The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Phillips

PHIL BROWN hailed the per­for­mance of striker Ty­rone Bar­nett af­ter he bagged a brace in the Shrimpers’ 3-0 win against Coven­try.

The on-loan Shrews­bury striker took his tally to three goals in three games with an­other im­pres­sive dis­play, and Southend boss Brown, whose side played the fi­nal 39 min­utes with ten men fol­low­ing Gary Dee­gan’s red card, was de­lighted Bar­nett’s ef­forts were enough to end a four-match win­less streak.

“Ty­rone was the epit­ome of hard work out there and he fully de­served his two goals,” said Brown. “He led the line tremen­dously well and took his goal fan­tas­ti­cally as well.

“When we went down to ten men af­ter an un­for­tu­nate red card for Gary I thought Ty­rone might not be as in­volved be­cause he was up there on his own. But he’s done su­perbly well in the build-up to us win­ning a penalty and he’s taken it bril­liantly as well, so it’s a great day at the of­fice for him and for all of us.

“We grew in con­fi­dence as the game went on and it’s a huge win for us.”

Coven­try have now won just two of their last ten games. But they came close to go­ing in front early on at Roots Hall when Jim O’Brien’s long-range ef­fort was tipped onto the cross­bar by Southend goal­keeper Daniel Bent­ley. How­ever, Southend hit back strongly and went in front in the 24th minute when Jack Payne drilled a low, left­footed shot into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

Six min­utes later, Bar­nett dou­bled the host’s lead with a fine left-footed fin­ish af­ter an ex­cel­lent through-ball from Stephen Hen­drie. But the Shrimpers’ hopes of a win were ham­pered in the 51st minute when Dee­gan was shown a se­cond yel­low card af­ter chop­ping down James Mad­di­son.

Fol­low­ing the mid­fielder’s dis­missal against his for­mer side, Coven­try started to see more of the ball but strug­gled to find a way past an or­gan­ised Southend de­fence.

And in a rare break for­ward, the Shrimpers sealed their first win over Coven­try since 1964 when Bar­nett thun­dered home a penalty af­ter Will Atkin­son had been brought down by goal­keeper Re­ice Charles-Cook.

The vic­tory pushed Southend to within two points of the play-offs but did lit­tle to lift the spir­its of Coven­try boss Tony Mow­bray.

“There are no ex­cuses; we were beaten by a team who were much more re­silient,” he said. “They dug in and did not give us a minute on the ball.

“Ob­vi­ously los­ing Adam Arm­strong and Ja­cob Mur­phy to in­jury was a big blow but we still came here with a very ex­pe­ri­enced team. It was just a very dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance.

“I’m not sure we cre­ated many chances. We had about 100 shots but all from out­side the box and all they all got blocked as well. They de­fended with a lot of men be­hind the ball and made life very dif­fi­cult for us.

“We started with the right team. If you are go­ing to play Mar­cus Tudgay, then you need men wide to put it in the box for him. But ev­ery time you lose a game then peo­ple will ques­tion your se­lec­tion.”

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