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28 August 2021

Southend boss Phil Brown felt his side were unfortunate not to come away with at least a point this afternoon after seeing his side fall to 1-0 defeat to Stockport County at Roots Hall.

John Rooney’s 15th-minute effort was the difference between the two sides, but Blues had a few big shouts for penalties go begging, none more so than what appeared to be an obvious pull on Rhys Murphy inside the six-yard box.

But Blues were unable to give the majority of the 5,678 in attendance a reason to smile as they weren’t able to build on last weekend’s win at King’s Lynn, with Brown saying afterwards that his team didn’t deserve to come away empty-handed.

“Just looking at the league now after two games, we’ve sampled success away from home and a fabulous crowd turns up again today and we’ve sampled defeat,” said Brown after the full-time whistle had been blown in Essex.

“Did we deserve the get beat is the analysis I’m looking at, and I’d say we probably didn’t. I think we did enough but there was not enough quality in the final third.”

The Murphy penalty incident, which came with a little under 15 minutes remaining, could have been a turning point for Blues, and it was a big talking point for the Southend manager.

Brown questioned why someone of Murphy’s pedigree in front of goal would have gone down with the goal at his mercy unless he’d felt some sort of contact.

“Rhys Murphy is a goalscorer. He gets into the six-yard box and gets a little tug and he’s made his mind up that that tug is good enough to bring him down.

“Why would he go down? He’s got a chance on goal to stick the ball in the back of the net. You stay on your feet unless you’re pulled back, which he had been.

“I’ve watched it about four or five times and the ref can’t make the decision because he’s got bodies in front of him, so it’s the assistant’s decision.

“I keep going back to Rhys Murphy though, if he’s got a chance like that, he’s going to put it in the back of the net so the reason for him going down has to be a pull.”

Southend now though must pick themselves up quickly as they have another game this Bank Holiday Monday against Wealdstone at Grosvenor Vale.

Having named an unchanged side today from the one that took to the field against King’s Lynn, Brown suggested that with less than 48-hours between now and Monday, he may be forced into making changes.

“I’m not saying it’s back to the drawing board, but there will be a group of players training here keeping their fitness levels up as we might have to make changes.

“James [Dunne] was out there today working at three-quarter pace. Will Atkinson is out there now and they’ll be putting their case forward for Monday.

“Abu [Ogogo] has tweaked his hamstring. He’s brilliant at what he does but he’s felt his hamstring today and we got him out of there quick enough for him to play maybe next week.”

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