English League 2

Evans: A big three points

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 21:01:00

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew claimed his side simply ran out of steam as they were battered 7-3 by Arsenal in a thrilling clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott grabbed a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Newcastle in a 10-goal epic that sent them to fifth in the Premier League.

Arsenal led three times through goals from Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski, but were pegged back on each occasion by Demba Ba (2) and Sylvain Marveaux.

But Walcott completed his hat-trick and substitute Olivier Giroud got a quickfire double to seal the win.

"I thought when we got back to 3-3 we should have shut up shop," the Newcastle boss said.

"The last 15-20 minutes was a fresh team against a tired team and perhaps a bit of inexperience on our bench resulted in the scoreline.

"We're just so disappointed that we didn't get something out of it before then.

"The goals we conceded before then were not, not good and that's been our problem.

"For 70 minutes it was pretty tight, I thought we were giving a good account of ourselves but their freshness and the brightness towards the end of the game was just too much for us and we couldn't cope."

An own goal by Tom Eckersley after 14 minutes set Rotherham on the road to victory but Craig Lindfield equalised five minutes before the break.

But two goals from substitute Daniel Nardiello in 12 second-half minutes put Rotherham back on track and Michael O'Connor added the fourth 14 minutes from time.

Evans said: "It was an important win for us. It was a big three points. For the first 15 or 20 minutes we were outstanding and if we had taken our chances we would have been five up at the 25 minutes mark.

"But it didn't go in for us and patience was wearing a bit thin and we got a bit disjointed and then their boy hit a strike that would befit the Premier League. From then up to half time we just couldn't get our passing game going.

"But the substitutes came on after the break and all of a sudden there was a spark. It helps when you get a goal and when that second goal went in I thought this could be anything we wanted it to be.

"It was a big win for us in the end because this was an Accrington team that went to Bradford and lost 2-1 with ten men and dominated.

"As soon as the second goal went in our fans saw the class come back to our game, but we are going to have games like this because we have been used to dominating teams at home and away.

"I want to thank the fans today for sticking with us, and over the 90 minutes a true reflection would be seven or eight because we missed four or five in the first 20 minutes."

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