SUPER DAN ROOTS OUT PERFECT TEN
SOUTHEND United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley equalled a club record with his tenth consecutive home clean sheet.
Bentley, who has not conceded a goal at Roots Hall since October, was watched in the stands by former Shrimpers goalkeeper Mervyn Cawston who set the record during the 1980/81 season.
And Southend boss Phil Brown was full of praise for the 21-year-old’s achievement.
“One day the chairman will flatten this place and build a new stadium but if someone can ever emulate that record then it will take some doing because it’s phenomenal,” said Brown.
“We’ve put a sign up in the dressing room saying ‘fortress Roots Hall’ and that’s what we’re making it because teams are struggling to score against us.
“Dan has been virtually impeccable all season, I can only remember one slight mistake he’s made which is fantastic and the longer we can keep hold of him the better.”
Bentley’s latest clean sheet helped to secure a third win in a row for the fifth-placed Shrimpers who remain five points behind third-placed Wycombe Wanderers.
In-form Barry Corr bagged his ninth goal in 11 games to ensure all three points but it was Bentley taking centre stage early on as he kept out Kayode Odejayi’s close-range shot.
Moments later, the shot-stopper also did well to tip a 20-yard strike from Danny Holmes wide of the right post before Corr popped up to score his 15th goal of the season. The Irishman was picked out by Will Atkinson’s right-wing corner in the 38th minute and made no mistake with a neat, near-post finish.
After the break, Southend remained on top with Atkinson and Adam Barrett going close with headers before Tranmere began to fight back.
Second from bottom Rovers enjoyed plenty of the ball but former Southend midfielder Marc Laird headed wide their best chance late on.
They remain a point behind Hartlepool United, who sit just above the drop zone, with four games to go.
But boss Micky Adams felt his side should be encouraged by their display.
“I didn’t think we looked like a relegation-threatened side in this game and we need to keep that going in the last four matches now,” said Adams.
“They’re going to decide our fate but it’s disappointing to have been beaten here.
“It could’ve been different if we had someone getting across the keeper on a couple of occasions and if we had a bit more quality in the final third.
“We also had a virus in the squad which forced us into changing the team around.
“Iain Hume was due to play but we had to send him home and it was far from ideal.
“We’re certainly up against it but we will keep on fighting in all of the games we have left to play.”
SOUTHEND UNITED (4-4-2): Bentley 7, White 6, Bolger 7, Barrett 7, Coker 6, Atkinson 8, Deegan 6, Timlin 7, McLaughlin 6 (Worrall 72, 6), Cassidy 6, Corr 7 (Pigott 69, 6) Subs not used: T Smith, Weston, Hurst, Payne, Binnom-Williams TRANMERE ROVERS (5-3-2): Fon Williams 6, Holmes 6, Ihiekwe 6, Thompson (Myrie Williams 61, 5), Donacien 6, Taylor 5, Power 5 (Donnelly 61, 5), Jennings 5, Laird 6, Odejayi 4, Stockton 5 (Kirby 72, 5) Subs not used: Ridehalgh, Molyneux, Shuker, Brezovan
FULL STRETCH: Daniel Bentley tips over the bar for Southend
HUDDLE: Southend celebrate their opening goal
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