Crunch Southend second leg “what we’re in football for” says Chris Beardsley

Chris Beardsley

Chris Beardsley - Credit: Archant

With the scores delicately poised at 1-1 following Stevenage and Southend United’s tense League 2 play-off semi-final first leg on Sunday night, striker Chris Beardsley says the return leg at Roots Hall is the kind of occasion that motivates players.

Dean Parrett beautifully curled Boro into the lead six minutes after the break, but the Shrimpers scored a valuable equaliser through a towering Barry Corr header on the hour.

With both sides within touching distance of a showpiece final at Wembley on Saturday, May 23, Beardsley knows Thursday night is all or nothing.

Beardsley told the Comet: “We go there and it’s 1-1 at half-time, and we’ve got 90 minutes of football, maybe a bit more.

“We’re going there to do the job and win the game. We’ve got three days to prepare ourselves, get physically and mentally right and get the game plan together.

“It’s what we’re in football for. We’re determined to get to win the game, and then Wembley comes after that.”

The 31-year-old missed Stevenage’s 2-0 defeat at Southend way back in August through injury and he knows he, and his team-mates, will hope they have left their best performance of the season until last.

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He continued: “Unfortunately I was injured and I wasn’t there, but I think we’re a different animal from Southend away on the second weekend of the season.

“We’ve grown as a squad, as individuals, and I’m sure it’ll be a different game on Thursday night. Play-off football is like cup football and we’ll be ready.

“We’ve had a lot of lads gain a lot of experience this season, a lot of experienced lads getting fit as the season’s gone on. We go on Thursday night and hopefully we can put in our best performance of the season so far. It’s what we’re in it for. It’s nights like this you want to be in football for.”