Sturrock rues missed opportunity

PA Sport
Paul Sturrock
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Paul Sturrock

Southend manager Paul Sturrock hopes his team will learn lessons from their 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers.

Former Shrimpers striker Matt Harrold returned to Roots Hall to jeers from the home fans but silenced them by scoring the Pirates' equaliser four minutes after coming off the bench. His goal cancelled out Neil Harris' second-half opener for the Shrimpers, who now lead League Two on goal difference from Crawley.

"It was one of our most disappointing performances at home this season but as the game went on it was one we could have lost," said Sturrock. "We did have some clear-cut chances to win it in the second half but we were a bit lethargic compared to our recent standards."

He added: "There was not the edge to our play and many of our players were off the pace. Our final ball was not good enough but, saying that, it was Bristol Rovers' only chance that they scored from.

"It's important we learn lessons from this as there are teams who are going to come here and make it difficult for us. But we have paid a penalty for not taking our chances."

Visiting boss Paul Buckle wants the draw to be the catalyst to spark a better spell for the Pirates, who are 18th in the table.

"You can see why they are top of the league but we thoroughly deserved a point because the desire was there for all to see," said Buckle.

"We are certainly getting there but it's been a tough time of late so it's nice to come here a get a point

"There has been a lot of stuff going against us recently but the boys did not drop their heads and hopefully the result can kick-start our season.

"It's been a crazy season and it's not going to happen overnight but if we can be patient then I believe we can do things over the next few years."

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