Southend weren’t able to turn their recent poor form around as they suffered a 3-1 defeat on the road to Gillingham and the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Goals from Alfie Jones and Stuart O’Keefe either side of the break put Gills in control. Simon Cox grabbed one back but Southend were then reduced to 10-men with Emile Acquah sent off.
The home side then missed two penalties before grabbing a crucial third through Brandon Hanlan to secure the win and after Blues ninth defeat in 11, Gary Waddock gave his thoughts on the defeat.
On an eventful second-half…
It was probably too eventful the second-half, there was a lot going on in the game. Unfortunately, we come off the back of another defeat, but there were spells in the second-half where you couldn’t fault the player's attitude and approach to it and we had them rocking for a little bit.
I know they had two penalties and missed two penalties, but things are not going our way at the moment. We’ve got to keep our heads held high and continue to work hard to try and turn this situation around.
We were under the cosh first-half as well, they put us under a lot of pressure and picked up a lot of second balls, which they do very well. We had a chat at half-time and then within a minute we concede another goal so it’s a mountain you then have to climb.
On Acquah’s red card…
We changed the formation and it put them on the back foot and it got us back into the game. Unfortunately for Emile, he picked up the red card which was probably a little naïve of him but we wanted a presence up front, and he certainly gives you that, but two or three challenges have ultimately cost him and us by going down to 10-men.
He’ll learn from it. We wanted that presence upfront and their backline felt him on a number of occasions. He’s got that in his play but unfortunately he stepped over the mark so he has to learn from it. He’s a young lad developing and that experience, even though it’s a bad one, he will learn from.
On the two missed penalties…
I would like to see them again before I really do pass comment on them. One the lad missed and one Mark Oxley saved so I can’t really comment due to the angle I was at, it was very difficult to see.
Everything was stacked against us. The first one was missed and you get a lifeline; you get a second one and you go, come on then we could turn this around, but things haven’t gone our way from the start of this season. You go through tough spells and we’re certainly going through that at present.