DAN’S THE MAN FOR SHRIMPERS
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.”
OVER THE MOON: David Mooney nets Southend’s opener
TUSSLE: Michael Timlin and Shaun Williams go for the ball
STAR MAN DANIEL BENTLE