STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley heaped praise on Southend United following his side’s defeat at Roots Hall.

Stevenage, who were relegated from League One last season, conceded twice in the opening exchanges against the Shrimpers.

And Westley felt the home-side were worthy winners.

“Over the course of the 90 minutes I think you would have to say Southend deserved to win the game,” said Westley.

“We didn’t get off to the best of starts and it was always going to be hard here because Southend have built on the team they reached the play-offs with last season by making some excellent signings.

“They were a very tough test for us this early on in the season and our evolution.

“But we made some basic mistakes for the two goals which disappoints me and we’ve wasted some decent opportunities at the other end.

“If one of those had gone in before half-time it might have been a different story for us.”