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13 November 2021

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Southend United were unable to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time this season with Blues boss Kevin Maher left frustrated following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Woking at Roots Hall.

Tahvon Campbell’s 11th goal of the season put the visitors in front midway through the first-half. Southend responded well and had a string of chances in the second-half but came away empty-handed thanks to Max Kretzschmar’s late penalty.

Defeat for Blues leaves them one point above the relegation places going into next Friday’s trip to Grimsby, which is live on BT Sport, with the Southend manager giving another honest post-match assessment following the full-time whistle against Woking

“We knew physically it was going to be a tough one, but we knew we had to match that,” said Maher when asked for his thoughts on the defeat.

“We hoped we had enough quality on the pitch for when we had the ball, but I don’t think we showed enough of that, especially in the final third. In the first-half I thought it was a little bit too slow and no real threat in behind. The first goal was disappointing and going behind makes it hard.

“It felt like on the side that [an equaliser] was coming, but everyone that’s been coming to Southend for a while now knows where we’re at. Lack of quality in the final third and a little bit of composure at the right time, which we didn’t show enough of, and ultimately you need people to score goals.

“Yes [it was a harsh penalty] but it’s not the referee’s fault for the last two or three years we’ve been losing football matches so you have to accept that and get on with it.”

Woking came to Roots Hall off the back of four defeats from their last five league games, with the win for the Cards this afternoon lifting them to 10th in the National League table.

The visitors boasted several players with a big physical presence, which was seen as a key difference between the two sides. But Maher felt his Blues team dealt with the physicality of the game well, but that their time on the ball was what let them down.

“Physicality is one thing, but they haven’t scored from a set-piece. There’s a goal that’s soft from our point of view which is nothing to do with physicality, and the other one’s a penalty.

“They’re a physical team but we’ve got to be better on the ball, so you can look at it both ways. We matched a lot of it, but we were disappointing when we had the ball.

“It’s disappointing but we know what we’ve got to do. We knew it was going to take time, we knew it was a big job and that hasn’t changed.”

Blues next face another tough test next time out as they travel to Blundell Park to take on Grimsby Town on Friday night.

The Mariners came down from League Two with Southend last season, but have made a good start to the season and currently sit third, with Maher seeing the came simply as an opportunity to pick up three points.

“It’s an opportunity to go win a game of football. Today’s gone but we’ll reflect on it. I know where we’ve got to be better and if we’ve got to change, we change.

“I do feel for the players because they’ve given us everything and they’re a good bunch. But, and it’s a big but, we’ve got to start winning football matches. There are no excuses, we have to look to change things and we’ll look to change things.

“We can’t keep going losing football matches. We’ll stick together, and they’ve been honest enough in the changing room, but we’ve got to add something to it as well.”

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