Maher insists that there is still room for improvement from his Blues

Altrincham v Southend United – Vanarama National League – J Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane – Reaction

Altrincham 1-2 Southend United

Southend United picked up their first victory against a side from the top half of the Vanarama National League. However, boss Kevin Maher insisted his players have more to give as they look to haul themselves away from the foot of the table.

First-half goals from Rhys Murphy and Sam Dalby handed Blues control. And despite a strong showing after the interval from hosts, Altrincham, which saw Steve Arnold save a Ryan Colclough penalty ahead of Dan Mooney responding, the visitors held firm to secure three valuable points on the road.

I’m delighted for the win because the three points were massive for us,” the Blues chief enthused.

“I felt the lads, for how they worked, probably deserved something from the last few games where we’ve been close. We’ve been close against Grimsby, so tonight to get three points hopefully gives them a good boost and that the work we’ve been doing gives them a bit of confidence.

“How we worked this week and a lot of what we’ve worked on, I thought our shape was very good without the ball. I wanted us to be better with the ball because I thought we were nowhere near good enough with the ball.

“But the detail we worked on, the two restart goals we got and then the penalty save, which is something Reece Ottley worked on with Arnold, for the coaching staff that was pleasing.”

A sizable contingent of Southend supporters made the trip to the North-West, despite tickets being taken off-sale due to safety issues at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground: “The fans were outstanding considering it’s a long way up, the weather and everything and I’m sure we would have taken double if we could,” Maher added.

“I’m just delighted we’ve given them something to cheer at long last. Hopefully, they’ll have a couple of drinks on the way home and enjoy their night.”

Brian Jeeves

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