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Alex Revell hails Jack Aitchison for equaliser after Christmas in isolation

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Alex Revell (PA Wire)

Stevenage boss Alex Revell praised forward Jack Aitchison for sacrificing his Christmas to help earn a creditable point at promotion-chasing Cheltenham

Revell’s side were returning to action after being forced to postpone two matches due to cases of Covid-19 in their squad.

And Aitchison, who is on loan from Barnsley, spent Christmas Day isolating in a hotel to ensure he could take part in the match.

He went on from the bench to level 10 minutes from time after Liam Sercombe’s spectacular opener for the home side in the first half.

“Jack showed what a top talent he is, with real quality – it was a fantastic finish,” Revell said.

“When you give him the ball anything can happen and he deserved it because he spent Christmas Day in the hotel on his own.

“That shows how committed he is to doing well here and that was a tough day for him, but it also shows you get your rewards.”

Former Celtic youngster Aitchison found the bottom right corner from 20 yards.

Cheltenham had not scored in their previous three League Two outings but Sercombe ended the drought in fine style, smashing into the top right corner from the edge of the box in the 28th minute.

After opening the scoring Cheltenham were on top for much of the second half with Matty Blair’s low effort deflected just wide.

Alfie May saw a shot crash against the bar and down in the 61st minute but referee Christopher Sarginson did not think it had crossed the line despite Cheltenham’s appeals.

The closest either side were to a winner after Aitchison’s fine leveller was when May forced Jamie Cummings into a double save in the 84th minute.

Revell felt his side could easily have snatched an unlikely three points after a turbulent 10 days.

“Away from home after the week and a half we’ve had it was a solid performance,” he said.

“In the second half I felt it was a matter of time because we got the ball in good areas and we did have chances to win it, with a couple of breakaways.

“They’ve never let us down in terms of work rate, energy and commitment, we have just lacked quality in the final third and that’s what Jack added when he came on.”

Cheltenham remain fourth and their manager Michael Duff said: “It’s an opportunity missed.

“We go 1-0 up and then we hit the underside of the crossbar and I don’t know if it’s in or not, but they have scored with their only shot on target, so it feels like we are a bit down on our luck at the minute.

“I have just said that to the players and it’s a weird feeling, but ultimately it’s another point on the board.

“That’s not me trying to cover things up because we haven’t been as good as we have been for most of the season so far.”

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