Stevenage exited the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night as two quick-fire goals from Charlie Kelman at the start of the second half turned the tie on its head...
After a good first half in which Stevenage took the lead through a Dean Parrett cracker, Southend were able to respond right out the break as two fine finishes knocked Boro out of the competition.
It was a match that was dominated by injuries, as Scott Cuthbert, Dean Parrett, Charlie Carter and Emmanuel Sonupe all left the pitch with at minimum, knocks. They join an already lengthy treatment room for the First Team staff to contend with.
Dino Maamria named four changes following last Saturday's match at home to Exeter City as Charlie Carter, Dean Parrett, Kurtis Guthrie and Youth Team Scholar Luis Fernandez all came into the team at the expense of Emmanuel Sonupe, Arthur Iontton, Danny Newton and Chris Stokes.
It was the visitors that got off to the stronger of starts, swarming all over Stevenage inside the opening 10 minutes. A fearsome long range shot from McLaughlin that Farman had covered was about the best of the opportunities as Boro rode the early wave of pressure.
That defensive stubbornness was then rewarded by the attackers up the other end of the pitch, as Dean Parrett scored Stevenage’s first goal of the season in style. After receiving the ball on the edge of the Southend penalty area, the returning midfielder struck a first time shot into the roof of the net with his weaker left foot.
The goal lifted spirits inside The Lamex Stadium as a re-energised Boro began to run the show. There were big shouts for a Stevenage penalty that fell on deaf ears just minutes after the goal, as Guthrie appeared to be wrested to the ground whilst trying to get onto the end of an incoming cross.
The second big Stevenage chance of the match came on 20 minutes, as Guthrie latched onto Parrett’s corner at the near-post, only to see his prod towards goal fall wide of the mark.
Due to a plethora of injuries down the left-hand side, 17 year old Luis Fernandez was drafted in to start at left-back for his competitive debut and did himself no harm from his showing. His standout moment being a 41st minute goalline block to deny Hutchinson what appeared to be a sure goal.
Despite the positive feelings coming off for the break, it took Southend only one minute to level terms out from the half. Charlie Kelman rising rightest inside the box to make it 1-1 and game on for the second half.
With a goal under their belts, Southend began to purr once again and Kelman turned things around in the 54th minute with a superb finish from inside the box following a swift move through the thirds.
The Club’s injury crisis appeared to deepen shortly after as Skipper Scott Cuthbert hobbled off in-place of Emmanuel Sonupe before Charlie Carter did the same for Jason Cowley. Sonupe’s evening was short though, as after a rapid run down the right touchline, the attacker pulled up with what appeared to be a thigh injury, leaving Boro down to 10 men.
As the match approached its climax, Stevenage rallied late to apply pressure on the Southend defence but after Taylor’s shot was blocked and Guthrie’s header was saved, the travelling Blues were able to see out the victory to secure their passage to Round Two of the Carabao Cup.
Stevenage will look to pick up their first league win at Leyton Orient on Saturday.