BROWN: RED WAS WHAT WE NEEDED
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.”
ALL SMILES: Theo Robinson celebrates scoring the Shrimpers’ second goal STAR MAN THEO ROBINSON Southend