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

SOUTHEND United man­ager Phil Brown has called on the club’s fans to back their push for the play-offs.

The sev­enth-placed Shrimpers re­turned to win­ning ways with a com­fort­able vic­tory at Chester­field on Fri­day.

And Brown now wants a bumper crowd roar­ing his team on at Roots Hall against MK Dons to­mor­row.

“If the Southend fans want us to suc­ceed then we need a crowd of 10,000 right be­hind us,” said Brown.

“We got what we wanted from the Chester­field game. It wasn’t a big win, it was just another win. They may have had ten men but we’ve been down to ten men of late and we’ve won the game 3-0 so it’s never easy. My job is to get this club pro­moted and with a per­for­mance like that we have a chance so we will keep go­ing.”

Southend’s win at the Proact Sta­dium kept them a point be­low the play-offs and saw them re­turn to win­ning ways af­ter back-to­back de­feats.

The tri­umph also all-but rel­e­gated Chester­field, who went be­hind in the 14th minute when Si­mon Cox net­ted from the penalty spot af­ter Chester­field goal­keeper Thorsten Stuck­mann had brought down Will Atkin­son.

The Spire­ites suf­fered a fur­ther blow just be­fore half-time when Dion Dono­hue was dis­missed for a poor chal­lenge on Ja­son Demetriou.

An­thony Wordsworth made it 2-0 in the 57th minute with a clin­i­cal fin­ish from John White’s left-wing cross be­fore the vis­i­tors ex­tended their lead even fur­ther ten min­utes later with Cox slam­ming the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Sub­sti­tute Mar­cAn­toine For­tune then com­pleted the scor­ing in the 71st minute with a neat fin­ish to leave Chester­field boss Gary Cald­well a frus­trated fig­ure at the fi­nal whis­tle as only a huge swing in goal dif­fer­ence can now stop the Spire­ites go­ing down. “We’re just look­ing to win the next game be­cause we’re still look­ing to build for the fu­ture,” said Cald­well. “In mo­ments of cri­sis I thought we were far too soft and that’s what dis­ap­points me the most.

“The send­ing off was a big turn­ing point in the game.

“There were a lot of chal­lenges in the first half that didn’t get no­ticed but that one did be­cause of the re­ac­tion of their tech­ni­cal area, although we prob­a­bly would have done the same to be fair.”


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