenage boss says grand-kids will hear about the ‘magical’ FA Cup upset for years

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Stevenage boss Steve Evans said their 2-1 FA Cup upset of Aston Villa on Sunday is a tale he will tell his grandchildren for years after his fourth-tier club knocked out the Premier League side in the third round.

Villa were leading 1-0 at home until the 88th minute when Jamie Reid converted a penalty to equalise before Dean Campbell grabbed a 90th-minute winner to pull off the shock of the weekend. Evans hailed the fitness of his squad for going toe-to-toe with a top-flight team, saying they have hearts that are the size of Big Ben, as they booked a fourth-round tie away at Stoke City.

“I’ve got grandkids, little Joseph, James and Mimi will be hearing about it in the next few years,” Evans said.

“I’ve had some magical moments, I’ve been in charge of lots of wins over Championship (second-tier) clubs, but if you come away to a Premier League club like Aston Villa, it’s magical for the players, the chairman and for the town of Stevenage to see over 3 000 fans and winning the way we did,” he added.

For Villa, it was an eighth consecutive loss in the competition being knocked out each time in the third round, the round at which Premier League teams enter the competition. The 2015 runners-up last reached the fourth round in 2016.

World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez was an unused substitute on Villa’s bench and Evans said the Argentina goalkeeper, who played under him when he was once on loan at Rotherham United, gave him a hug afterwards.