Stevenage v Oxford United player ratings

Teddy Sheringham on the sidelines

Teddy Sheringham on the sidelines - Credit: Archant

Read the Comet player ratings for Stevenage v Oxford United

Jesse Joronen: 6, Swamped during Oxford United’s energetic start. Did his best to hold firm through their incessant attacking which left his defence shellshocked. Superb penalty save as he showed great anticipation and agility in diving full length to his right to keep the ball out – but in reality could little about the five goals he conceded.

4 Jamie McCombe: 4.5, Was ref Swarbey harsh in sending off the defender after his tussle with Roofe in the box which led to a second penalty for Oxford? Michael Appleton insisted to me after the match the sending off did not change the course of the game as Oxford would have won anyway – and it was hard to argue with his assertion.

5 Fraser Franks: 5, Showed character after the former Luton man received lengthy treatment for a smash on the nose. But after a quick shirt change from his blood-soaked top he bravely came back on. Never hid in a traumatic second half.

8 Mark Hughes (c): 5, Did the best he could to martial his men during the impressive blitz that came from the visitors in the first 20 minutes and again in the second half. Showed good timing in last ditch interceptions – but another who was left shocked by Oxford’s high tempo performance.

7 Chris Whelpdale: 5.5, Superbly executed goal as he capitalised on a defensive error to lob the lob into an unguarded net from 40 yards out on the left. Always tried to get involved but, like all his colleagues, will want to forget this match.

11 Tom Pett: 5, Unlucky not to score with a second half screamer which Slocombe did well to palm over. Industrious but at times ineffective when well placed.

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15 Michael Tonge: 4.5, Impressive debut at Portsmouth for the former Sheffield United man but was swamped by the Oxford midfield and struggled to make an impact. He can have no complaints about his ill-disciplined tackle on Lundstrom – Sheringham needs more composure from his experienced men.

18 Dean Parrett: 5, Good delivery from crosses and in wide situations. Worked as hard as he always does. Subbed for Kennedy late on.

23 Jerome Okimo: 4.5, Left bewildered by Oxford’s blitz in the early stages as he struggled to maintain his line and keep his defensive shape. Never gave up but looked ponderous at times in his positioning.

31 Arnaud Gnanduillet: 5, Not involved as much as he would have liked. Good at playing with his back to goal and holding the ball up well but another who will want to wipe the memory of this game from his mind.

32 Tom Conlon, n/a: Unfortunate for the highly-rated youngster as boss Sheringham hooked him on the half hour after McCombe’s unfortunate sending off.

Subs

Ronnie Henry, 5: On for Tom Conlon on 28 minutes. Involved in a lot of Stevenage’s workload both defensively and offensively. Battled well.

Ben Kennedy, n/a: On for the hard working Dean Parrett. Not much time to make an impact.

Dipo Akimyemi, n/a: On for Boro’s goalscorer Whelpdale with seconds remaining.

Oxford United

1 Sam Slocombe, 6.5: The men in front of him shielded him by their superb attacking display – because he didn’t look particularly impressive in the air or in organising his defence. Partly responsible for Whelpdale’s goal through a lack of communication with his defence. Redeemed himself with a great save from a Pett shot in the second half but would have liked to have seen him put under pressure far more than he was.

2 George Baldock, 8: Pacey right back who impressed by his willingness to support his attack down the flank. Solid defensively and never afraid to get stuck in even after rare errors. Teamed up well down the right flank with McDonald.

3 Joe Skarz: 8, Very reliable left back. Came forward when he needed to but was also happy to hold his line – whereas his counterpart on the right, Baldock acted like an auxillary wing back at times.

4) Kemar Roofe, 9: Supplemented his forwards impressively by looking to attack when appropriate. Great vision and technique. Unlucky to hit the post late on in the first half, and again early in the second half after his curling shot just went past the post. Take note of this lad if he gives a performance like that every week.

5 Johnny Mullins (c), 8: Tidy and composed and always alert to danger. As captain he can be proud of his team’s – and his – efforts as Oxford deservedly eased into second place in League Two.

8 Liam Sercombe, 8.5: Exceptional at driving forward and adept at utilising his creativity to full effect. Impressive and influential. A very minor quibble but did his short run up inhibit his penalty taking skills as Joronen made a great save to keep the ball out?

10 Danny Hylton, 8: Another who looked impressive, but was also happy to drop deep and help out defensively when required, especially at set pieces, as Boro tried to use their obvious strengths in the air. Unfortunate propensity to go to ground when it looked as if he could stay on his feet – occasionally to the detriment of his team’s attacks.

11 Alex MacDonald, 8.5: Lively start from the stocky but powerful forward who was unlucky not to net a couple for the visitors during their high-intensity opening. Yet another who impressed with his superb attacking which put Stevenage on the back foot from the off.

18 John Lundstram, 8.5: Architect of many attacks as his power and industry left Stevenage battling to stay in the game in the early stages. Another player who deserves to play at a higher level.

20 Ryan Taylor, 8.5: Fully deserved his ovation from the vociferous travelling support after his two goals. Influential and full of quality – as part of the best team to play Stevenage this season.

33 Chey Dunkley, 8.5: Looked to play the ball on the ground. Good pace and positioning allowed him to cope with rare Stevenage second half attacks as they attempted to put the Oxford backline under pressure.

Subs:

Callum O’Dowda on for Alex MacDonald. Full of running.

AJ George for the impressive Kemar Roofe. Looked lively.

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