BROWN BEMUSED AT REF’S DECISION
ARMAND Gnanduillet’s stoppage-time header secured Chesterfield a dramatic victory at the Proact Stadium, although Southend manager Phil Brown believes the striker shouldn’t have been afforded the chance.
The substitute headed home a late corner to grab all three points for the Spireites after Freddy Eastwood had cancelled out Gary Roberts’ opener for the home side.
But Shrimpers boss Brown was left questioning the six minutes of added-on-time referee Sebastian Stockbridge decided to play.
“I don’t know where the six minutes of stoppage-time came from and you could hear that the crowd thought the same when the board went up,” said Brown.
“The referee certainly played his part but we still should have defended for that long.
“In our dressing room you would think we’ve lost a cup final and they’re wondering how we’ve lost.
“But the way Chesterfield’s bench and players reacted you would think they had won the championship and that tells me an awful lot.
“We will learn from this, but it’s not a nice feeling. I’m bitterly disappointed for the players because their effort and work-rate was fantastic and I thought the best team lost.”
Chesterfield started brightly and came close to opening the scoring when Jay O’Shea’s curling 25-yard shot was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. But the Spierites finally went in front in the 59th minute when Roberts curled a fantastic 30-yard free-kick high into the left hand side of the goal.
The Shrimpers equalised nine minutes later when substitute Kevan Hurst teed up Eastwood and he drilled home his third goal in three games with an assured left-foot shot which Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee could only push in to the bottom left corner of the net.
That seemed to have secured a point for Southend but, deep into stoppage time, Gnanduillet escaped the attentions of Luke Prosser to head Roberts’ right-wing corner in to the roof of the net from six yards.
And that delighted their assistant manager Leam Richardson who admitted that he always expected there to be such a lengthy amount of stoppage time.
“There were a few aspects of our performance which weren’t great but the result certainly was and we’re really pleased,” said Richardson.
“The winner came in stoppage time and I actually thought there was always going be around six minutes added on because there were two goals, six subs and Southend also slowed the game down at times and the officials were aware of that.
“Southend are a good team, they’re organised and good at what they do.
“They will be a tough team in League Two this year and they will get wins for sure at this level so this is a very good win for us.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footymad.net/
PERFECT TIMING: Armand Gnanduillet celebrates his goal