JUSTIN HAS A POINT IN RETURN
GILLINGHAM boss Justin Edinburgh felt his promotion-chasing side deserved more than just a point on his return to Southend United.
The fourth placed Gills slipped five points behind the top two with this draw at Roots Hall.
And Edinburgh, who started his playing career with the Shrimpers, believed his Kent club could easily have collected all three points.
“We thoroughly deserved a point, if not all three,” said the Gills boss.
“It was a very good performance and we were very unlucky to go behind when we did.
“Following that we had a five or ten-minute spell when we looked a bit rocky but after that we recovered well.
“It was a good spectacle and we dominated the second half, it was just a shame we couldn’t get the winner.
“We had a goalmouth scramble right at the end and it looked as though it was going in but unfortunately our fans behind that goal couldn’t quite suck the ball over the line.
“But it’s a valuable point and a very good performance.
“There are still nine games to go and we’ll keep going right until the very end.”
Gillingham went close to scoring after just four minutes when Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley denied Luke Norris and Jake Hessenthaler in quick succession, before Southend went in front in the 21st minute, with Anthony Wordsworth netting from eight yards after neat approach play from Tyrone Barnett and Glen Kamara.
However, the Gills hit back to equalise six minutes into the second half when Brennan Dickenson’s left-wing cross picked out Norris who netted with a cushioned finish from six yards.
Gillingham remained on top after drawing back level and Bentley twice did well to deny Dominic Samuel before Deji Oshilaja saw a header cleared off the line by Wordsworth.
But the draw saw Southend move up to ninth in the League One standings, three points below the play-off positions.
And Phil Brown – who has been heavily linked with a return to Bolton Wanderers – felt both sides lacked the qualities needed to convert their chances.
“The three points was always going to be decided by composure in front of goal and neither side had it if I’m honest,” said Brown.
“Gillingham are a good side but I thought a draw was a fair result in the end to be perfectly honest and no one can complain.
“I thought Jack Payne had scored to make it 2-0 30 seconds before they equalised but that was the way the game was.
“We’re a point closer to the play-off places now but we have to get at least 70 points to get in that top six.
“We can all do the maths to work out what’s needed but we have a very important Easter period coming up.
“If we can get six points out of six then we will still be right in contention for the play-offs.
“But if we don’t then it could be difficult for us to achieve the back to back promotions we’re after – we will see what happens.”
WE’RE AWAY: Southend United midfielder Anthony Wordsworth scores the game’s first goal
NO SIRE: Disallowed goal
STAR MAN DANIEL BENTLE