Loan Watch: Joseph Anang the penalty shoot-out hero for Stevenage
Joseph Anang was the penalty shoot-out hero for Stevenage as they defeated local rivals Luton Town in the Carabao Cup first round on Tuesday evening.
The West Ham United goalkeeper has made a flying start to life at The Boro with four clean sheets in six games prior to the visit of the Hatters, albeit with three of those shut-outs in pre-season fixtures.
Nevertheless, Anang followed up a clean sheet on his Football League debut on Saturday with two excellent penalty stops against Luton on Tuesday to seal his adopted team’s place in the next round – a shock, given their League Two status against Championship opposition.
Elliot List had given the home team the lead inside two minutes at the Lamex Stadium after he rounded the goalkeeper, but Luton hit back three minutes later through Cameron Jerome’s glancing header from a free-kick.
Stevenage regained the lead inside the first half when Ben Coker fired a 20-yard free-kick through a crowd of bodies and into the back of the net, only for Admiral Muskwe to equalise for Luton five minutes before half-time with a close-range finish.
Luton ought to have won the game inside regulation time when Harry Cornick slid the ball wide in the closing minutes after running through, but a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes brought the game to penalties.
And it was from 12 yards that Anang provided his heroics as Luton failed to score any one of their three penalties, whilst Stevenage converted all three of theirs.
🍿 Last night's penalty shootout... in FULL! 💯 pic.twitter.com/XAUnFijsyT— Stevenage FC 🔴⚪ (@StevenageFC) August 11, 2021
In front of the North Stand, the 21-year-old goalkeeper saved both Cornick’s and Mendes Gomes’ efforts with low, plunging stops, with Dion Pereira also firing his kick over the bar to send Stevenage through.
Manager Alex Revell told club media: “The round of applause the players gave him in the dressing room will live with him I’m sure for the rest of his life.
“It was a huge moment. We asked him to be a leader and a real man, and I thought that the way he dealt with the game was exceptional. We’re really pleased with him because he’s a fantastic lad.”
Anang’s excellence has immediately endeared him to his new supporters, and he’ll hope to continue his good run of form when Stevenage travel to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Nathan Holland will hope to be involved when Oxford United take on Burton Albion in the same competition on Wednesday evening, whilst Nathan Trott’s AS Nancy are also on the road, travelling to Bastia for a Ligue 2 fixture.