Player ratings: Who stood out as Stevenage beat Stockport County?

Luke Norris slots home the Stevenage equaliser from the penalty spot against Stockport County.

Luke Norris slots home the Stevenage equaliser from the penalty spot against Stockport County. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

Hope nobody left the Lamex Stadium early.

It would have been unlikely. Even at 1-0 down, Stevenage had upped the tempo and were looking the more likely to score and the 2-1 victory over Stockport County was ultimately a fine reward for throwing caution to the wind.

There were heroes in red and black but who were the stars of the League Two win? This is how I saw the contest.

Stevenage's Carl Piergianni and Kyle Wootton of Stockport County look to swap shirts early.

Stevenage's Carl Piergianni and Kyle Wootton of Stockport County look to swap shirts early. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

Taye Ashby-Hammond - 7

One superb stop right at the end of the first half and was blameless for the goal. A decent performance.

Luther James-Wildin - 6

Never really got gong and his main threat was the long throw. They were normally dealt with little fuss by the County defenders.

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Max Clark - 6

Is going to find his place under threat from Saxon Earley, not because of anything he's really done wrong but simply because of the impact of the Norwich City loanee. Was substituted here but still had his moments.

Jake Reeves - 7

He does make Boro tick at times but this was a match where brawn was to the fore rather than brains. Helps link midfield and attack though and will be a threat as the season goes on.

Carl Piergianni - 7

Struggled to win much in the air in the Stockport box but his primary job is to be solid at the back. He was when he was called upon.

Dan Sweeney - 7

Defensively solid, won his headers but one loose pass almost cost his side. Like his skipper he was well shackled when he went in front so couldn't threaten the Stockport goal.

Jake Taylor - 6

Is playing deeper at the minute and it does curb his natural inclination to push forward. Did what he needed too.

Luke Norris - 6

A couple of chances in the second half that both drifted wide and still looks to be getting his eye in as it were when it comes to his shooting. It is coming though and stuck the penalty away with coolness.

Jordan Roberts - 6

God a roasting at one point from his boss for a misplaced pass but was involved when he was out there. Didn't have the impact of last week though.

Terence Vancooten - 7

Was thrown up front late on as Boro pushed for first an equaliser and then a winner. Didn't allow too much to breach his defence.

Michael Bostwick - 7

Loved the rough and tumble in the middle of the park. Does what he needs to and not much more. Tackles, disrupts and gives it to his playmakers. Even had a shot in the very early going.

Substitutes - 9

Sensational impact and the hyperbole is warranted. Saxon Earley will take the plaudits for his work rate, the winning of the penalty and then the desire to stop the ball going out before delivering the match-winning assist but everyone else played their part and more.

Danny Rose was a nuisance, Dean Campbell looked every inch a silky play-maker and Jamie Reid, not even in the squad last week, bust a gut to be in the right place to send the Lamex into rapture.

Kudos too for Evans and his team. Brave decisions and all positive.

Summary

As games go, it was scrappy with the two sides very well matched and cancelling out each other's strengths for the most part.

But in a year from now, probably even less than a month, nobody will remember that, such was the finish.

A defeat would still have carried plenty of positives for Boro because County were, and still are, one of the big promotion favourites.

But the way the home side attacked this game, playing for the full 90-plus minutes, hints at a season the polar opposite to the most recent editions.

And while it is easy to get carried away with that thought, why not? If this is the enjoyment levels to come, strap in and embrace it.