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

MICHAEL Tim­lin wants play-off hope­fuls Southend to start im­prov­ing their poor record against strug­gling sides when they host Ac­cring­ton to­mor­row.

The sixth-placed Shrimpers con­tin­ued their ex­cel­lent form against the top teams by thump­ing high-fly­ing Rochdale.

And Tim­lin, who was among the goalscor­ers for Southend at Spot­land, now wants more of the same against Ac­cring­ton.

“If we had done bet­ter against the teams to­wards the bot­tom then we would be in the top three if not top so it’s some­thing we’re aware of and want to im­prove,” said the mid­fielder.

“It’s not a case of be­ing more up for games against the top teams or any­thing like that and we ac­tu­ally thought we had sorted it out be­fore we were beaten by AFC Wim­ble­don in our last home game. It’s been dis­ap­point­ing but that’s what hap­pened and we need to make sure we do bet­ter when we play Ac­cring­ton.

“If we don’t then all the hard work we put in at Rochdale will just have been a waste.”

Southend took just 11 min­utes to open the scor­ing against Rochdale as on loan Nor­wich City winger Ja­cob Mur­phy charged through be­fore un­selfishly squar­ing the ball to Barry Corr who had the sim­plest of fin­ishes to tap home from close range.

The hosts came close to equal­is­ing when Ian Hen­der­son slammed a long-range shot against the cross­bar be­fore the Shrimpers dou­bled their lead just be­fore the break with Mur­phy vol­ley­ing home a cross from Ryan Leonard.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the in­ter­val, Southend made it 3-0 when Tim­lin also volleyed home from close range af­ter good work down the left hand side from Ke­van Hurst.

And the Shrimpers al­most ex­tended their lead late on with Leonard slam­ming a 30-yard shot against the cross­bar.

The de­feat ex­tended third placed Rochdale’s win­less streak to four games and they are now just three points ahead of their near­est chal­lengers, Fleet­wood.

But man­ager Keith Hill is urg­ing his play­ers to re­main calm.

“This is no time to throw in the towel or spit the dummy out,” said Hill. “It was a dif­fi­cult, tense game and the ten­sion showed in the per­for­mance.

“There looked as if there was a lit­tle bit of a cri­sis of con­fi­dence for the play­ers and it didn’t get any bet­ter for us from the first mis­takes on­wards. It’s dis­ap­point­ing but you have to col­lect your pos­i­tive en­ergy and make sure you move on to the next avail­able op­por­tu­nity.

“We have three more op­por­tu­ni­ties, but we can’t af­ford to per­form with those types of nerves and make those kind of mis­takes and ex­pect to get where we want to get to.

“It’s OK want­ing to achieve but you have to have the brav­ery and com­mit­ment and if you have that it turns you into a bet­ter


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PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MOBBED: Southend’s Barry Corr, hid­den, with team­mates af­ter scor­ing their first goal

CHALKED OFF: Dale’s Jack O’Con­nell, sec­ond right, has a goal ruled out

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