Off-colour Shrimpers set­tle for play-offs

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Phillips To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

SOUTHEND man­ager Phil Brown con­ceded the Shrimpers’ slim hopes of au­to­matic pro­mo­tion are over af­ter slump­ing to de­feat against mid-ta­ble AFC Wim­ble­don at Roots Hall.

The Shrimpers, who re­main sixth in the League Two ta­ble, had been hop­ing to se­cure a fourth suc­ces­sive vic­tory.

But their for­mer loa­nee Jack Mid­son bagged the only goal of a largely un­event­ful game, leav­ing Brown tar­get­ing a play-off place.

“I’m bit­terly dis­ap­pointed be­cause things just didn’t fall our way out there,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“I don’t think you can fault the play­ers for ef­fort and we got crosses in to the box, we had chances but it just didn’t go in.

“The way the penalty squirmed un­der Daniel Bent­ley’s body also summed up our day to be hon­est.

“Au­to­matic pro­mo­tion is out of our reach now but we have four games to go to try and make sure of a place in the play-offs now and that’s ex­actly what we will be aim­ing to do.

“We’re play­ing against some of the top teams but I think that might ac­tu­ally suit us be­cause they will be want­ing a real game of foot­ball.”

Wim­ble­don, who had gone three games with­out a win, came clos­est to scor­ing in the first half when Kwesi Ap­piah saw his close range shot su­perbly saved by Shrimpers goal­keeper Daniel Bent­ley.

How­ever, Bent­ley was beaten in the 58th minute when Mid­son’s weak penalty squeezed un­der the goal­keeper’s body and rolled in to the back of the net.

The spot-kick had been given af­ter John Egan had brought down Ap­piah in­side the penalty area.

But Egan soon al­most made amends with a well struck 30-yard shot which vis­it­ing goal­keeper Ross Worner did well to tip around the right post.

Ryan Leonard then flashed a half vol­ley across the face of goal be­fore sub­sti­tute Barry Corr then also headed a half chance wide of the op­po­site up­right but Southend rarely threat­ened.

“I thought we were great, we showed real heart out there be­cause it's never an easy place to come to for any team,” said Dons boss Neal Ard­ley.

“It’s one win but we need to keep push­ing on and se­cure our place in League Two.

“These play­ers need a leader at the club and I'm try­ing to be that per­son for them. Our two cen­tre­halves were su­perb even though Andy Framp­ton had a nig­gle half­way through the game.

“The work rate through­out is un­be­liev­able and I can’t fault them we now take this re­sult into our next games.”

STAR MAN RYAN LEONA

RD Southe

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