Blues boss Kevin Bond was full of praise for his Southend players who he described as “first class” against Walsall but pinpointed two refereeing decisions for costing Blues a “massive” two points.
Southend looked like they’d finally ended their winless run with Simon Cox’s 17th goal of the season in the first-half before Walsall won a contentious penalty in the final minute of stoppage time.
Aramide Oteh won and converted the chance from the spot, costing Blues the win, and after the game, Bond gave a candid assessment of the afternoon at the Banks’s Stadium.
On the costly penalty…
I’ve spoken to [the referee] since and he thought it was a foul in the last minute of the game. He said there was contact – there might have been contact, but contact doesn’t mean it’s a foul, there has to be enough contact to make it a foul.
I’ve seen it again and there’s never enough contact to make it a foul. Last second of the game, you know that they’re going to do everything, they’re going to fall, I get that everyone is going to try everything to try and get themselves back in it.
[Oteh] has slung himself to the ground when he didn’t need to and the referee’s bought it and it’s cost us two massive points. If I don’t keep us up, I’m going to look back at this and he needs to know that.
On Moore’s ‘goal’ before the break…
It’s a mistake that [the referee] accepts. He made a mistake on the stroke of half time where he thought that the goalkeeper had caught the ball and instead of making sure that he caught the ball he blew when he was still in the process of trying to catch the ball.
He totally accepts there was no foul on him; he also accepts that you never blow up until the ball is in some sort of a neutral area. I knew there wouldn’t have been any time for a counter attack, I said to our guys everyone go up because I knew once the ball broke loose that he would give time.
He thought the goalkeeper [caught the ball] and blew the whistle before he should have done and the ball broke loose, we scored but he’d already blown the whistle. He shouldn’t have done and he accepted he shouldn’t have done.
On the Blues’ performance…
I’ve got nothing but praise for the lads really because I thought they put in a terrific performance. The only thing I think we may be guilty of is we had a couple of chances to wrap the game up, but I don’t think that excuses the referee for making the mistakes that he’s made.
As it turned out we needed a second goal, but if the referee had done his job, we wouldn’t have needed the second goal, we would have been ok.
We’ve got to do the same again [against Burton], the same sort of performance on Monday, three games to go we’ve got to keep fighting. I couldn’t complain about the attitude and the applications of the players, I thought they were first class. It wasn’t our day.