Phil Brown says the clash of heads between Michael Timlin and Bira Dembele highlighted the commitment of Southend United and Stevenage in their Sky Bet League 2 Play-Off semi-final.Timlin and Dembele clashed mid-air during the first half, leaving Timlin requiring 15 stitches with the score at 0-0, before both teams found the net in the second period at the Lamex Stadium.
“The highlight of the game was the clash of heads and I mean that in a positive way because it showed both sides were fully committed to the cause,” Brown told the Blues' official website.
“If both players are playing on Thursday I’ll be astounded but Tims [Timlin] is already staking a claim.”
Dean Parrett’s long-range stunner put Boro ahead shortly after the break, but Barry Corr headed an equaliser on the hour to leave the tie on a knife-edge heading into Thursday’s second leg at Roots Hall.
And Brown is expecting a similarly tense affair to Sunday’s first leg in the reverse fixture.
He added: “I was delighted with the commitment both teams showed. I was delighted with the quality too.
“Both sides could’ve won it and both sides could’ve lost it too. If truth be known we probably had more clear-cut chances but they had their opportunities too.
“We’ve drawn at half-time going back to Roots Hall and I think it will be exactly the same type of game.
“No team is favourite for the second leg. Both teams are committed but we’re at home. We’ve only lost three games out of 23 there.”
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