BLUES FELLED BY STEADY U’S

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Con­nor Arm­strong

CAM­BRIDGE boss Richard Money hailed his side’s re­solve for grind­ing out what he de­scribed as a cru­cial draw at Roots Hall as Southend dropped points for the sec­ond time in four days.

The home side huffed and puffed to no avail, leav­ing them five points off the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion places, while the draw has given Cam­bridge a seven-pointer buf­fer to the drop zone.

And Money was thrilled with his charges, who came into the clash with only one win in their last 12 games.

“There’s no doubt about it, it is a pre­cious point,” said Money. “Ev­ery point gained at this stage of the sea­son is cru­cial, and it’s edged us a point fur­ther away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“I thought we showed a great deal of re­solve and char­ac­ter. It’s not easy to come away and play against a team at the top of the ta­ble, but we’ve done it suc­cess­fully in suc­ces­sive weeks now.

“I can’t speak highly enough of what we’ve done here, re­ally.

“They’re a good team, they kept get­ting it wide and kept cross­ing the ball – but we de­fended it well and we’ve come away with an im­por­tant re­sult.”

The vis­i­tors started the stronger of the two sides as Michael Coul­son forced an early save from Dan Bent­ley in the fourth minute, ris­ing high­est be­fore pow­er­ing a header at goal.

In a scrappy open­ing 15 min­utes, Southend came close to break­ing the dead­lock when Ke­van Hurst fizzed a low ball across goal, with Cam­bridge’s Richard Tait nearly turn­ing the ball into his own net.

Ryan Don­ald­son tested Bent­ley, who was forced to tip a danger­ous look­ing cross away from goal.

Southend had the best chance of the first half when John White lifted a ball per­fectly for David Wor­rall, but the winger’s tame at­tempt rolled into the arms of Chris Dunn.

The sec­ond half was over­shad­owed by an in­jury to Luke Prosser, who took a Don­ald­son free-kick to the face – im­me­di­ately col­laps­ing and re­quir­ing ur­gent at­ten­tion.

Prosser was stretchered off af­ter a lengthy de­lay, com­plain­ing of blurred vi­sion and pins and nee­dles in his arms, with Southend boss Phil Brown ex­press­ing his con­cern.

Brown said: “I’ll prob­a­bly have to visit the hos­pi­tal. He took a ball fully in the face, it knocked him out and he landed awk­wardly.”

Southend played in front of their big­gest home crowd of the sea­son, with 7,224 in at­ten­dance, but the Shrimpers could not break the dead­lock.

Southend chief Brown ad­mit­ted his side couldn’t break down a Cam­bridge side that he be­lieved came to play for a draw.

“Richard’s just come in and apol­o­gised for be­ing ugly,” Brown added. “They played not to lose, but it’s our re­spon­si­bil­ity to win the game.

“As far as I'm con­cerned, the op­po­si­tion came for a point and they got a point. We’ve still got eight games to go though so will keep push­ing.

“It’s an­other point in our quest for what we set out to achieve at the start of the sea­son.”

PIC­TURES: Gavin El­lis/TGSPHOTO

CON­CERN: Luke Prosser of Southend lies pros­trate af­ter be­ing felled by a free-kick STAR MAN BEN COKER Southe

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