COX ENDS BROWN ‘TORTURE’ AT DEATH
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown found his side’s dramatic win against Rochdale torture to watch at Roots Hall.
Simon Cox’s injury-time winner secured the Shrimpers all three points in an exciting encounter which saw both teams shown red cards in the first half.
And Shrimpers boss Brown was delighted to have come out on top.
“The game had absolutely everything but to watch it as a manager was awful,” laughed Brown.
“It had imagination, flair and quality and for us to win it right at the end was fantastic.
“We both had red cards and I think the one they got early on has backed the referee into a corner and every decision from then on was contested by everyone.
“We’ve had to show our character and it was a great finish at the end by Coxy.
Cox’s goal, which was the 100th of his career, came three minutes into stoppage time to seal an enthralling encounter.
Southend had earlier opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Jermaine McGlashan played in Marc-Antoine Fortune who rounded the advancing Conrad Logan before tapping home.
Dale suffered a further blow in the 22nd minute when centre-back Keith Keane was sent off for bringing down Fortune when he was clean through on goal.
Southend midfielder Anthony Wordsworth slammed the resulting freekick against the crossbar before the Shrimpers were also reduced to ten men in the 34th minute when McGlashan was shown a second yellow card after bringing down Ian Henderson.
Rochdale improved after the break with Calvin Andrew wasting two headers and Jamie Allen having a long-range shot saved by Ted Smith.
However, Dale equalised in the 66th minute when Andrew cut in off the right hand side and netted with a deflected leftfooted shot which looped into the top left-hand corner of the net. That seemed to have secured a point for in-form Rochdale who came into the game on the back of six successive wins.
But Southend hit back to secure all three points when Cox netted a brilliant left-footed shot from eight yards, much to the disappointment of Dale boss Keith Hill, who was left frustrated by the officiating in the game.
“If the referee was a good meal out I wouldn’t be paying, it’s as simple as that,” said Hill.
“He got a lot better in the second half but he made it easier for the opposition.
“The crowd got at it him and he didn’t perform to the standard I expect.
“We’ve had goals given this season where we’ve got the benefit, but Southend benefitted from one here.
“For the first goal their player has 100 per cent stood on the foot of Keith Keane when he’s gone to play the ball, but the referee hasn’t seen it.”
OPENER: MarcAntoine Fortune rounds keeper Conrad Logan to score STAR MAN MICHAEL TIMLIN Southend