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SOUTHEND ........0 BRIS­TOL R ..........0

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Phillips

PHIL Brown was in defiant mood de­spite a goal­less draw mak­ing it five games with­out a win since he took the reins at Southend United.

In a goal­less draw at Roots Hall Southend were on top for the ma­jor­ity of the match.

How­ever, a fail­ure to fin­ish meant they had to set­tle for just a share of the spoils.

“I know the head­lines will be that I haven’t won for five games but I’m keen to look at the pos­i­tive side of things,” said Brown.

“We let four goals in at Rochdale on Wed­nes­day night but looked far more solid this time and that re­sulted is the first clean sheet since I’ve come in, which is very pleas­ing.

“We also had more than enough chances to have won the game and John Ward ad­mit­ted to me at the end of the match that he thought his team got away with it out there.

“We should have had two or three goals and, while it was ob­vi­ously frus­trat­ing we didn’t, I thought the shape of the side worked well.

“But I prob­a­bly made a mis­take in tak­ing Freddy East­wood off and I’m happy to take the crit­i­cism for that be­cause Bris­tol Rovers got back in to it a lit­tle bit more af­ter that.”

Southend’s first good chance came mid­way through the first half when an un­marked Ryan Leonard headed Marc Laird’s left­wing cross straight at Rovers goal­keeper Steve Milden­hall who was mak­ing a re­turn to Roots Hall.

Shrimpers skip­per Ryan Cress­well then headed a Sean Clo­hessy cross just past the right post be­fore Britt As­som­ba­longa and Barry Corr both wasted great chances to open the scor­ing af­ter the break.

As­som­ba­longa headed an­other Clo­hessy cross wide of the right post when he should have done bet­ter be­fore Corr nod­ded past the op­po­site up­right af­ter good work down the left-hand side from An­thony Straker.

East­wood then had a low shot well saved by Milden­hall who also re­acted well to keep out As­som­ba­longa’s ef­fort to en­sure the game ended goal­less.

And Rovers boss Ward ad­mit­ted his team were for­tu­nate to avoid de­feat.

“We have got away with it af­ter Southend missed a few chances in the sec­ond half,” said Ward.

“But we nearly snatched it at the end but, although it wasn’t our best per­for­mance, we have been dogged and de­ter­mined but Southend did miss some glar­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I have a say­ing which is at­ti­tude first, ef­fort sec­ond and abil­ity third and they had the first two but we lacked a bit on the abil­ity. “How­ever, we’ve man­aged to keep a clean sheet and get a point and that is pleas­ing this af­ter­noon.”

HIGH HOPES: Port Vale’s Liam Chil­vers scores his side’s sec­ond

MARC LAIRD

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