BLUES FELLED BY STEADY U’S
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.”
CONCERN: Luke Prosser of Southend lies prostrate after being felled by a free-kick STAR MAN BEN COKER Southe