BROWN IS EYEING UP BREWERS
PHIL BROWN cannot wait to face table-toppers Burton Albion in mid-week after Southend’s dominant win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
Joe Pigott had put Southend ahead before Ayo Obileye headed the Daggers level, but Ryan Leonard’s superb volley gave the Shrimpers the lead before half-time.
When Barry Corr converted from the spot there looked no way back for Dagenham, who spluttered in the second half and could not recover from Leonard’s wonder-strike.
“It was a great goal,” said Southend boss Brown. “We have been working with him to hit the target and work the goalkeeper – he didn’t work the goalkeeper, he worked the back of the net!
“In the second half we were fairly dominant. It was a well-earned and well-deserved victory.
“We played some good, attractive football and the timing of that second goal was the key.
“It is just a great day at the office.We have had some iffy days and one or two bad days this season but the majority of them have been decent and today was another good day.
“We had to take this seriously as they were in a rich vein of form, but we have one of the best defensive records in the league and two strikers in form.
“Burton is a massive game. As long as we come away from there with something, and I know we can come away with something from there, then we have Cambridge at home to look forward to at the weekend.”
After Pigott’s opener, a smooth finish from just inside the box having expertly rounded the sprawling defender Obileye – his sixth goal in his last 12 matches – the Daggers hit back.
Obileye made amends for his defensive error by connecting brilliantly with a Billy Bingham free-kick to head in at the far post.
However, Leonard’s superb chest control and volley into the top corner from 25 yards, and Corr’s penalty – awarded when Damian Batt denied a cross by handling the ball in front of his face – either side of the break sealed the home side’s fate.
And Daggers manager Wayne Burnett rued the fact that his side could not capitalise on first-half possession.
“We edged the first half but then they got a very, very good goal at the end of the first half – that changed the complexion of the game,” said Burnett.
“We switched off for the penalty – it is a stupid decision from Batt – but he was at the back on his own almost.
“I felt Southend deserved it in the end, we struggled to get out of our own half and they were the better team.
“It is easy dealing with success but you need to deal with failure too – you have to treat them both the same, they are both imposters and if I sense anyone feeling sorry for themselves they won’t be involved on Tuesday.”
CLINCHER: Barry Corr nets Southend’s third from the penalty spot
CAN YOU HEAR ME? Ryan Leonard celebrates his goal
STAR MAN RYAN LEONA