That was a day to dream of, says Phil

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

SOUTHEND United staged a stun­ning sec­ond-half fight­back to see off Wal­sall and move into the League One play-off places.

The Shrimpers seemed to be head­ing for de­feat when their former mid­fielder Franck Moussa fired the Sad­dlers into a 2-0 lead. But goals from Nile Ranger, An­ton Fer­di­nand and Si­mon Cox saw Southend pick up all three points, much to the de­light of their man­ager Phil Brown.

“This is a mas­sive win in the grand scheme of things and it showed the be­lief that ex­ists in this group of play­ers,” said Brown.

“I was prob­a­bly the only man in the sta­dium who didn’t make changes at half-time but I saw the stats and I thought we cre­ated four or five great chances so I left it.

“Ryan In­niss’ book­ing was ac­tu­ally the turn­ing point. He was sail­ing close to the wind so I brought Ja­son Demetriou on and the sub­sti­tutes played a mas­sive part in turn­ing things around.

“I thought it was go­ing to be one of those days when Moussa scored twice but even­tu­ally it turned into a day you dream about.”

Sub­sti­tute Moussa fired Wal­sall into an 18th-minute lead with a neat fin­ish from Joe Ed­wards’ left-wing cross and then dou­bled the vis­i­tors’ lead with an­other neat fin­ish af­ter a poor clear­ance from In­niss.

How­ever, Southend got back into the game in the 63rd minute with Ranger head­ing home Will Atkin­son’s left-wing cross fol­low­ing a quick Ben Coker free-kick.

The Shrimpers then drew back level in the 76th minute when skip­per Fer­di­nand volleyed home from 12 yards af­ter An­thony Wordsworth’s free-kick had only been half cleared. And Southend com­pleted their come­back seven min­utes from time when Cox curled a 20yard free-kick into the top left-hand cor­ner of the net to leave Wal­sall boss Jon Whit­ney fum­ing.

“At 2-0 up you should not lose a game and I’m not go­ing to keep on mak­ing ex­cuses for the play­ers,” said Whit­ney, whose side slipped to 11th in the ta­ble.

“We have to han­dle set-pieces bet­ter be­cause we’ve just switched off. They haven’t opened us up but we can’t keep say­ing the same thing.

“I don’t want to fill my team with giants but we have to be do­ing bet­ter. We can’t al­low set-pieces to cost us.

“We con­tained them for 60 min­utes but their first goal changed it and I feel for Franck Moussa.”

STAR MAN FRANCK MOUSSA Wal­sall

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