SOUTHEND United left frustrated after being held to a 1-1 draw against bottom of the league Shrewsbury Town.
The Blues started the game strongly when just 13 minutes in they had a huge shout for a penalty as Marc-Antoine Fortune was seemingly pulled to the ground from behind by Adam El-Abd. Much to the frustration of the boss Phil Brown, the referee; Christopher Sarginson, pointed for a goal kick and not for a penalty as initially thought.
Phil Brown believes that the first goal was a decider of how the game played out and the penalty not being given potentially changed the game.
“It’s an absolute blatant penalty. When your striker is in the six yard box and gets hauled down from behind, you’re expecting the referee to blow his whistle and point to the spot.”
Southend had been in control of the first 25 minutes until Adam El-Abd hit a 25 yard screamer, on the half volley, into the top left hand corner giving Mark Oxley no chance. Very shortly after their lead was nearly doubled when Ivan Toney’s shot smacked the post to let Southend off the hook.
After conceding the first goal Southend fought to gain their momentum back until 5 minutes before half-time. Simon Cox got the ball under control before smoothly rolling it into the path of the man in form Stephen McLaughlin whose low and hard shot went through the goalkeeper’s legs to level the game for the Blues.
Goalscorer Stephen McLaughlin was happy to get another goal and was full of praise for the Southend boss.
“It’s always good to get a goal and help the team. I haven’t played back to back games in a couple of years. The manager having belief in you and what you can do, it gives you a whole new lease of life. The manager has been great for me, he tells me to go to what I do and work hard.”
Both teams in the second half struggled to get going to the crowd’s annoyance but the Blues had a big chance six minutes from time to snatch a winner. Marc-Antoine Fortune was beautifully picked out by the substitute Luke O’Neill but he sent his header into the ground and past the left post to end the game with a point a piece.
Phil Brown reflected on the game and feels Shrewsbury deserve some credit for the way they played the game.
“The first half I thought we were comfortable; we created quite a bit and in the second half, not so clever and you’ve got to give them a little bit of credit for breaking the rhythm of the game to their advantage to oppose as ours.
Southend now drop down a place to 16th position in the league table after 16 games and are next in action on Friday in the first round of the FA Cup against Millwall.