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Southend United v Aldershot Town – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Report
Southend United 2-3 Aldershot Town
Sections of the Roots Hall Stadium crowd called for the head of Chairman Ron Martin and Manager Phil Brown following Southend United’s embarrassing Vanarama National League defeat at the hands of Aldershot Town.
The defeat extended Southend’s winless run to five matches and left them hovering just two points above the dropzone as the Shots – who had lost all five of their previous league outings – came from behind to leave the home crowd stunned and disgruntled.
“I’m not bothered at this moment about league positions; I’m bothered about the character of my team and the character of my team was to be found wanting,” boss Brown bemoaned.
“I’ve never had a group of players that have represented me in any other way but my character and my character was to fight to the death and get on with the performance. If it goes your way, great; if not you get up out of bed the next day, get on the training ground and try and work at your basics.
“The division that we’re playing in, you’ll get found wanting if you don’t do the basics properly and that’s what we didn’t do today.
“Second-half I think too many players went missing and consequently you’re back to the drawing board the following day and you’ve got Torquay on Saturday. It’s not going to get any easier, but you’ve got to go into work being prepared to work hard and keep your shirt.”
But it had all started so well for Southend. Rhys Murphy seized on a horrendous error from Aldershot goalkeeper, Mitchell Walker to give the home side a seventeenth-minute lead.
Jason Demetriou diverted Alfie Whittingham’s centre into his own goal to restore parity before the interval. And five minutes after the restart, anguish amongst the vast majority amongst a 5,004-strong crowd heightened after Mohamed Bettamer fired Aldershot ahead from close range.
The mood darkened further when Substitute Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong added a third. And although Demetriou’s cross went in off an upright to make the scoreline a little more respectable, Blues fans were left in little doubt that they could face yet another relegation battle as they continue to slide alarmingly/
Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Saturday, September 18 when they face Torquay United at Plainmoor (3pm).
Southend United: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Coulson (White 57’), Bridge, Dunne, Murphy, Dalby (Rush 80’), Egbri (Walsh 80’), Atkinson, Demetriou Subs not used: Seaden, Sayer
Aldershot Town: Walker, Fowler, Kinsella, Lyons-Foster, Whittingham, Edser, Bettamer (Berkeley-Agyepong 71’), Andrews (Akanbi 90+2’), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phillips, Harris Subs not used: Hall, Watts, Willard
Referee: Adrian Quelch
Assistants: Steve Durnall and Stuart Kane
Fourth Official: Aji Ajibola