The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Paul Green

AN INSPIRED dis­play from highly-rated Southend keeper Daniel Bent­ley left boss Phil Brown singing his praises fol­low­ing a vi­tal 2-0 win at Mill­wall.

Goals ei­ther side of the break from David Mooney and Adam Bar­rett helped lift the Es­sex side out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

But it was an eye-catch­ing per­for­mance from Bent­ley, a sum­mer tar­get for QPR, which had the Roots Hall gaffer wax­ing lyri­cal at the fi­nal whis­tle.

Brown said: “You need tin hel­mets when you come to Mill­wall and Dan Bent­ley quite sim­ply dons his tin hel­met and he en­joys those mo­ments.

“For a 22-year-old goal­keeper to en­joy that kind of thing for me is a great sign for us.

“We had a £1.25 mil­lion (from QPR) build­ing up to £2m, which was turned down by my chair­man.

“That is a lot of money for a League Two or League One club.”

Brown thanked Southend’s own­ers for mak­ing sure the Hoops were re­buffed dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow.

He added: “How close was it? Prob­a­bly on the nod of the chair­man who was quite sim­ply pre­pared to stand shoul­der to shoul­der with me and think it is not enough money.

“As far as I’m con­cerned this lad will play at the high­est level one day.

“When that is I don’t know. Hope­fully this sea­son will be a good suc­cess­ful sea­son in League One and then we will see where it takes us and him.”

Mill­wall con­trolled the early stages, with Ai­den O’Brien plac­ing a 17th minute header straight at Bent­ley af­ter be­ing set up by Jimmy Ab­dou.

Strike part­ner Steve Mori­son headed into the side-net­ting from and only the alert­ness of Web­ster de­nied O’Brien a 33rd minute opener.

But as has been the case all too of­ten at The Den, it was Mill­wall who fell be­hind eight min­utes be­fore the break when Mooney headed home from Wor­rall’s cross.

Things went from bad to worse four min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod as the visi­tors in­creased their lead with another header, this time Bar­rett ris­ing high to power in a Michael Tim­lin de­liv­ery.

Bent­ley was at full stretch to keep out Mori­son’s strike and got down to thwart O’Brien from close range as the Lions pushed hard to get them­selves back in con­tention.

Wil­liams’ long-range at­tempt pro­duced another ex­cel­lent stop from the Southend keeper, who sim­ply re­fused to be beaten as Mill­wall slumped to a fourth straight league de­feat in front of their own fans.

Mill­wall boss Neil Harris said: “Jor­dan Archer has not made a save the whole game and yet he has picked the ball out of the net twice be­cause we made two mis­takes. We switched off twice and that has cost us.

“As ever at The Den, any­thing seems to end up in our net and go­ing the other way our qual­ity in the fi­nal third wasn’t as good as it has been. I hold my hands up, maybe I should have mixed it up.”

PIC­TURES: Martin Dal­ton

OVER THE MOON: David Mooney nets Southend’s opener

TUS­SLE: Michael Tim­lin and Shaun Wil­liams go for the ball


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