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30 January 2021

Blues boss Mark Molesley spoke of what he described as the ‘lowest point’ his side have hit after Southend were brushed aside 5-1 against Port Vale this afternoon at Vale Park.

The Valiants took less than a minute to go in front as Devante Rodney picked out the top corner with a well-taken half-volley. Tyler Cordner then put into his own net before further goals from Adam Crookes and a second from Rodney all but put the game out of sight before half-time.

Nathan Ferguson scored a spectacular strike on his debut in the second-half but it was mere consolation as Vale went on to score a fifth through substitute Manny Oyeleke and after the full-time whistle, a shell shocked Molesley gave us his thoughts on the defeat.

On the defeat to Port Vale…

“It’s the lowest point we’ve hit. It was a disastrous first-half and anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. It’s a bad one, there’s no getting away from it.

“We were almost shell-shocked in that first-half. We didn’t win our first contacts, any second balls, they rushed us and we made mistakes, picked up injuries in the build-up to goals. Like I said, anything that could have gone wrong went wrong and it was a disastrous afternoon for us.

“We were asking ourselves and scratching our heads thinking where has this come from because we have been so solid and much harder to beat, but we just looked to be lacking that energy.

“We were getting our distances wrong and not winning the first balls. I don’t think we won enough first contacts, enough second balls and we didn’t track our runners well enough. The culmination of all three resulted in the worst performance we’ve had since we’ve been here.”

On the injuries and the need for reinforcements…

“John White’s injury was his foot; Sam Hart was an abductor injury; Elvis Bwomono was his back at half-time and Simeon Akinola has come off with his hamstring right at the end there as well where he’s walked off the pitch and we’ve finished with 10 men. It was a bad afternoon for us.

“We need the reinforcements in quick, but we need to convince those reinforcements [to join], and a performance like that doesn’t help anything. We need to make sure that’s a one-off. We can’t see a repeat of that, any of that, ever again.

“We’ve been very active and putting irons in fires, and we’ll just have to see how they go on in the coming days. At the moment, it’s full reflection on that game and it’s a tough one to take today, so it’s tough to take my headspace anywhere else at the moment other than that performance. I’m sure we’ll try and reflect and get better as quickly as we can.”

On Nathan Ferguson’s debut and goal…

“That was the biggest bright spark of today, what a great performance and a great goal. The second-half, if you can take any kind of positive it was him in that second-half.

“We did get a goal and unfortunately we went down to 10 men and conceded that last one when we felt we should have had a foul in the build-up.

“These things are neither here nor there when you put in a first-half performance like that.”

On a big week ahead…

“It’s absolutely huge and the rest is going to be key. Physically the last 10 days, I don’t think we’ve hit the levels that we should have done.

“Physically as well we’ve had the walking wounded, another couple of bits and we’ve just hit a bad run of games. We’ve had a lot of games in a bad little spell for us with physicality and that’s bit us again today.”

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