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27 November 2021

Southend United returned to winning ways on Saturday after first-half goals from Rhys Murphy and Sam Dalby helped the Blues to a 2-1 win over Altrincham.

The victory moved Southend level on points with Maidenhead, who head to Roots Hall in 10 days.

And goalkeeper Steve Arnold was delighted with the team’s performance at the J. Davidson Stadium.

"It’s a massive relief if I’m honest," said Arnold. "They say you can get into a habit of winning, I think you can get into a habit of losing too.

"To win like that, in those circumstances to be 2-1 up with 20 minutes to go and to grind it out, that’s what we needed- a bit of grit. I’m really happy with the win.

"Everyone stuck to the game-plan. We went back to basics; we had a solid shape. Everyone knew their jobs to a tee which is the bare minimum of what you need, and we showed that today.

"Everyone worked their nuts off!”

Southend took the lead in the first minute through Murphy, and Arnold was elated with the side’s reaction.

"It can be a hindrance scoring early doors away from home,” Arnold added.

"You can end up resting on your laurels with the mindset of defend, defend, defend but full credit to everyone because they gave their all, especially in the conditions.

"The wind in the first half was horrible so to get two first-half goals, with the momentum is great.

"It wasn’t pretty, but for us, it doesn’t matter how we win at the moment as long as we get points on the board.

"I like it here. I feel like I’m playing towards my best. In the last two or three years, I’ve had stupid little injuries and touch wood I’ve only had one or two little niggles.

"I feel like I’m finding my best form.

"Full credit to the gaffer and Reece [Ottley, First Team Goalkeeping Coach] for getting me going.”

Arnold was a commanding presence in the box and superbly saved Ryan Colclough’s effort from the penalty spot after Nathan Ferguson was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

"You want to save it but deep down I fully believe the striker should score. I back myself to always save it [though].

"Full credit to Reece, who tells me what to do!

"We need three or four wins to build a base then we go from there and get our identity.

"We build from this and get another win, not a draw.

"We’re at home in the next game, we [must] get a win. [The break] gives us time to rest and recover and do what the gaffer wants."

Southend United welcome Maidenhead to Roots Hall on Tuesday 7th December, hoping for back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Back Maher and the boys by purchasing your tickets for the game, available online.

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