Southend advanced to the second round of the Carabao Cup for the first time in almost a decade following a 2-1 win away at League Two side Stevenage.
Dean Parrett’s rasping strike early in the first half had put the home side in front but a brace from 17-year-old striker Charlie Kelman won the tie for Blues who will play MK Dons in the next round.
And after the win at The Lamex Stadium, the Blues boss Kevin Bond gave his thoughts on the victory.
On the first win of the season…
Obviously, I was pleased to win; it would have been heart breaking and so disappointing if we hadn’t won.
[The players] needed some reward. In fairness to them, they’ve worked so hard. We all appreciate that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot in lots of respects with giving away goals which have cost us games, but I think we know that we’re a whole lot better than that and tonight we got the rewards for what was a really good performance.
We got a great reaction and I thought we played some really good stuff tonight. We should have tucked one or two more away, but I’ll take the victory.
On the match-winner, Kelman…
Charlie done well; I thought the front two both done really well. They never stopped working for us tonight and that was really what we needed to be about.
We needed to match them because we knew they would be all over us and never give us a second on the ball, and we needed to match that level of energy.
I thought the front two set us off and really led the line from the front tonight, and I was really pleased for Charlie to get his goals.
On Harry Lennon’s injury…
It was unbelievable really because we had a free-kick on the edge of the box and I saw Harry Lennon going up for it and I thought to myself, why is he going up for that because we’re only going to shoot?
He was probably trying to distract one or two people, so I understand that, but he stopped it from going in. It smacked him on the head and for 10 minutes after that he was all over the shop and was causing us problems.
It culminated in them scoring and then he had to come off, and I thought that’s just how things are going for us at the moment. He’s been shaken up, he’s taken a bit of a smack on the head and he didn’t know where he was.