Individual errors proved costly for Southend as they gifted Stevenage three of their four goals in this six goal thriller at Broadhall Way.
On a pitch that looked more Sunday league than Football League, the hosts adjusted to the playing surface quicker and took the lead on the half hour mark when left back Roarie Deacon was allowed time to deliver a cross that evaded everyone and somehow ended up into the far corner of the net.
Southend kept on trying to play football as they looked to get back on level terms and almost did when Joe Piggott’s effort was well saved by Boro keeper, Chris Day. Despite the visitors having the better of the exchanges at the end of the first half, they failed to work Day any further and found themselves 1-0 down at the interval.
Whatever Phil Brown said to his players at half time definitely had an affect. Southend started the half with more purpose to their play by going a little more direct.
This subtle change reaped the rewards within four minutes of the re-start when David Worrall showed great awareness to pick out Piggott with a cross that the striker clinically put away with a side foot volley.
Seven minutes later, Southend took the lead. Worrall was recklessly fouled inside the area by Bira Dembele for a penalty. Barry Corr took the kick and made no mistake to put his team 2-1 ahead much to the delight of the 1200+ travelling fans.
The Blues looked to have the game under control, but a costly error from Ryan Leonard in midfield after seventy-four minutes allowed Stevenage to break and in his attempts to make amends, Leonard committed himself unnecessarily, bringing down substitute Tom Pett for the second penalty of the afternoon. Simon Walton made no mistake to level the scores once more at 2-2.
The home side were now going for the win and with four minutes remaining, substitute Ben Kennedy was played in beyond a Shrimpers defence and he calmly beat Dan Bentley from an angle to make it 3-2.
The home side didn’t stop there and in the final minute Southend’s collapse was complete when full back Ben Coker dithered on the ball and was caught out by Pett, who set up Dean Parrett for number four and all three points. Stevenage got the win they deserved in an entertaining afternoon’s football that contained drama, action & plenty of goals.
The win puts Boro on the fringes of the play offs, but for Southend a worrying collapse sees them suffer back to back defeats and fall further away from the automatic promotion spots.
Man of the Match
Simon Walton (Stevenage) – A Captain’s display from the Stevenage midfielder who’s penalty turned the tide back in his side’s favour. Rarely gave the ball away.