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

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.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Daniel Youngs

OPENER: Mar­cAn­toine For­tune rounds keeper Con­rad Lo­gan to score STAR MAN MICHAEL TIMLIN Southend

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