COD ARMY RELIEVED TO REEL IN A POINT
FLEETWOOD TOWN left it late against an in-form Southend United side as they continued their impressive unbeaten run in League One.
The Cod Army haven’t lost in the league since early November but their remarkable 11-game unbeaten run was minutes away from being shattered after a frustrating performance against a solid Shrimpers unit.
But top-scorer David Ball came up with the goods in the dying moments of the game when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box and he curled a delightful finish into the top corner with his left foot.
The visitors have now only lost one in their last 16 league games in a run that has helped them surge into the play-off places.
And, when Anthony Wordsworth swept home Marc-Antoine Fortune’s cut back, they never looked like losing the game.
Southend controlled proceedings for almost 80 minutes when Fortune was replaced, which meant they lost their focal point of attack and surrendered the impetus to Fleetwood, who gobbled up their chance to nab a point.
“We went up there with a game plan and we executed it to the nth degree and that’s including losing the club captain [Anton Ferdinand] in the warm-up,” said Shrimpers manager Phil Brown.
“If anyone deserved a clean sheet it was John White. He was outstanding in the face of adversity when they were throwing everything at us. “To force a side like Fleetwood, who are in such a rich vein of form, into gung-ho tactics at the end of the game just shows you what character my side have got.
“I was having a bit of crack with the linesman and the fourth official and I’m thinking the referee had a draw on the coupon.
“I don’t know if that terminology is still around, is there such thing as a coupon any more?!”
Cod Army boss Uwe Rosler played all his cards in a very attacking manner, bringing Wes Burns and Devante Cole off the bench in an effort to change the game as his side pressed for a leveller.
“We had difficulties to compete physically – they were very tough and direct,” said Rosler.
“At times they bullied us. It was a great lesson for our young players.
“We showed the longer the game went on that we have tremendous heart.
“In the end we could have nicked it. In the second half we were the better team the longer the half went on.
“I have to give credit to them and their manager Phil Brown, they made it very difficult for us.
“We had four strikers on at the end of the game and they all have different qualities.
“But David Ball is the one who can make a goal out of nothing.
“There was no chance, it was just individual skill and class from a class player.”
JUST IN TIME: David Ball celebrates his late equaliser for Fleetwood