Toothless Blues fall back into dropzone

Oldham Athletic 0-0 Southend United

Misfiring, wasteful, unlucky, call it what you like, but for the eighteenth time in 33 Sky Bet League Two outings, Southend United failed to find the net and have slipped back into the relegation zone as a result.

True, Blues were the better side at Boundary Park. But against an Oldham Athletic side that has lost eleven times on their own patch this season, Blues twice clipped the woodwork and passed up a series of decent opportunities to snatch the three points.

Bobby Grant wasted an early opportunity for the home side before both Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Emile Acquah hit the frame of the goal either side of the interval.

Acquah and Simeo Akinola should have done better when presented with reasonable opportunities and that almost proved costly when Grant could only find James Montgomery’s gloves in the final stages.

Barrow’s victory over Mansfield Town enabled the Cumbrians to leapfrog the Blues: “I think the stats speak for themselves,” a frustrated Mark Molesley bemoaned.

“That’s the alarming part from today, that we’ve created enough chances to win the game and unfortunately we haven’t put them away.

“We’ve had to settle for a point which, if we’re looking at those chances, is one that has definitely got away from us. We need points at the moment and we need to score more goals.”

The Blues boss added: “Maybe it’s a lack of confidence? But at the same time, we hit the crossbar twice, we’ve come agonisingly close quite a few times. Maybe the ball isn’t quite falling for us, but again that’s just an excuse for us, we’ve got to make it happen, we’ve got to start taking more responsibility.

“We’ve got to show more quality in that final third. The pitches can be a bit troublesome but again our stats are too low in that final third for hitting the target. Today we have delivered well, we’ve caused all sorts of problems which have culminated in good goalkeeping saves, hitting the crossbar a couple of times, but ultimately it’s ended in disappointment.”

Southend United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday, March 9 when Tranmere Rovers visit Roots Hall Stadium (7pm).

Oldham Athletic: Ian Lawlor, Dylan Fage, Raphael Diarra, Carl Piergianni, Nicky Adams (Capt), Dylan Bahamboula (Brice Ntambwe 85’), Marcel Hilssner, Alfie McCalmont, Serhat Tasdemir (Conor McAleny 61’), Davis Keillor Dunn, Bobby Grant Subs not used: Laurence Bilboe, Sido Jombati, Callum Whelan, Andrea Badan, Harry Vaughan

Southend United: James Montgomery, Shaun Hobson (Elvis Bwomono 72’), John White, Tyler Cordner, Tom Clifford, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, Kyle Taylor (Greg Halford 72’), Nathan Ferguson, Tim Dieng, Simeon Akinola (Jason Demetriou 78’), Emile Acquah (Ashley Nathaniel-George 56’) Subs not used: Harry Seaden, Brandon Goodship, Ricky Holmes

Referee: Ollie Yates
Assistants: Kevin Mulraine and Declan Ford.
Fourth Official: James Bell

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]