BROWN’S ON TOP AS RUN GOES ON
Coulthirst sees off Shrews
PHIL Brown’s lucky shirt helped secure his Southend United side a fourth successive win as they saw off Capital One Cup giantkillers Shrewsbury Town at Roots Hall.
On-loan Tottenham Hotspur striker Shaq Coulthirst bagged the only goal of the game after just two minutes.
And that maintained the 100 per cent record of Brown’s favourite top as his side edged past the Shrews who had shocked Championship club Norwich City in midweek.
“It’s definitely my favourite shirt at the moment and I’ll have to wear it next weekend now as well,” said Brown.
“It’s even lucky the way I got it because I went in to Southend high street and liked the shirt straight away.
“When I saw it had 75 per cent off I liked it even more.
“I’ve worn it five times now and I think we’ve won all five games.
“I didn’t wear it after the first of those wins and we actually lost so I decided to bring it back.
“But I’ve washed it in between so it doesn’t smell and thankfully it worked again today.
“Being honest I don’t think we really played that bad but it’s a good sign that we’re still able to get the three points.
“It was great for Shaq to get the goal as well and I’m sure that will be wonders for his confidence.
“Scoring early, like he did put Shrewsbury on the back foot but we had to dig
in to get the points.
“It was all about the mentality of making sure we kept that clean sheet.
“Thankfully we did and we were able to have more joy against them than Shrewsbury did.”
Coulthirst’s goal came after just two minutes when he brilliantly headed a right wing cross from John White over the head of Jason Leutwiler and in to the bottom right hand corner of the net.
The well-taken effort was Coulthirst’s second of the season and he was soon almost celebrating a third when another close range header, this time from Kevan Hurst’s right wing corner, was parried out by Leutwiler.
Shrewsbury came close to equalising when Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro fired against the left post from long range but Southend threatened again on the stroke of halftime with Coulthirst having another header kept out by Leutwiler.
The second half was far less eventful but Shrewsbury wasted a fantastic chance to equalise when Akpa-Alpro headed Jordan Clark’s left wing cross over the crossbar from close range.
The Shrimpers immediately hit back with substitute Barry Corr heading Weston’s cross straight at Leutwiler.
But Shrewsbury’s hopes of a late leveller were hit hard when substitute Andy Mangan was sent off in the 85th minute for two yellow cards.
The striker had already been cautioned for a mistimed tackle on Gary Deegan when he caught Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley with his arm when challenging for the ball.
And manager Micky Mellon had no complaints about the decision.
“You can’t go making challenges like that when you’re on a yellow,” said Mellon.
“We’ve told him that and he knows that.There’s maybe a touch of frustration on his part but you have to use your head in situations like that and not give the referee a decision to make.”
Mellon also refused to use Shrewsbury’s cup heroics as an excuse for the defeat.
“We travelled on the Friday and stayed in a nice hotel so I’m not making any excuses, “said Mellon. “We rested the players up on Wednesday and did the same again on Thursday.
“I think we still had fire and passion missing out there today and the effort is always there to be honest.”
OFF: Shrewsbury substitute Andy Mangan gets his red card
FAST START: Southend celebrate Shaq Coulthirst’s goal
STAR MAN J.