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Wealdstone v Southend United – Vanarama National League – Grosvenor Vale Stadium – Report
Wealdstone 0-0 Southend United
Rowland Lyons reporting from Grosvenor Vale Stadium
Phil Brown blasted his underperforming players after they were fortunate to ultimately pick up a point at lowly Wealdstone, on Bank Holiday Monday.
Brown said: “It wasn’t good enough. Only Steve Arnold – the goalkeeper – comes out of this contest with any credit. The ten outfield players weren’t good enough.”
Brown, rang the changes, after the Stockport home reverse, barely 70 hours earlier.
Out dropped Josh Coulson, with last Saturday evening’s starters, Abu Ogogo injured and Jason Demetriou omitted.
Arguably, taking longer to adapt to a wickedly sloping left-to-right playing surface, the full-time Shrimpers started to make their superior fitness count and, on 25-minutes having seen Sam Dalby’s pot shot blocked, Rhys Murphy’s overhead effort crashes back off George Wickens’ bar.
Wealdstone’s first meaningful attack, three minutes later, saw Southend stopper, Steve Arnold lucky not to see red for a foul the lively Josh Umerah. Frustratingly for the Royals, Charlie Cooper’s free-kick flew high and wide.
On 32-minutes later Jack Bridge’s stunning drive had ‘goal’ written all over it, but Wickens stuck out a hand and somehow guided the ball over, via his crossbar.
Stones ended the opening period on the front foot, as Southend were forced to put bodies on the line, with Arnold denying Ashley Charles, four minutes from the interval.
The second period was a disappointing affair – neither side creating any clear-cut opportunities – although The Royals might have won this contest, Umerah lacked composure, deep into stoppage time and Arnold made a comfortable block. This was after Dalby had blasted high and wide, late on.
He added: “I thought we had a grip of the game and that first goal would have been crucial. I can’t have players pulling of challenges – it’s not acceptable. I have had a few harsh words in there.”
“I had to leave out Josh Coulson, as I didn’t want to risk him – even though he’s a big voice in the team. Similarly, with Jason Demetriou. Will Atkinson will come into contention – but I can’t reveal exactly who I’ll be picking this weekend.”
Goalkeeper Arnold echoed Brown’s comments: “It wasn’t enough. Whilst I’m pleased with a clean sheet, these are places where we should be coming and picking up three points.”
Opposing boss, Stuart Maynard, said: “I am happy we’ve got off the mark, with our first point, but many of the refereeing decisions didn’t go our way.”
Wealdstone: George Wickens, Jack Cook, Jerome Okima, Stephan Browne (Craig Fasanmade 72′), Andrew Eleftheriou, Nik Tavare, Dennon Lewis, Alex Dyer, Charlie Cooper, Joshua Umerah, Dennon Lewis (Daniel Wishart 72′) Subs not used: Matt Buse, Zachary Dronfield, Medy Elito
Southend United: Steve Arnold, Terrell Egbri, Nathan Ralph, Shaun Hobson, Matthew Dennis, Jack Bridge (Hamzad Kargbo 81′), John White, Nathan Ferguson, Sam Dalby, Rhys Murphy (Matt Rush 59′), Harry Phillips Subs not used: Josh Coulson, Harry Seaden, Charlie Sayers
Referee: Matthew Russell
Assistants: Grzegorz Kornasiewicz and Hugh Gilroy
Fourth Official: Luis Nunes