Stevenage v Southend United Player Ratings

Stevenage's goalscoring hero Dean Parrett.

Stevenage's goalscoring hero Dean Parrett. - Credit: Archant

Read our Comet player ratings from Stevenage’s first leg play-off against Southend United

Chris Day: 8. Chairman Phil Wallace filed for planning permission for a new signature North Stand – with such consistency and safe handling the goalkeeping veteran will play in front of it. Good distribution, a calm head with the defence under pressure at times, and tremendous point blank reflex saves show the 39 year-old is still very an integral part of the team.

Bira Dembele (c): 8. Graham Westley called for brave hearts in his pre-match programme notes - and no-one was braver than Dembele. Showed tremendous courage in playing on after what was a horrific clash of heads with Shrimper Michael Timlin which saw him lay motionless for more than five minutes. Thankfully the powerful defender stirred and fully deserved the crowd’s standing ovation on coming back on with a head swathed in bandages. Subbed at half-time for Ashton.

Andy Bond: 7.5. Never afraid to put his body on the line for the cause, putting his head in with flying boots when required. Solid.

Chris Whelpdale: 7.5. Has played his way out of this division before and with such a sterling performance who can say he won’t again? Not the fastest but more than made up for it with exquisite timing through interceptions, blocks and last ditch sliding tackles. Won important duels in the second half.


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Tom Pett: 7. Made a useful high tempo start and despite a dip always showed a willingness to work hard. Subbed for Tom Conlon late on.

Dean Parrett: 8. Scored in the 4-2 victory over the Essex outfit and repeated the trick again with a glorious goal hit sweetly from long range which dipped over the despairing dive of Bentley. A whole-hearted player who gave everything for the cause.

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Dean Wells: 7.5. Never let anyone down and always tried his best standing firm under aerial pressure. Battled gamely.

Chris Beardsley: 7.5. Honest endeavour from the experienced campaigner. Happy to do the dirty work in the engine room.

Charlie Lee: 7.5. Told the Comet in our play off supplement: ‘We’re not going rest on our laurels.’ Was true to his word with a display of character and determination. Never stopped running, won challenges he had no right to and gave an unselfish, busy performance. Neat and tidy, not afraid to play the simple ball.

Jerome Okimo: 7. Always looked to push on and support colleagues further forward but his absorbing tussle with the lively Worrall in the first half saw him increasingly pinned back until Whelpdale switched with him in he second period.

Roarie Deacon: 5.5. Lively start but faded after a knock. More will be expected of him in the second leg but difficult task when faced with solid opposing centre halves. Subbed at half-time for Ben Kennedy.

Substitutes:

Ben Kennedy: 7.5. On for Deacon at half-time. Very lively throughout the second half including a great early run only foiled by a last ditch tackle. Continually looked to pressure the Southend backline.

Jon Ashton: 7. Solid, no nonsense display after coming on as sub for the injured Dembele.

Tom Conlon: 7. Replacement for Tom Pett. Nearly brought the house down with a late shot which flew just past the post.

Southend United

Dan Bentley: 7. Labelled the Joe Hart of the lower league, and not just for his similarity in looks and stature. One to watch. Despite his confident handling, as well as being a good organiser with sound positioning, this highly-rated keeper who made the League Two XI was given no chance with Parrett’s cracking goal.

John White(c): 6.5. Solid and unflappable. Great long shot which an alert Day pushed past the post. Committed.

Ben Coker: 7. Also made the League Two XI and gave a composed performance, as you would expect from a player held in such regard by his peers.

Dave Worrall: 8.5. Very impressive performance as he continually threatened Stevenage’s right flank. Good technique, always lively going forward, a dangerous attacking presence who impressed with intelligent runs on and off the ball allied with incisive forward passes. Best player on the night by far.

Michael Timlin: 7.5. Should he have scored early on but drilled a low shot past the post. A tough player, as witnessed by his walking off covered in bandages after receiving a serious facial injury, to be substituted by Gary Deegan.

Barry Corr: 7.5. Fans’ favourite and top scorer with 14 goals, booked for a cheeky grab at Dembele’s ankle early on - but celebrated after his header found its way into the Stevenage net through a crowded penalty area to equalise. Deserved his ovation from the travelling fans on being subbed late on.

Will Atkinson: 7:5. Tough, experienced player who helped his younger centre half with his positioning. No quarter asked or given. Also showed glimpses of good technique when attempting to play the ball out of defence when driving forward.

Cian Bolger: 7.5. Uncompromising performance, good in the air, and competed for everything. Perhaps needs to be more vocal and improve positioning at times but can be proud of his evening’s work. Took no prisoners.

Ryan Leonard: 7. His long throws were a constant danger and always tried to push forward. Constantly urged his teammates on.

Stephen McLaughlin: 7. Perhaps should have done better as he scuffed a shot when well-placed but held the ball up well when required.

Adam Barrett: 7. Experienced player, Shrimpers fan and part of their 2006 team which knocked a strong Manchester United team out of the League Cup. Nearly scored with a looping header which flew just over the bar.

Substitutes:

Gary Deegan: 6. On for the injured Timlin. Industrious player but needed more composure as continually ceded possession in the middle.

Myles Weston: 6. for Stephen McLaughlin. Pacy but raw. Almost bulldozed his way through a resolute Stevenage defence late on but could have done with a little more composure in front of goal.

Joe Piggott for Barry Corr: 6. Late sub who didn’t have much time to make a mark in this hard-fought stalemate which sets up Thursday’s second leg perfectly.

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