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27 February 2021

Southend boss Mark Molesley hoped to reflect on today’s result as a point gained as Blues ground out a 0-0 draw against Salford City at Roots Hall.

Both sides had good chances to win it with Vaclav Hladky twice thwarting Emile Acquah in the first-half before stopping Nathan Ferguson from scoring in the second, while Salford were denied by a superb reaction save from sub-goalie Harry Seaden who prevented Ian Henderson.

Seaden came on for emergency-loanee Alex Bass at half-time, one of three Southend players injured during the game, and after the full-time whistle, Molesley gave us his thoughts on the draw as well as the injuries to a couple of those forced off.

On the point…

“I think, on reflection, it was a good point. We’re continuing to be very competitive in every game and with the win on Tuesday, that’s four points out of those two. Most people would have taken that before the game and if we can carry that on for the rest of the season that’s great form.

“I have to mention about the lad’s attitude and battling qualities on a pitch that was quite dry and tough to play on for both teams, so sometimes it was a little bit low on quality but certainly not low on effort and application from our boys, again.

“After a long trip on Wednesday, we had less preparation time to what we’d usually have and what Salford had and we’re up against a very good side in Salford who are flying high and have got some fantastic talent.

“I thought we nullified them really well. First-Half I thought we had some really good openings – the goalkeeper has saved one with his face from Emile and then he had his header that he caught – so we created some chances and made it a tough afternoon for them.

“That’s all we can do at the moment, keep trying to be as competitive as we can, keep working hard for each other and keep trying to get points on the board. Hopefully, we’ll look at this as a point gained.”

On the injuries…

“It’s a difficult one losing [Mark Oxley] last night, having it confirmed that it was an injury that was worse than first thought. We did very well getting a goalkeeper in with such late notice of the quality of Alex Bass, and then he’s been upended twice and didn’t receive any protection which we felt he deserved, and ultimately it’s culminated in him coming off.

“We introduced Nile Ranger who we’ve been doing a lot of work with, but the worry is that as much work as you do on the training field it’s hard to recreate that match intensity, that tension in your body, that adrenaline and unfortunately he’s felt his groin there.

“It’s a real shame as he’s come on and had an impact straight away, I thought. He won three headers in our attacking half and two headers in our box as well and showed how useful he was. It’s a good point gained, but disappointing on in the injury front.”

On Harry Seaden…

“I’m very pleased for Harry Seaden who’s been patient, been training really hard all season and has been pushing Oxley.

“It’s a good strong goalkeeping department and it just shows his attitude and his mentality to come on and keep a cool head, making a great save, standing big and making a great reaction save. I thought his distribution was great as well, but also his voice and communication for a young man. He did really well in tough circumstances.

“Regardless, we’ll have to find out how Alex is because I thought that was a great debut for him. He was very assured and calm, claimed crosses and was looking very comfortable in there. There’ll be a scan and we’ll see how that is, but we can’t run with just one goalkeeper in Harry Seaden so we’ll just have to rectify that.”

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