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18 December 2021

It was a debut to remember for 18-year-old Collin Andeng Ndi as his penalty save helped Southend reach the Fourth Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy as Blues came from behind to beat Dorking Wanderers 2-1 at Roots Hall.

Andeng Ndi put in a man of the match performance, the crucial moment coming in the second half to keep the score at 1-1.

Diving to his left, Andeng Ndi saved superbly to deny Bobby-Joe Taylor from 12 yards.

The youngster was delighted with his debut and heaped praise on the help and support from goalkeeper coach Reece Ottley.

"I was confident. I had a talk with Reece at the start and he told me what to do, you all saw what happened!

"It was hard conceding in the first few minutes of my first game but we just got on with the game and after we got the first goal I felt a lot more confident.

"We knew they were a very good team. They like to play the ball and the gaffer told us they like to have a lot of shots and would try to break us down.

"We stuck with the game plan and got the win.

"I found out I would start during Friday’s training Session. We knew Steve [Arnold] couldn’t play and so the gaffer brought me in [to the office] and told me the news.

"I’ve been playing non-league for a long time.

"I’ve been at Basildon United, Hornchurch and a few other clubs so to come and play for Southend, wow! What a debut it was too."

Blues originally went a goal down in the fourth minute when Alfie Rutherford skipped past Shaun Hobson and slotted under Andeng Ndi.

But Matt Dennis' spectacular goal secured the route to the next round in the final 15 minutes after Sam Dalby had brought Blues level in the first half.

Smiling from cheek to cheek, the goalkeeper added: "I came in last season and Reece has helped me throughout. What a coach he is!”

"He [Kevin Maher] gave me a chance today. We’ll go back into training, and we will see [if I can get more games].”

"I’m just here to take my chances when they come.

"What a feeling it is to get on the pitch and play in front of the fans."

Blues head to Bromley on Boxing Day as they return to Vanarama National League action and should Steve Arnold, who is following concussion protocols, not be ready then head coach Kevin Maher can feel safe in having Andeng Ndi ready to start.

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