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Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Southend United
SOUTHEND UNITED’S ‘annus horribilis’ showed little signs of subsiding as they slipped to their seventeenth Sky Bet League One defeat of the season at rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers.
The hosts – who started the season minus twelve points due to their financial issues – moved within two points of the beleaguered Blues, although Sol Campbell’s men will point to a controversial incident which saw Joe Dodoo cancel out Harry Lennon’s tenth-minute opener, despite appearing to handle in the build-up.
The brittle Blues were not to recover. Luke Murphy fired the Trotter ahead in first-half stoppage time – despite more than a suspicion of off-side, then extended Bolton’s lead shortly after the hour – this after a howling error from skipper, Timothee Dieng.
Dieng netted late on to set up a grandstand finish – but the truth is, Southend simply appear out of their depth at this present time.
It’s now thirteen matches since the Blues tasted victory in the league – ironically, against Milton Keynes Dons – who are next up at Roots Hall on Boxing Day.
Boss Campbell had spoken about momentum following a draw with Rotherham a week previous. However, the Blues boss was left more concerned as to whether he’d be able to bolster his squad in January: “It’s there and we’re after people, but whether they’re going to come is another situation, so we’ve got to work hard on that,” he bemoaned to www.southendunited.co.uk.
“I’ve got to work hard with that and hopefully, we get lucky with some of the deals. There’ll be some players that relish the challenge [of coming here] and that’s what we’ve got to get.”
On the controversial refereeing decisions from whistler, Ben Toner, Campbell added: “The flag’s gone up [for their second goal] and maybe the referee is right, but it’s gone up. We just wanted to know what was going on.
“[The ref] didn’t say anything, he just said it was play on. He made the decision, you’ve just got to get on with it. Of course, I’m going to be passionate because they scored a goal from that scenario; we just wanted to know why the flag went up and why there was no free-kick. I just wanted to know, but maybe the linesman and referee were speaking and they got the decision right.
“Whether it’s come off his chest [for the first goal] and his hand, I don’t know. His hand is way above his head and obviously, we don’t seem to be getting these decisions. Anywhere else, that’s a handball.”
Southend United return to Sky Bet League One action on Thursday, December 26 when Milton Keynes Dons are the visitors to Roots Hall Stadium (3pm).
Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Emmanuel, Lowe, Wright, L Murphy, D Murphy, Verlinden (Graham 90+3’), Dodoo, Darcy (O’Grady 85’), Bridcutt (Capt), Earl Subs not used: Alexander, Chicksen, Politic, Edwards, Senior
Southend United: Bishop, Bwomono, Milligan, Humphrys, Dieng (Capt), McLaughlin, Goodship (Rush 80’), Kiernan, Mantom, Demetriou (Hopper 62’), Lennon (White 17’) Subs not used: Oxley, Cox, Hamilton, Hutchinson
Referee: Ben Toner
Assistants: Abbas Khan and Matthew Bristow
Fourth Official: Garreth Rhodes