SOUTHEND SPARKLE IN ESSEX DERBY
PHIL Brown said his Southend United players were in buoyant mood after finally seeing off tenman Colchester in this battle of Essex.
Late goals from Anthony Wordsworth, Adam Barrett and Sam McQueen helped seal the Shrimpers’ victory against a U’s side that had to play for around an hour with ten men, following Alex Gilbey’s first-half dismissal for a strong tackle on Ryan Leonard.
Brown said: “You can hear the players in the changing room. They’re bouncing and it’s never easy to beat ten men.
“It looked a naughty challenge by Gilbey. Lenny (Leonard) could be out for a while now too. It’s looks a nasty one.
“We learnt lessons from the last two games when we were down to ten men.The red card seemed to galvanise Colchester but we kept our patience and got our rewards in the end.
“I’m delighted for Woody (Wordsworth). He’s been a frustrated figure in the treatment room for a couple of months – it was a fantastic day for us.”
Southend almost drew first blood at Roots Hall when Stephen Hendrie’s effort from a corner scraped the outside of a post.
However, the U’s went close a minute later when Owen Garvan’s low, curled effort was saved by keeper Dan Bentley.
And Richard Brindley’s attempted cross was touched onto the bar by Bentley, nine minutes before half-time.
But seconds later, Colchester were reduced to ten men when midfielder Gilbey was shown a straight red card by referee Oliver Langford.
McQueen’s shot flashed just wide soon after but Colchester defender George Elokobi poked George Moncur’s free-kick wide, as the first half finished goal-less.
Tyrone Barnett and McQueen both went close for Southend early in the second half, as the hosts tried to find a breakthrough. McQueen also went close while at the other end, Elokobi’s attempted cross landed on the roof of the net.
But as soon as Wordsworth lashed in a low shot from 20 yards to give Southend the lead with eight minutes remaining, the hosts were in control. Skipper Barrett headed in a corner with two minutes remaining to double the Shrimpers lead.
And the impressive McQueen wrapped up their win in stoppage time, converting into an empty net after Brindley’s tackle had denied Jack Payne in the area as Southend secured local bragging rights.
It left Colchester boss Kevin Keen disappointed his side could not hold on after performing well with ten men.
Keen said: “When you play with ten men for that long, it’s tough.
“I’m afraid it’s another heroic failure – the ten men were fantastic and probably you wouldn’t have known had you not seen the sending off that it was 11 versus ten.
“I thought that we were fantastic and still very much in the game but eventually it caught up with us.
“I thought it was a poor tackle – I’ve only seen it a couple of times but the referee couldn’t wait to get his red card out of his pocket quick enough.”
STAR MAN SAM
nd Southe THREE AND EASY: Sam McQueen celebrates