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

SOUTHEND United man­ager Phil Brown felt a red card to mid­fielder Ryan Leonard strangely helped his side beat Old­ham at Roots Hall.

The sixth-placed Shrimpers were be­low par be­fore Leonard was dis­missed in the 70th minute for a late chal­lenge on Ous­mane Fane.

But the dis­missal sparked Southend into life and goals from Nile Ranger, Theo Robin­son and An­thony Wordsworth in the fi­nal 15 min­utes saw Brown’s side record their fourth vic­tory in suc­ces­sion.

“Bizarrely, the red card sparked us into life and it ac­tu­ally gave Old­ham a prob­lem,” said Brown.

“The first half was dire and I told the play­ers at half-time that even I was bored watch­ing, but we were the only side try­ing to ac­tu­ally win the game.

“When we went down to ten men Old­ham sud­denly had an op­por­tu­nity to win it with the ex­tra man but they didn’t change gear at all.

“Con­se­quently, we were able to get the three goals and to do that af­ter a red card is a mas­sive state­ment of in­tent.

“The pace we were able to bring off the bench played a re­ally big part but the red card ac­tu­ally played an even big­ger part.”

Southend had strug­gled to get go­ing in the first half and Old­ham en­joyed more of the ball with­out cre­at­ing too many chances.

Tope Obadeyi and An­thony Ger­rard both fired straight at the Shrimpers’ debu­tant goal­keeper Chris­tian Walker from long range, be­fore Josh Law sent a 25-yard shot flash­ing just wide of the right post.

The sec­ond half started in sim­i­lar fash­ion be­fore Leonard was dis­missed in the 70th minute fol­low­ing a late foul on Fane.

But the red card brought Southend to life and they opened the scor­ing in the 75th minute, with Ranger on tar­get for the fourth game in suc­ces­sion.

Ranger tapped home a cross from Robin­son, who just three min­utes later was cel­e­brat­ing him­self as he im­pres­sively headed home a right-wing free-kick from Wordsworth.

Wordsworth then com­pleted the scor­ing with a penalty in stop­page time af­ter Jer­maine McGlashan had been brought down by Peter Clarke.

And Lat­ics boss John Sheri­dan, whose side are now just two points above the drop zone, was fu­ri­ous with the sec­ond­half dis­play.

“We were ex­cel­lent in the first half but I’m a bit stuck for words af­ter the sec­ond,” said Sheri­dan. “You have to give Southend credit for how they played with ten men and got on the front foot.

“But the first goal they got was a ridicu­lous goal on our part.

“A few play­ers didn’t turn up in the sec­ond half and it’s ended up cost­ing us the game.”

“To lose 3-0 is a mas­sive downer but I’m not go­ing to beat my­self up.

“All we can do is move on and pick them up for Fleet­wood.”

PIC­TURES: South­ern News & Pics

ALL SMILES: Theo Robin­son cel­e­brates scor­ing the Shrimpers’ sec­ond goal STAR MAN THEO ROBIN­SON Southend

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