The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Dan Ross

GRA­HAM West­ley says it would be rude to fo­cus at­ten­tions on 18-year-old prodigy Ben Kennedy af­ter he came off the bench to turn the game around for Steve­nage.

West­ley’s side trailed 2-1 be­fore Kennedy was in­tro­duced, who then went on to win a penalty, score a goal and set up an­other to make it 4-2.

The young­ster who looked lively through­out only signed a pro­fes­sional deal this week but West­ley wants the fo­cus on his squad.

“I think it’s rude to fo­cus on Ben Kennedy,” said the Boro boss.

“When a young kid comes in and does all right and nicks a goal here and there I think it’s rude to ig­nore the ef­forts of the rest of the team. Foot­ball’s a team game.

“It’s great that a young kid can come in and does his job, let’s not take the plau­dits away from a young player but let’s keep his feet on the floor.

“It’s his at­ti­tude go­ing for­ward that will make the player, not one flash in the pan.”

Steve­nage opened the scor­ing through Roarie Dea­con’s first ca­reer goal be­fore a Joe Pig­ott vol­ley and a Barry Corr penalty put Southend ahead in the sec­ond half.

Kennedy was in­tro­duced in the 66th minute and won a penalty soon af­ter, con­verted by Simon Wal­ton, be­fore scor­ing him­self and set­ting up Dean Par­rett to com­plete the come­back and seal the win.

How­ever, de­spite the con­tri­bu­tion of the young­ster, West­ley seemed an­noyed by the prospect of sin­gling out his new­est star.

“It’s a sub­ject that’s bor­ing me to be hon­est,” he added.“I don’t like the fo­cus to be on just one player.”

Mean­while, Southend boss Phil Brown was forced to watch his side throw away a 2-1 lead af­ter work­ing so hard to go in front.

The Blues didn’t get go­ing un­til af­ter the first Steve­nage goal and af­ter that looked in con­trol un­til the in­tro­duc­tion of Kennedy.

The re­sult would have been a dif­fi­cult pill for Brown to swallow and he wasn’t shy in crit­i­cis­ing his team.

“It was re­ally bit­ter to tell you the truth, we were 2-1 up with 60 min­utes played and it was a com­fort­able away per­for­mance, but de­fen­sively we went miss­ing,” he said.

“To give away silly goals and bad goals and sloppy goals is un­ac­cept­able.

“When you come to Steve­nage you ex­pect to fight for ev­ery­thing and to gift them all four goals is in­ex­cus­able. I made changes in the game and I’ll be mak­ing changes next week that’s for sure.”

This loss is pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Southend’s sec­ond in as many games and puts there play-off po­si­tion in a pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion.

And speak­ing about the run of form, Brown added: “There’s defin­ing mo­ments in the sea­son and this is a defin­ing mo­ment for me, I’ve got to get this one be­hind me as quickly as I can.”


BORO BEL­TER: Roarie Dea­con of Steve­nage scores the first goal of the game

NICE WIN: Dean Par­rett, left, cel­e­brates his goal



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