Player ratings: Barnet v Stevenage

Connor Smith

Connor Smith - Credit: Archant

How did the 28 players used in today’s League Two game get on?


25. Max Crocombe. Joined the club on loan the day before the game. A couple of early clearances with his feet failed to clear the ground, but soon found his footing so to speak. Grew in composure as the game progressed, but wasn’t really tested too often in the second half by Boro. 6

2. Gavin Hoyte. Kept on his toes by Tom Pett in the early stages of the game, but with Jerome Okimo not making too many runs forward Boro weren’t able to test his defensive qualities too often. A steady performance from the one-time Arsenal man. 7

3. Elliot Johnson. Kept Chris Wheldale pretty quiet in the first period, helped by the tracking back of Mauro Vilhete. Could have seen red when he fouled Tom Hitchcock with the score at 2-2 and was the last man. Saw yellow. 6

4. Bira Dembele. Former Stevenage defender continues to look a class act. Composed throughout, and was voted man-of-the-match by the hosts. Almost got on the scoresheet too, but for a superb stop from Jesse Joronen. 7

5. Bondz N’Gala. Another former Stevenage defender. Scored his side’s opening goal, and used his body on a number of occasions to stop Boro’s players from running on beyond him. Strong performance from the centre-half. 7

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7. Andy Yiadom. It was his ball that played in Curtis Weston for a decent chance in the first-half. Rumours are that clubs higher up the league pyramid are looking at him. Showed flashes of why that is the case. 6

8. Curtis Weston. Had a great chance to draw Barnet level when put through in the first-half, only for Jesse Joronen to make the save. Enjoyed a midfield battle with Steven Schumacher and Connor Smith, and made a superb block from Schumacher with the game at 2-2. 7

11. Mauro Vilhete. Worked up and down the wing, but produced very little in the final third. Was replaced on 53 minutes by Luke Gambin. 5

14. Sam Togwell. Went about his business quietly, but helped Barnet to restrict Stevenage’s chances of opening the hosts up through the middle. Was replaced by Michael Gash on 53 minutes. 5

9. John Akinde. The striker was kept quiet in the first half, but in the second half he ran Boro ragged. He set up two goals, and gave both Fraser Franks and Dean Wells a torrid time with his runs down the left. Best player on the pitch. 8

24. Aaron McLean. The veteran striker hustled and bustled, but failed to cause Boro too many problems in the first half. In the second he had one chance – and he took it. A fine finish from the 32-year-old former Peterborough United and Bradford City striker. 7


12. Luke Gambin. Came on as a substitute for Mauro Vilhete 10 minutes into the second half and put Boro under considerable pressure with his running with the ball. A superb attacking display from the substitute. 8

18. Michael Gash. Came on for Sam Togwell and scored the winning goal with a tap-in from a couple of yards. 6

6. Michael Nelson. Came on in the 90th minute to shore up the defence. 5


1. Jesse Joronen. Came off his line to head clear 19 yards out with defenders around him, but next time he was off his line he timed his run better to smother a ball into the box. Smart first-half stop from Weston and a superb late save from Bira Dembele, but could have done better for at least one of Barnet’s goals. 6

5. Fraser Franks. Nice header to put Boro ahead in the first half, but found himself under a lot of pressure from John Akinde in the second period while Luke Gambin also targeted him. Could have done with a little more protection. 6

23. Jerome Okimo. Decent first half against the talented Andy Yiadom. Came out at the start of the second half with a bandaged head. Struggled as the game went on with Barnet pushing bodies down the right. 5

6. Mark Hughes. Commanding display made life difficult for Aaron McLean in the first period, but like Fraser Franks lacked protection in the second as Barnet kept attacking. Made an outstanding block to deny John Akinde in the second period. 7

19. Dean Wells. Signed a new deal with the club last week. Put his body in the way of a couple of shots, but found it more challenging in the second half as Barnet’s attacking play became more relentless. 6

7. Chris Whelpdale. Some good defensive headers when Boro were under pressure after taking a 2-1 lead, but his forward play was stifled somewhat by Elliot Johnson. 5

11. Tom Pett. Plenty of early running in the first period, but was often double-marked by Barnet in the second as he didn’t have Connor Ogilvie’s support with the on-loan Spurs man missing through injury. 6

8. Steven Schumacher. Played the full 90 minutes despite just returning from a hamstring injury. Two of his set pieces set up Boro goals. 6

28. Connor Smith. The on-loan Watford midfielder got the nod ahead of Jack Jebb and the returning Dean Parrett. He was taken off after an hour and with him off the pitch Boro lost some of that protection in front of the back four which Barnet, and especially Luke Gambin, exploited. 7

15. Tom Hitchcock. Scored his second goal for the club, and was brought down by Elliot Johnson with the game at 2-2. Was adamant later on that it should have been a red card for the Barnet man. 6

22. Charlie Lee. Claimed two assists in a decent afternoon’s work. A couple of times he found himself in better positions than team-mates only for them not to pick him out. 7


18. Dean Parrett. Missed last week’s game with a thigh injury. Came off the bench after 60 minutes but wasn’t able to make the type of impact he would have liked. 5

20. Dipo Akinyemi. Replaced Tom Hitchcock with 20 minutes to go, and with Boro under plenty of pressure from the hosts. Had Boro’s only real chance in the final 10 minutes, but scuffed his shot. Looked lively, as he always does. 6

9. Brett Williams. Replaced Charlie Lee with 10 minutes to go but didn’t have much time to impress. 5