Player ratings: Who stood out for Stevenage as they draw at Colchester United

Luke Wilkinson. Picture: Danny Loo

Luke Wilkinson. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A mistake from goalkeeper Joe Fryer cost Stevenage all three points as they battle to a 1-1 draw with Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Danny Newton opened the scoring with his second goal of the season but Colchester equalised through Mikael Mandron after Fryer rushed from his goal and failed to recover.

But how did Stevenage play overall? Who impressed? This is how we saw it:

Joe Fryer, 5 - Had a quiet first-half but made a brilliant save low to his right just before the break. The shot stopper on loan from Middlesbrough made a huge error for Colchester’s equaliser, rushing out of his goal, finding himself in no man’s land and not getting back to his goal. While his mistake meant Boro had to settle for a draw, the young ‘keeper will learn from his afternoon in Essex.

Ronnie Henry, 6 - Offered very little going forward but was his usual dependable self at the back. The Stevenage captain could have tracked the run that led to the opening goal better but, the mistake by Fryer was to blame.

Fraser Franks, 6 - Had a quiet game at the back and missed a couple of headed chances from set pieces. Not his best performance in a Stevenage shirt but by no means his worst. Solid and dependable as always.

Luke Wilkinson, 7 - Was in a constant battle with Mikael Mandron and dealt with him well. Provided a calm and composed presence at the back, while also looking strong and dominate. The central defender will be a key player for Boro this season.

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Joe Martin, 7 - Looked good going back and forward. Set up Danny Newton’ goal with a good run, clever flick and accurate pass. Made some telling defensive contributions with some crucial tackles and interceptions. Looks to be a good addition to the team.

Chris Whelpdale, 6 - Worked hard defensively, helping out Henry on the right. Tried to get forward whenever he could and found himself in a constant battle with Cole Kpekawa. He struggled to create much because of this. Came off at half-time with an injury.

Dale Gorman, 6 - His set piece delivery was poor but he dictated play well from deep. The youngster is showing signs of promise and will only improve by learning from the clubs more experienced central midfielders.

Jonathan Smith, 8 - My man of the match on his league debut. Made some tough tackles as he looked to assert his dominance in the middle of the park. Played some good passes and kept Boro ticking over. Worked hard but did looked a bit off the pace against Colchester quicker players. Despite this, he looks to be a good signing who could add real steel in the middle of park and bring much needed experience to a young side.

Harry Beautyman, 6 - Had a quiet game. Worked hard and played some clever passes in the final third but created very little before being replaced by Tom Pett in the final 10 minutes.

Danny Newton, 7 - Worked very hard and got his reward. He pressed Colchester constantly and chased every ball. He took his goal well, volleying on the turn into the bottom corner inside the penalty area. He did struggle when the ball was played to his feet, but he will be happy with his goal and performance.

Matt Godden, 6 - Made some good moves in behind but didn’t have the service he needed. Last season top scorer had no clear cut chances but looked lively in his movement as he continues to make a return to full fitnees. Replace by Ben Kennedy on the hour.


Alex Samuel, 7 - Came on for Whelpdale at half-time and immediately looked to run at Colchester’s right wing-back. Was a danger throughout the second-half and looks like a player of real promise.

Ben Kennedy, 7 - Put in a lively performance on his return from injury. He was a constant threat to the Colchester defence with his direct running, good footwork and clever turns. Forced an important save from Sam Walker in the Colchester late on. Darren Sarll will be happy to see him back.

Tom Pett, N/A- Didn’t have time to impose himself on the game.

Colchester United: Sam Walker 6, Tom Eastman 6, Frankie Kent 6, Cole Kpekawa 6, Ryan Jackson 6, Sean Murray 6 Tom Lapslie 5, Kyel Reid 7,

Drey Wright 6, Mikael Mandron 8, Sammie Szmodics 6.

Substitutes: Lewis Kinsella 6, Craig Slater 6, Doug Loft 6.

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