Sturrock salutes Shrimpers squad

PA Sport
Paul Sturrock
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Paul Sturrock

Southend boss Paul Sturrock was delighted with the performance of his fringe players as the Shrimpers notched up a comfortable 3-0 win against 10-man Barnet.

Ryan Hall and Bilel Mohsni came up with first-half goals before Barnet's Darren Dennehy was sent off in the second half. Neil Harris finished things off five minutes from time.

"We had a hard game on Saturday and it took a lot of edge out of us and I felt fresh legs were needed," Sturrock said. "It's a squad game now and to be fair to the boys that came in, one of them got a goal."

He added: "It might have put a different complexion on the game if they had scored the penalty but in fairness to the boys they are made of sterner stuff and I think it would have been the kick up the bottom they needed.

"You're not going to get a cross off Bilel but you'll get back-post headers and he's come up with another goal. For a centre-half who can play anywhere, we've been pleased with him. It was a difficult position for me to ask him to play and he did it well.

"If I'd have been the home team I'd have been upset about the second goal as well but I'm very pleased for the team because it put us 2-0 up."

Meanwhile, Bees manager Lawrie Sanchez insisted the controversial second goal was the turning point in the game. The former Northern Ireland boss also revealed that Dennehy will face a club fine for his red card.

Sanchez said: "I've spoken to the referee and he said the linesman gave offside. The referee blew and gave offside. They've then conspired between the two of them to give a goal.

"That decision turned the game. I don't see how the linesman has given offside, and then the referee has blown for offside and then they've changed their minds. I don't know how that's worked.

"We decided to try to play with 10 men when two down. It was a decision that I can't fathom because he [Dennehy] had already had two warnings before then. You just ask yourself what are you thinking as a player. It's unprofessional and he's let his side down and he'll get fined for that."

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