Southend United 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Southend United returned to Sky Bet League Two action following their unscheduled break but it was an all too familiar outcome as play-off hopefuls, Forest Green Rovers, inflicted the tenth defeat of the campaign on Mark Molesley’s beleaguered side.
Substitute Jake Young grabbed the only goal of the game shortly after the hour leaving rock-bottom Blues already six points adrift after twelve games.
Boss, Molesley, remained remarkably upbeat: “I thought it was a battling performance,” he explained.
“I thought we put up a good show and I thought the game plan was working really well. They’re a very good side – probably one of the better ones we’ve seen – and I thought we nullified them, we worked really hard and missed a couple of guilt-edged chances at vital times in the game.”
Molesley continued: “That just seems to be the story of our season, unfortunately, and we made a bit of mistake for their goal as well. The ball could have been cleared but it wasn’t, and we got punished for it.
“We’re learning some cruel lessons at the moment, but the squad is pretty much decimated at the moment.”
A concoction of Covid cases and injuries saw the Blues last home match with Cambridge United controversially postponed and there was a further setback shortly before kick-off: “It’s been quite disrupted since our game at Walsall for obvious reasons and losing Tom Clifford as well literally as he walked in the changing room after the warm-up,” Molesley added.
“Literally, as they were walking out, we made the change and that disrupts your set-plays and a few other things.
“These are only excuses, we put up a good battling performance and I’m disappointing we haven’t won because we’ve had some good chances, and I felt, for the most part, we executed our game plan really well.”
Southend United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, November 28 when they face Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium (3pm).
Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Hobson, Olayinka, Dieng, Goodship, Egbri, Rush (K Coker 66’), Demetriou (McCormack 74’), Kyprianou, White (Capt). Subs not used: Seaden, Phillips, Chandler, Adejayo
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson (Richardson 71’), Sweeney (Collins 59’), Stokes, Winchester (Capt) (Whitehouse 77’), Adams, Cadden, Matt, Moore-Taylor, Bailey (Young 59’), Godwin-Malife. Subs not used: Thomas, Stevens, March
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistants: Sam Lewis and Mark Jones
Fourth Official: Garreth Rhodes